Yes, folks, spring arrived one day last week. The flowers bloomed, the bees buzzed, the sky was a clear(ish) blue.
And the very next day, summer arrived. Sweaters were exchanged for shorts and t-shirts. We had our first summer thunderstorm. The outdoor pool opened.
Poplar seeds are still floating through the air in thick swarms: apparently nobody told the trees that it's summer already.
Last year one of the ayis swept the poplar seeds off to the side of her employer's yard here in the compound. But there were piles of white fluff: So unkempt! So unsightly! She decided to set the fluff on fire. Almost burnt the house down, apparently. No word on whether she kept her job.
We had piles of poplar seeds in Moscow, too. Must be a communist thing. They planted loads of male poplar trees years ago because boy poplars grow quickly. But no one thought of the fluff they'd be fighting in years to come (it's "pukh" in Russian, but I don't know the English or the Chinese words for the stuff).
It gets in your eyes, it flies up your nose, it jams up your car filters. I read a story last year about someone who was found to have a small poplar tree sprouting in their lungs after breathing a seed in.
I tried to take a picture of the flying pukh on my way home yesterday, before the thunderstorm washed it away. But of course the pictures didn't come out.
So instead, I give you these non-pukh summertime pictures: first of the season.