Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why Siberians Hate Spring 3/26/09

Why Siberians Hate Spring

Temp 39.9 F
Wind 1 mph from the west
High overcast but clear horizontally

I don't know every Siberian, but the ones I know make no bones about hating spring. At first I thought that peculiar, but as spring creeps up on us, I have become a believer--hater as well. Spring is to be avoided if at all possible.

This video was taken slightly more than two weeks ago and we thought winter was going to stay around for a while. We couldn't have been more wrong. This storm only provided more snow to melt now that the temperature is above freezing 24 hours a day.

The end of February when we returned to Novo, I went with the Elders to get a hair cut and we saw the first signs of "pre-spring" There were crews of men, and women, clearing the snow off roofs and chipping the ice from walkways. The Elders said that they clear the roofs because during the early melt the icicles get very big and are a serious hazard to pedestrians. The chippers are hired by businesses and apartment buildings to clear the walks in their front.

I decided to make a bit of a study of that and here are some pictures of various ice removal efforts. The one on the left was on the drive along our building's south side. The piles of broken ice were sometimes serious navigation hazards on our way to the office. You can see the strata of ice, sand, and other debris as these piles begin to melt.

More and more piles of broken ice appear while the temperature is cold, but the roads now become covered with dust; yes dust. Clouds of dust follow each car from the dirt that was used to give traction on the ice during the season and now is dried and swirling around the city. Now we have ice piles, dust in the air, and cars with studded tires chewing up the road and throwing gravel at following cars.

Eventually the mechanical snow and ice removal reached our office area and we watched as they broke and scrapped the ice from the driveway on our south side and piled it in the roadway, allowing just enough room for a small car to pass. During this time, while shaving one morning and looking out our ninth floor window. I watched a guy on a roof across the street shovel snow from one part of the roof onto another part of the roof. I finally decided that he rented only one portion of the building and was shoveling the snow off HIS portion to prevent leaking from the melt and wasn't too concerned about his neighbor's problems.

This week the temperature has climbed into the mid 30's, people are commenting on how warm it is, and the melt is in full bloom. Now I understand why Siberians hate spring. Imagine what all of the refuse that has been dropped, both man made and animal produced, has been saved by some cosmic force and dumped in one spot on a particular day; that is spring. Combine this with the mud, the slush, the running water, and the puddles (sometimes lakes) in streets with serious potholes of unknown depth.

We were the recipients of some of that melt yesterday when we were waiting to cross the street headed to our house. A courteous, cautious driver came down our street and veered slightly to the right, just enough to hit the pothole in front of us and give us a bit of a bath. It was our own fault I guess. If we had not been waiting for traffic to clear out, we might have been across the street before this bozo showered us with last November's snow and dirt.

So here is the refuse beginning to really make an appearance. I decided to not show you all of the pictures of the junk and trash beginning to appear in the melting snow. Not that I have all that much good taste, I just don't want to have to absorb the abuse from Cindy for my lack of it in showing some pretty distasteful pictures I've taken. Suffice it to say that the junk, trash, dead bodies, droppings, muck, and some as yet unidentified things I've photographed are absolute proof that spring in Siberia is worthy of the darkest, deepest, most hateful words Russian can produce.

Even in spring the dogs can make a silk purse out of this sow's ear. Here one of the neighborhood's nocturnal singers has found a home amidst plenty of food. You all know how dogs love to get on the couch. This one has his own couch, but since it is up-side-down, he has a man's red jacket for extra padding and warmth. It's a dog's life in the spring.

The Siberian spring is like a young girl impatiently waiting for her body to catch up with her mind so that she can get on with the business of being a woman. The blossoms are buds, still not ready for the bees, but Siberia has to endure this awkward time with only the promise of summer to make it all worth the enduring.

What a season. What a country

1 comment:

Trisha said...

The silver lining is what again? HAHAHA. We have those same kind of Bozo's here too. Love you, enjoy a nice hot cup of cocoa.