Tag Archives: seasons

Happy Twenty-Twelve from Zurich

Dawn in Zurich

This is what Zurich looked like a little after 8:00AM this morning: dawn comes pretty late in Winter. It makes it very easy to catch a pretty sunrise.

Bush bejewelled with raindrops

Instead the snow we expect this time of year, it’s been rainy. How did I never before notice how raindrops decorate twiggy bushes like this? Oh wait, it’s because I lived in Los Angeles, where if it did rain, I wasn’t outside walking around. After celebrating my second New Year’s Eve in Switzerland I’m now a member of the normal human race that does errands and goes for walks even if it’s raining or snowing. I’m becoming hearty.

Christmas tree-decorated crane

It’s not all gray skies either, and there are little visual treats to be found everywhere. Here’s one of the ubiquitous construction cranes of Zurich sporting a Christmas tree (you can see it up there, on the left end). I wonder if this is part of the labor negotiations for crane operators. Two coffee breaks per shift: check. Hard hat with company logo: check. Christmas tree: check.

I’ve been carrying my camera around more often lately, because I’m in the mood to capture fun little things I see, and remember interesting little ideas, and then share them all here. It’s all part of wanting to create things and share them without worrying too much about how finished or professional or “good” they are. For the New Year, I find myself agreeing with this from Neil Gaiman:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes…. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things.”

The original post is here. Happy New Year everyone!

Advertisements

Snow day in Zürich

snowy street
A fresh layer of snow makes a pretty street even prettier

Over the past few weeks we’ve had regular snow, sometimes heavy and sometimes light. Sometimes it melted away in a day, sometimes it stuck around until it had melted and re-frozen enough times that it was more lumpy ice than snow. But every time a fresh layer of fluffy snow arrived, it always made the day a little more fun.

I had to go out this morning and since it had been snowing for hours, Zürich was a little thrown off from its regular schedule. The streets were covered in a few centimeters of the prettiest, fluffiest snow. The snow plows were going around regularly, but it took awhile for them to catch up and for the streets to be completely cleared. Since this snow was a little slippery, traffic was lighter than usual and the buses weren’t running their full routes. The bus I was on came to a slidey sort of halt at every stop. A friendly lady sitting next to me said something about us “just going through” rather than stopping. Passing a school I saw all the kids running around and making snowballs during recess, and grownups were either laughing and commenting, or were concentrating on keeping their footing. The snow made everything just different enough that you had to take notice.

Red berries and fluffy snow
Red berries and fluffy snow
icicle
cute little icicle
winter branches
winter branches

Summer berries from the garden

Red Currants (Johannisbeeren in German)
Red Currants (Johannisbeeren in German).

Our garden here is overgrown and weedy, but that’s what makes it such a treasure-trove. Right now we have red currants, raspberries, gooseberries, and wild strawberries ripening all over our yard.

Raspberries (Himbeeren in German) on the bush.
Raspberries (Himbeeren in German) on the bush.

Recently we picked about a quart of red currants off our one bush. I made a cake, some syrup, and froze the rest. I’ve also been picking raspberries almost every morning.

A typical morning's bounty.
A typical morning's bounty.
Raspberry Müesli
Raspberry Müesli.

It’s great to have fresh-picked raspberries in our morning cereal. We make our own recipe of Müesli, that typical Swiss breakfast: we just mix together yogurt, dry Müesli cereal or granola, any handy fruit, and a splash of apple juice. I’m having lots of fun with this, and will let you know what I decide to do with the gooseberries.

Gooseberries (Stachelbeeren).
Gooseberries (Stachelbeeren).

More about Spring

Flower-covered field in west Zurich.
Flower-covered field in west Zurich.

Not only does Zurich turn suddenly green in the Springtime, but flowers are everywhere.

The wild strawberries are blossoming.
The wild strawberries are blossoming.
This is what barlauch flowers look like.
This is what baerlauch flowers look like.
Not sure what these are, but they're pretty.
Not sure what these are, but they're pretty.
Mustard flowers
Mustard flowers

Besides all this flora, there is fauna too. Birds sing, bugs flit, and since we are near the forest, an occasional fox wanders through our garden. There are also normal-sized snails and larger SnOUSes (Snails Of Unusual Size).

There is a 5 rupen coin (same size as a US dime) in the bottom right corner for reference.
The shell of this species of snail measures 37-47mm (1.5-1.8 inches) wide.

This kind of snail lives 5 years and hibernates during the winter by sealing off its shell. It’s also edible, and is what becomes escargot when cooked. But I let this little guy continue on his way and did not eat him.

Spring!

Wanderweg on the Uetliberg. Spring arrives pretty fast around here.
Wanderweg on the Uetliberg. Spring arrives pretty fast around here.

I’m really enjoying my first Spring in Zurich. Everything burst into bloom so quickly, I’m surprised I didn’t hear popping sounds. First there were bare branches in March, and then by the beginning of April buds began to show up as little dots of green in a sea of gray and brown.

A tree begins to bud in March.
A tree begins to bud in early April.

Now I’m living in a world of green.

It's a cheerful, green-colored world.
Look how green it is by the end of April.

There is still a chance of frost until May 13, and then after that I suppose nature will really get into gear. Wow.