Springs Have Sprung

Springs Have Sprung

In most places the first sign of spring is a robin or a green blade of grass or a crocus poking its shy head out of the ground. In Siberia the first sign is a trickle of melting snow. This winter it snowed more than usual, and it has stayed colder longer.   For the...
Siberian Easter

Siberian Easter

Easter, or Pascha, as it’s called in Russian, came early this year. Yet the Siberian winter weather in no way quelled the joyous note. The long-awaited exchange “Christos voskres! Voistinu voskres!” (“Christ is risen!” “He is risen indeed!”) sounded with as much vigor...
Winter Holidays

Winter Holidays

In America, the colored lights came down long ago. Not so in Novosibirsk. In the still-long nights and dark mornings of February they burn brightly. This is all in celebration of the winter holidays. And no, I’m not using that phrase the way people in the U.S. do so...
Told You It Gets Cold Here!

Told You It Gets Cold Here!

It’s mid-December, and so there should be no surprise that the temperatures in Siberia are in the double digits below 0. The display here is in degrees Celsius. Most of these temperatures aren’t quite as fierce as they appear, since “0” on this scale is actually +32...
The First Days of Winter

The First Days of Winter

Winter usually comes to Novosibirsk toward the end of October, and this year is no exception. The first snow fell on October 24. These photos look a lot like those I posted of the last snow just six months ago. Before this snow had a chance to disappear (it...
Spring Snowstorm

Spring Snowstorm

  Novosibirsk is in the throes of a typical March snowstorm. It’s really coming down. For days now the ice has been covered with a new layer of snow–very treacherous for walking and driving. None of this will last long, with the high temperatures hovering a...
Siberian Spring

Siberian Spring

Ah, spring! The time of love, the singing of birds, flowers, greening grass, budding trees … No, wait, wrong place! Here spring is the time of melting snow, ice, more melting, more snow, more ice. Oh, yes, and the time for youth to lose their heads in love, if they...
My Foot Stands on a Level Place

My Foot Stands on a Level Place

Anyone at all familiar with the Book of Psalms can’t miss its frequent mention of feet and paths, standing and slipping. “None of his steps shall slide.” “Wilt thou not deliver my feet from falling?” “When my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.” Living...