winter dreams...

well, since it is starting to really feel like spring around here in Portland, I thought I would take myself back to the glory of winter. And what better way to do it, than to dream about a place with REAL winter... so, here we go, back to Lithuania.

The day these next few pictures were taken, it was about -25 degrees celsius (which is about -13 degrees fahrenheit)

The trees were just encrusted with ice, and looked like silver

It was one of the clearest, brightest days I've ever seen, but stunningly cold

We were at a conference, and a group of us were going to take sleigh rides

It turned out the horse was pregnant - I felt so sorry for it. We mostly hid in the barn, because we couldn't stay outside for more than a few minutes at a time (and this was with shoes, wool socks, thermal underwear tops and bottoms, pants, t-shirt, sweater, long wool coat, glove liners, gloves, stocking cap)

Prior to leaving for the conference, we had noticed these icicles in our building courtyard

That long one in the middle is about three feet long, I'm guessing, and good 3-4 inches wide maybe... and that's small compared to some of the ones that hang down from the tops of buildings.

The combination of the constant snow for 3 months, and the overwhelmingly grey and bland soviet architecture everywhere makes for a very colorless winter...

with the exception of old and non-soviet architecture

Outside the city, there is nothing but white anywhere

In the city, they have dump-trucks to haul away snow they have shoveled off of streets and sidewalks, because it just doesn't melt, it keeps accumulating for 3 months. In some places, snow piles build up to 6 or 7 feet along the sides of paths when they don't take the snow away.

The cathedral gets some beautiful lights

A tree goes up in cathedral square

Pieces of ice float down the river

And everybody walks as quickly as possible to get wherever they are going. You have to learn to walk all over again, because the snow just compacts and compacts as people walk on it, and you end up with a thick layer of ice beneath the snow, which is extremely slippery.

Remember that park that I said was near our flat, back in this post? Here it is in the winter

Finally, here are some panoramas from the hill where the Verkiai estate is:

Given these views, you can imagine how, after seeing nothing but grey and white for 3 months, spring feels like you are being born all over again. The snow melts, and everything is brown and wet. And then suddenly... GREEN! And blooming flowers, and trees! It's almost like watching creation, and just marveling at each new thing that unfolds.

Every year, the white witch takes hold and is vanquished

See, they even have the lamp-post

Thanks again for coming along for the ride. See you soon!


  1. this reminds me soo much of my crazy russian winter! thanks for sharing!

  2. This is the Lithuania I remember! I can still feel the cold--I've never been so frozen in my life. It's SO beautiful though. Thanks for sharing all these shots.