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 last couple of days, though, the temperatures have crept quite a bit above freezing, and the melting is commencing at a furious pace.


Everywhere you go, piles of snow are turning into streams, rivers, and ponds. Some paths are impossible to cross except by wading through a “lake.” The water can be quite deep.

It’s not the weather for low-topped shoes or leather boots. This week I dusted off my waders. They’ve been just the thing.

Still, there remain great white mounds by the sides of roads. The fun will continue for a while yet.