If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Grey skies, grey light, trees in black and white. I’m hungry for colour and sunshine and maybe even just a break from frigging with the white balance on my camera. These softly lengthening days of February have been so dull this year that the extra daylight looks more like daylong twilight. It’s a good thing HappyJack™ has a happy tail to motivate me or I might not leave the house at all on days like this.
Right now temperatures change extremely between -5°C in the night and 15°c in the afternoon and the days, they’re getting longer. And all the hazel is blooming so I tried to claw out my own eyes because fuck allergies. So it’s time to for (hopefully) one last look at winter.
With Winter nearing its end, at least here, it’s time to look back at the snow that we had.
Oh, and did you know, there’s going to be Frozen 2
Elsa is essentially a superhero now and we're definitely ok with that. Watch the first trailer for Frozen 2 right here! pic.twitter.com/4tXrEkEDRg
— IGN (@IGN) February 13, 2019
As I am in Vilnius until Wednesday, I would like to take this small moment to cast a shadow (work will most likely occupy the rest of my time). Thank you, Nightjar, for those lovely photos of flowers and sunshine (really – today I got back to the hotel, refreshed Affinity, and it was… wow) – in sharp contrast, this is what we have: a look at Vilnius in evening (NB: there is still light, a month ago it would be completely dark!).
Here is a song from Estonia, to complete the Baltic triptych:
The end of winter at least seems to be nigh, but since one can never know what March will bring, it’s best not to cheer too loudly yet. (Actually, I wouldn’t mind real winter for another couple of weeks, it’s the yoyo I hate. Pick one, Winter. You can’t have it both ways.) The one noticeable difference now is the light – it is no longer dark outside when I leave work (had a bit of a shock Friday). Yay!
But today we will take a short look back at the Winter That Was, because it is, after all, Ronja’s favourite season.
That, apparently, is a quote by R Buckminster Fuller. It is also the title of a series of photographs by Reuben Wu, taken in Spitzbergen, with a particular focus on the Svalbard Satellite Station. About the series:
Taken on Spitzbergen, in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, Reuben Wu’s images detail the breathtaking appearance of our planet’s extremities. His photograph series Love Is Metaphysical Gravity is a visual feast of soft pink and blue colour tones, artic landscapes, dreamy auroras and the incomprehensible beauty of the unpolluted night’s sky.
While Love Is Metaphysical Gravity in part serves as a documentary of the remote islands and the radomes of the Svalbard Satellite Station, what it is perhaps most sensitive to is this: It may be one of the most uninhabited places on Earth, but Spitsbergen is no stranger to communication.
Picking out favourites out of that icy landscape is a challenge, but here’s a couple from Reuben’s website:
It’s been raining here most of the day and with the temp hovering between -1º C and +1º C all that rain has been freezing and accumulating. Just stepping out of the house is dangerous. I slipped several times going down my front stairs and once I was at the bottom there was no-where I could go beyond a small patch of grass. Every surface is coated with about 1.5 cm of ice. Even poor low to the ground and 4-footed Jack fell twice going out to pee. The schools are closed, city buses have been canceled and I haven’t seen a single car drive past my house all day. The big, heavy trees are groaning and cracking under the weight and my birch tree has already lost a sizable limb. The forecast says it should all melt soon though, with temps expected to warm up overnight and reach a high of +12º C tomorrow. I hope they’re right.
What do you do when the creek is full and flowing and there’s not a speck of ice in sight? You go fishing, of course. That’s what Jack is doing in this photo in case it’s not immediately obvious. He’s still hoping to repeat his lucky catch of a few years ago. Meanwhile, I stand onshore explaining to curious onlookers why my dog is standing up to his chest in cold water, not moving a muscle and staring at something that no-one else sees.
As expected, we’ve had several days of temps well above zero. Today it’s 9º C and almost all of our snow has melted away. The creek at the park is running high, everything is boggy and the season of mud has set in early. Oh. joy. The weather forecast is looking pretty strange, too. Today and tomorrow it’s expected to be about 10º C then on Wednesday we go down to -2º C with snow and then Thursday and Friday up to 12º C with rain. About a week ago I said it felt like the month of March had come early, but already this week it feels more like the month of April.