Thursday, April 2, 2009

Is it Spring Yet?

Russians say the First Day of Spring is March 1. It feels like one of those arbitrary Soviet calendar events, like when the central heat is turned on or off.

Spring is definitely out there. Lurking. Teasing us. A cruel April Fool's Day prank. It is already spring in some parts of the world. Here . . . the Metro entrances still sport their double doors. Temperatures hover around freezing, but now just slightly above (below 40F for my US readers).

The light has changed dramatically, and not just because of the time change last Saturday. The days really are getting longer. If it isn't too, too cloudy, it is now light when I get up (6:30 in the a.m.). And on Tuesday it was still light at 7:30 p.m. when we got home from Baboo's fencing class.

The slush is gone from the sidewalks. Now there are just the rivers of melting-ness. Endless trickles of water that come from God knows where. Roofs? Downspouts? The mountains of piled up snow and ice that still remain in some corners of the city and which orange-jacketed Tajiks chip away at in order to facilitate melting?

Rain is becoming the problem. I hate this time of year because it is too cold for plain old raincoats, but warm enough that the rain soaks our down-filled winter coats. Only Skittles seems to have outerwear that is more water-resistant.

I have a crack in the top of my boot now.

On the plus side, I have actually heard birds singing recently. Saw some chickadees behind our building yesterday, their splotches of yellow vibrant against their black and white tuxedos. They are my favorite backyard birds.

And Tuesday, I walked through the grounds of the Orthodox church next to Baboo's school. Someone has started the spring cleaning. There were still piles of the pine branches used to shelter the flowerbeds, but where those had been moved aside I could see fat purple hyacinth buds pushing out of the dirt.

But the trees are still leafless skeletons against a mostly bone gray sky. At certain angles, you might look out a window and still think it is January.

When I looked out the window just now, it was snowing. Sigh.

7 comments:

TRex said...

Went to Gorbushka today. The wind was relentless and reached up my pants leg and actully pulled my pubic hairs out.

The sun is actually shining through here at Belorusskaya but my temperature sensor sez it is only 4.6C.

Tonite is steak and mushrooms, not Sushi time yet I'm afraid!

Tami said...

I feel your pain. While we're certainly not living in Moscow I feel like we're living in the frozen tundra of Alaska! We're in the mountains of Wyoming and after living in Kansas for 15 years where spring comes sometime at the end of March, I have a SERIOUS case of spring fever. Especially since we got a freak snowstorm yesterday afternoon with three more inches of white stuff.
Sigh.
I don't think spring will EVER come.

valentina said...

OOOOhhhh I am so sad for you because here the tulips have started blooming and the daffs and narcissus are swaying in my grass and the hyacinths perfume the air and the trees are just beginning to lace out in green. We are having a lot of rain though but today was 72! I drove up to Lancaster to the Doc's and back and the hills are coming alive again...(not with the sound of music though...but I was listening to Mark on WOUB on his 7 pm show coming home...)

This is my favorite time of year and favorite month. The cats want to hang around outside sniffing all of the spring smells and only come in when the wind picks up and rattles the screen door! The screen doors were just put in yesterday so I am sure spring is really here, here...

I hope it perks up there and you have some trees a blooming soon. The magnolias are all decked out in their pink peau de soie petals and I am hoping we will not have a late frost and turn them all to brown as we usually have occur in the spring.

I hope Cat-o's birthday was well celebrated and that he got his OWN dollap of yogurt. I can't believe that before very long Baboo will be 11! That is really shocking... and Skittles 9? Can that be true??? What happened to those little teletubby loving binky biting tots???

I miss you all and look forward to seeing you this summer. Meanwhile we must all glory in the spring, regardless of the rain, just dig it...xov

TRex said...

And today was particularly nasty in Moscow. Rain and wet snow. It just sucks!

The Expatresse said...

Yeah, and after a sunny morning, too.

Only six more weeks of winter!

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