Introducing Spring

Posted April 29th, 2007 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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Spring is here. I have described the magic & trials of snow in winter, the wonders of fall colors and the achievements in growing my summer crops. However the most awaited season for me and perhaps the most beautiful season in the DC suburbs is Spring. Winter’s charm lasts till the first snowfall, after seeing the white blanket slowly turn into brown slush, I am already longing for warm weather. It is very difficult to describe the thrill of first stepping outside from home, ready to shiver into your coat and not be hit by a chilly blast. One of the few things that make your day and then make you beam at everyone who meets you that day with a “Wonderful weather, isn’t it?”.

Washington DC is perhaps the best place to welcome spring. Here the start of spring is indicated by the bloom of white and pink cherry blossoms on bare trees. The message is passed from tree to tree and within a matter of days all the trees are covered with a profusion of flowers. Washington DC celebrates this short lived bloom by hosting the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival for two weeks during peak bloom season. In 1912, Japan gifted about 2000 cherry blossom trees to United States as a good –will gift. These were planted on the banks of the Potomac River in the National Mall in DC. More trees were added, some by students, some more as a gift from Japan . Peak bloom lasts only a couple of days…thousands of people gather to see the blossoms and to see and photograph the famous monuments are framed by white & pink flowers.

Although the mall is the best place to see the cherry blossoms, it is not the only place. Cherry blossoms are now planted there in front of most houses. But apart from the pink and white flowers, other colors also bloom. Roundabouts and road intersections are decorated by vivid yellow tulips, and pansies of every hue and shade brighten up sidewalks and community entrances. Non flowering trees slowly develop young green leaves. Soon all trees will be a uniform green. And we will wait for the riotous colors of fall into change the landscape again

Snowed!

Posted February 12th, 2003 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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When I was in seventh standard I had a Russian pen friend. We corresponded infrequently mainly due to the fact that e-mail was unknown and snail mail took ages to reach each other. Nargiza used to tell me about her hobbies, which included skiing, and ice-skating and I replied that I have never seen snow in my life. Came her reply after a few months “Look into your refrigerator…that’s what snow looks like”. At that time I laughed “ May be that’s the only way I could ever see snow. Was I ever wrong…..

Now I am in Philly and this year the winter had been unusually harsh. The temperature here has been consistently below zero for the past few weeks. Its cold and windy and it snows most of the times. All the people on the road are bundled up and “Isn’t it really cold today” is a common starting point for most conversations.

A few things I have learnt with my tryst with snowfall.
· It sounds amazing but it IS warmer when it is snowing than when it is not.
· You have unusual problems when it snows: Last week , there was about 8 inches of snowfall. I came out of the apartment early morning trying to make my way to my regular bus stop and. …and I could not find the way. The whole ground as well as the walk ways was covered by a 4 inch thick layer of snow. I stood there trying to remember how the walkway turns so that I would not step off the walkway into muddy ground.
· Snow looks beautiful. You can walk for a mile in the snow, curse it as you shudder in your jacket, moan about the cold or be irritated by slippery roads but once you get into a building and pause to look back at the snow covered grounds and you are struck again by its pristine beauty.
· Snow is fine. But melted snow +mud=brown slippery slush is definitely out.
· You begin to really appreciate warm weather. Last week it was 4 degree Celsius and we were all smiles at “Oh it’s a wonderful day today…”
· Never miss a bus on a snowy day.
· Snow looks best in the refrigerator. It can be allowed outside perhaps once a year.