Autumn Scenes
In western Ukraine  

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Ukrainian autumn scenes of daily activities.

October Autumn Scenes - Kitsman Raion
Chernivets'ka Oblast, Page 2

Click for
Autumn Photos Pg.1

On late Sunday afternoon there was no time for rest as the drivers had come to pick up the apples.  The orchard is rather hilly and the sacks of apples had to hauled down to the truck by two teams of horses. One fellow was in the back of the truck unloading the apples from the sacks while the other was weighing the sacks before they were tossed up. 

Here is the driver trying to drive the loaded truck up a little hill. He could not make it. Someone called a farmer with a tractor to help pull the truck driver up.

Many trucks like this are seen on the highways and roadways filled with apples, beets, cabbage or sugar beets. 

John's father-in-law used his horse and wagon to bring sacks of apples
down the hill to the road.

Another team of horses worked in the orchard to haul the sacks of apples
 down the hill.

My cousin John and I drove to the bazaar to meet some people to pick up my order of souvenirs. It was on Wednesday and there were hardly any vendors as they were busy finishing up their fall work. On Saturday mornings the village folk go to the bazaar to either buy or sell. The tables are filled with all kinds of hand made crafts and it was very common to see the vendors standing behind their tables eating sunflower seeds.

Along the road side or in front of houses where villages are usually close together - about 6 km. it is common to find a little chapel called a kaplytsia. They are usually built by family who has lost a member in a tragic accident. It is a memorial or tribute built in their remembrance. Everyone is different in color and shape. This chapel is in the oblast' of Ivana Frankivsk, not far from the bazaar town of Kosiv, near the Carpathian mountains.

I apologize that I have not researched the origin of these little chapels but I see them in villages around the Chernivtsi area or near the Carpathian mountains - home to the Hutsuls, who are known to be very "religious". It is a serene, peaceful and spiritual place where one can visit any time, reflect and meditate and say a prayer.

People come in to light a candle and say a prayer as the chapel is open all the time. Here they find solitude and comfort.

We are leaving the oblast' of Ivana Frankivsk' (named after Ivan Franko - famous literary writer-. We are entering the oblast' of Chernivtsi and the district of Vyzhnytsia; also the town by the same name. The rolling hills of the Carpathian mountains with a haze above them. Leaves are starting to turn color.

This is another chapel. We tried to photograph the peaks of the roof. The people practice Orthodoxy, yet the cross is not like the typical "3 bar cross" that we are accustomed to on the tops of
our churches in Canada.


This is a distant view of a sugar beets processing plant. It's the first stage of the process; the pulp is taken to a factory in Chernivtsi where it is refined. The left over product is sold for feed for cattle. Now there is the problem of finding someone with a truck leftover from the communist days. They usually find a truck.

Here is a villager who loaded up his wagon with sugar beets to haul them to the sugar beet processing plant as seen in photograph Ukr40

This house is very sentimental to me. My grandmother from here in Canada helped her 2 orphaned nieces by building this house. She would send kerchiefs which the girls would sell in the Foreign Store. The house is a typical quaint old style one where  relatives gathered for festive celebrations. Sadly my remaining aunt passed away on the day that I left to return to Canada.

Here is corn drying at my relatives' older house. Almost every older house has a ledge. This old house and the house on the left are built out of wood, which is very uncommon. Houses are built out of cement blocks, do not have corridors. Notice the windows. The top row of windows can be opened to let out the warm air. Also the houses are built with the roof extending out so as to protect from the hot sun. All roofs of the houses are covered with tin sheets.

In every village you will find a monument to honor the fallen soldiers of the WWII. It is traditional for a newly married couple to come to pay their respects and
 leave bouquets of flowers.

My cousin Marusia with her cow. Forgot to get the cow's name. The cow takes up so much time of the village people. In the summer the school children have to take her out to pasture. Or older ladies sit on little stools while the cows graze. Some are tied down in a community pasture and brought home later. Most women mild their cow 3 times a day. She (the cow) lives in the barn when it get cold until early spring when grass begins to grow again. As a result, of little exercise, the cows always have difficulty in giving birth to their young. The cow is very respected as she provides the family with milk, cream and cheese. 

John and I stopped at a village called Brusnytsia by this building. On the main floor is a grocery store. I decided to take this picture which was painted during the Soviet times. You can see the Russian letter CCCP. Picture is supposed to depict brotherhood, equality for all, friendship (comrade). 

Here is my relative Marichka, a math teacher with her husband Vitalik who listened to my request and run down to the root cellar to bring up some beets. These are the beets grown for food for the animals and grow halfway above the ground. I tasted the leaves one summer and they were sweet and tender, similar to the red beet leaves. The leaves are ground up with weeds for the animals. Everything that is edible is fed to the animals.

A closer view of the beets used as food for animals. They are the most popular food for the animals and are harvested late in the fall. Much land is used to plant them as it is very important to have enough food to feed your cow and pigs. I tasted the beet and it was firm and juicy and had a taste similar to the red beets but not as sharp or bitter. My aunt said that in poorer times women would prepare soup called borshch from these beets. 

This is the place from where my great grandfather Andrew Rudiak and  my grandfather John Rudiak before my grandfather immigrated to Hamlin, Alberta. The dwelling place has been torn down and built several times. This is the house and yard where 3 generations live.There is a summer kitchen with running water and other buildings and a huge orchard. There is very little variety of paint colors, bright blue and rusty golden brown and black and brown. Notice the row of  smaller windows on top of the larger windows. They can be
opened to allow fresh air in.

It is traditional for every house or apartment to have a few of their walls covered in tapestry. The walls are out of cement blocks and you rarely see pictures hung on the walls. Years ago, the carpets were functional in that they kept the draft from coming into the house. Now they are mainly decorative. And stuffed animals are always placed on top of the divan (chesterfield, couch) which folds out into a bed. I regret that I did not take more pictures of the baroque style of painting (stencilling) the walls, but my goal was to depict autumn scenes and harvesting.


Good things did come at the end of my travels. I spent the last several days in the village of Lashkivka which celebrates the church holiday of Pokrova. It is a feast day or khram. My cousin Anna is setting the table for 20 guests. The feasting will go on for 3 days. On the last day my 2 male cousins bring their music principle and vice-principle to enjoy the festive food. I will attempt to name some of the dishes: cooked & then marinated mushrooms with raw onions - pidpen'ky, potato salad with peas and cut up pieces of kubasa, olives from Greece, Portuguese sardines, very expensive smoked slices of fish, about 5.40 USD for a kilo, cheese salad, crab  meat (pollock) salad. I asked for my favorite cooked beans with garlic but my cousin says it is a shame to serve such a dish for khram,  beans are served for ordinary days.
Later I got my wish.

As I said before all the food is prepared in a small house called the kitchen. You will not find stoves or cupboards in houses, although with people traveling to the West the trend is changing. They walk back and forth with trays of prepared dishes to place on the table. Always appetizers and cold dishes are served first followed by the hot food. The peppers were roasted, skin taken off, fried in some oil and then covered with fried onions & garlic. A little vinegar and sugar were added. I will continue the dishes that were prepared: roasted chicken placed on top of a jar in a roasting pan and lightly spread with mayonnaise,  smoked pieces of chicken, variety of sausages, cheeses, breads, tortes (cakes), varieties of store bought vodka, mineral water and sprite, coke,
 fruit juices and beer.

Do click on the photographs to view  larger images.

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