Saturday, May 14, 2011

Seasons in Astana

I've lived in South Carolina, New Orleans, and Paris. South Carolina & Paris have 4 seasons--they have fall with pretty colors, winter with cold-ish weather, spring with flowers, and summer with hot, sunny days. South Carolina's seasons are a bit more pronounced, with a bit of snow in the winter.

New Orleans doesn't really have seasons, although the winter is less hot than the summer and rainier. It's also "tourist" season.

But in Astana the seasons are more marked than in any other place I've lived. It's amazing. The difference between winter and summer is extreme. I really feel like there are two Astanas, two separate places where I live. There's the winter Astana--blanketed by white, void of greenery, frequently dark, yet bright and shiny when the sun's up. And there's the summer Astana--colorful, green, hot, frequently light, a very pleasant place to take a walk or ride a bike.

Astana just looks so incredibly different now than it did mere months ago.

Astana has two main seasons--winter and spring/summer--and two lesser seasons--autumn and the first part of spring. Autumn is painfully short--one week it's alternating between summer temperatures and colder temperatures, the next week there's snow on the ground.

The first part of spring is perhaps the worst season--the snow melts and the city is covered in slush and mud and water. Icky. But that lasts maybe a month at most and suddenly you're in glorious, beautiful spring! The two springs don't really belong together as one season, they're so different.

And then, for several months, you have spring and summer--longer days, clear blue skies, bright sun, wind... It's May now and still cool enough for a light jacket and/or sweater, with some days warm enough for short sleeves and shorts. I know that in the summer it'll get hot, up to 40 degrees Celsius. And the city will be blanketed in bright flowers.

Then it will get cooler, days shorter--a swift autumn and then winter again. White again. A whole new city. The cycle continues.

Photos: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

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