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.
Waiting... - *In October on Manezh Square, outside of the Kremlin* It's the final countdown until the Olympics... Here's a link to an article that was in the "Russia ...
4 years ago