a big beautiful mess

It’s That Time of Year

Spring is coming in like the tide, slow and inexorable and in daily waves. Every day for the last week, the temperature has gotten all the way up to about freezing, but every night it drops back to around 5°F, and in the morning, the world is coated in ice and frosty snow again.

Some signs that the coming Spring is closer to us than last Spring:

I’ve noticed some drainage trenches hacked into the inches-thick ice on the sidewalks, I guess in preparation for when things finally start to thaw.

Birds chirping woke me up a few mornings ago. If you close your eyes and forget about the cold, it sounds like Spring at least.

There is a normal amount of light. Even at 7:00pm, it’s still light out. It hasn’t started to get unusually light yet, but you can kind of tell that it’s going in that direction.

A flurry of conference activity is spreading across the length and breadth of Russia. Here in Arkhangelsk, a Barents region conference involving visiting professors from Finland and Norway is currently underway. And I myself will be leaving tomorrow to attend a conference in Ufa, the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan, organized by Fulbrighter Cathy Trainor.

The selection of vegetables in the grocery store is not quite as sad as it once was.

Temperature today, March 28: 18°F.

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