Sunday, April 14, 2013

Life after a long long winter

Yes ... we're still here. Still alive after a very long winter -we have just been lazy to write a blog. However, this winter was quite serious, in fact it still snowed yesterday! Things are looking up however, the daily temperatures are climbing as the sun is fighting the cold back into the arctic. I never actually realized how big an influence the latitudinal position of the sun has. I mean I knew it from reading it in books etc. But here you can actually FEEL it. In the winter it feels as if the sun makes no difference at all in the temperature, night and day -- very cold -- doesn't matter. In terms of lighting up winter days -- well it does a little bit better than temperature-- but also a very half-baked performance :)  But come spring, you really start to see how the sun fights back the cold. The night temperatures still drop, the snow still try to pour down, the daily shade temperatures are still in the minus but where the sun shines - things heat up and melt. So slowly the ice on the roads and bike-paths disappear, the snow and ice on the lawns and fields stay a bit longer and is still visible now in the shade patches. The gravel and ice mounds next to the roads stay the longest. (Gravel are strewn on the roads and bike-paths in the winter to make them less slippery). This winter was quite long and icy so quite a lot of gravel accumulated on the roads and next to the roads as ice/gravel mounds (because the gravel get scraped off with the snow when the snow plows clear the paths from snow). Come spring - big sweeper trucks sweep the gravel up to use again next year. Luckily, these sweeps began last week since it got quite difficult to cycle through the gravel. This is a sure sign of spring coming, also the first flowers started to break through and nearly all the ice on the river is melted now. Another sure sign - it's getting harder and harder to find an open spot in the bicycle stand. But we are happy things are heating up and look forward to the coming spring (I don't think we can really say it started here yet).

Next blog - hopefully this week - will be about our recent trip to Estonia, and our visit to the wonderful medieval town at the other side of the Baltic.


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