Saturday, April 14, 2007

Spring is in the... park

Picture spring in Brisbane: brown backyards (even if you have a front yard, it's called a back yard) as a result of no rain or anything wet falling from the sky since April (sub-tropical climate remember, people).

The trees didn't have to grow any new leaves because they never lost them in the first place. The grass would crunch under your feet when you walked, kids were banned from playing sports on the fields because they were rock hard, and the weather stayed the same (about 30 degrees every day), but got progressively more humid.

Spring in Sydney was a little nicer: backyards were green because, hey, it does rain occasionally during winter in Sydney.

About one tree per neighbourhood managed to lose its leaves in autumn, so it would grow leaves (oooh! Ahh! Look at the new little leaves!). And, living in an older and relatively untouched suburb like I did, the most amazing spring flowers would bloom in the most amazing gardens. The temperature would increase from 23 to 28 with the occasional freak 40 degree day thrown in, usually brought over Sydney by a westerly wind, which inevitably resulted in bushfires.

Spring in Ukraine is different. Here are some little differences that I've noticed:
- There was snow. Now there's not
- There was heating. Now there's not
- There were no leaves on trees. They're getting there
- There was 20 million cloudy days in a row. Now there's some sun
- There were ubiquitous black coats. Now people are wearing some colour

And, most importantly:

- There were no beer tents with tables and chair set up every 3 metres throughout the city. Now. There. Is.

In honour of spring, here are some photos I took on a recent walk through Taras Shevchenko park.

Enjoy, and have a good spring (oh, don't worry, I'll be back before it's over).

My Ukrainian friend told me this is a tree that bears leaves that 'look like your hand'. I'm angling for some kind of maple... anyone?


Yeah, because I love underexposed shots, this doesn't capture how damn green the grass is in this part of the world. In Australia, when you picture our natural 'green', throw in about 40 per cent browny yellow too.


I'd better hightail it home, there's rain on the way. Obviously like the amount of humidity in the air in Brisbane in spring, the amount of sun in Kyiv only increases in increments.

19 comments:

Willowtree said...

Hey at least things are beginning to warm up, down here they are starting to get colder. I might have to put a jumper on.

Karmyn R said...

That's what I love about the seasons.

OH - and by the way - I watched Persuasion tonight. sigh - dreamy sigh - sigh again. (smile and one more sigh)

carpetblogger said...

I'm guessing those are Kashtans (chestnut trees). that's what 90% of the trees in downtown Kyiv are. Quite nice when they bloom in May-ish. Less nice when they drop their nuts on your head.

Beccy said...

Lovely spring pictures, is that typical spring weather because what we're experiencing here most definitely is not!

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear willowtree. I think your winter temperature will be our summer temp. They turned off the heating and the min is 0 and the max is like, 10.


Dear karmyn. Well, I never could figure out why people banged on about how lovely the 'seasons' were before. And Persusaion - ahh.


Dear carpetblogger. Well. It's not nice when nuts of any kind drop on your head, is it? I first saw a chestnut tree in France in September. Had this weird experience where, wherever we stayed, there were agronomists staying there too... learned a bit about trees, but still can't tell 'em apart.


Dear beccy. Hey! I assume you're saying it's winter-like in Dubbo? You had a lovely day the other day - unless you're saying that Ireland's hopped straight into summer?

Squishy said...

Your photos are beautiful chick. My recent memories of Brisbane are brown grass with hardly any water and lots of water restrictions. Poor Brisbane. I feel for them. Townsville's weather is amazing. I love it.

Sabrina said...

Amazing what a little sunshine can do to make a place look so much more inviting! Hope you have many more sunny days!!

theotherbear said...

ah, very pretty photos. Here in Sydney I wore a jumper one day last week. Yay, it's getting cooler :)

melissa said...

Pretty pretty! It was very warm here last week, and today it is raining. I think this will be our last hurrah of spring rain. I should poke my head out and enjoy.

Pamela said...

it could be a maple. They have a nice green little bud that opens up into five leaves...... and grow tall like that.

Our neighbors took down one of the 100 + year old maples this winter. It was a sad day.


Everything is beautiful and green here, too... rainy here today, because the collegiate bicycle races were in the valley.

Sam said...

That's what I hate about Western Australia, all of our seasons blur into one - Summer! How I wish for rain, snow, falling leaves, pretty spring flowers. I am so sick of blue skies!! Your Spring pictures are beautiful!!

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear squishy. Actually, when I was in Brisbane on my recent trip back, it was green - a 'green drought'. Enough rain to make it look like there's not a drought, but there still is.


Dear sabrina. I know! Makes winter seem so far away. I hope the weather is nice for your final two weeks!


Dear theotherbear. Isn't it funny how we crave for things to be cooler? Everyone here anticipates the heat.


Dear Melissa. So, is 'spring rain' like a thing? As in, it's usual to rain in the spring? What happens in summer? Storm... rain?


Dear Pamela. Rain for bike races? Sod's law. Why did the neighbours chop down the tree? That is sad!


Dear sam. It's strange isn't it? I mean, in moments of sanity, I always recognise that we're lucky to grow up in short sleeves. But there's something romantic about a crackling fire (not that I have one here. Crackling city heat more like).

sarahemily said...

You've captured the start of spring perfectly - we took a stroll through the park today and having not been there for a while, I was amazed at the green (I'm sure they are chestnut trees - nightmare when they are flowering if you have hayfever) and it totally transforms the city. I missed the beer tents though - must be more observant in future!

enidd said...

spring and summer in molvania are great. you wait for those bbqs on the beach by the river...

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear sarahemily. There are two obolon beer tents set up - one behind O'Panas and one near the place where all the old guys play chess. There's also a jumping castle and the pony guys too...


Dear enidd. Ohh that sounds like fun. Perhaps you and the man will have to initiate Mr Moi and I into the beachy picnics before you return to the english speaking world for good.

Claudia said...

Ah, spring.....I love seeing the new life..

ChrisB said...

The spring pictures are lovely. I'm no good at identifying trees so will be no help to you. We are having way too much sun for the time of the year, not that i'm complaining. However, we'll probaby suffer later and get a lot of rain. It seems really weird having the heating turned off when it's still cold.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that rain or no rain, you really had to hightail it home to get your shopping bag, go to the supermarket and think about what you could make for Mr Moi's supper. PS. It's Julsie.

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear Claudia. Yes, I'm learning that that's what spring is all about. And people are so happy too!


Dear chrisb. I have to admit I expected them to turn off the heating sometime around now. Because the heating is actually stiflingly hot. The apartments seem very well insulated - all windows at least are double glazing and I face east-ish, so it's not too cold until the afternoon when the sun has left my building. Thinking it might be hooot in summer!


Dear julsie. Ahh you know me too well. Except! I'm a free lady at the moment, as Mr Moi is in Moscow shopping for big furry hats.