Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Moscow in the Fall

Fall has all but fled here in Moscow, Russia. Except for only a small number of hardy, wonderfully-stubborn trees that still hold onto their greenish-yellow leaves, the remaining trees look barren and sad. The vast forest of Izmaylovsky Park that used to be lush and green, now appears dull, naked, and jagged – an uninviting sight.

Winter is rearing its ugly, dark, joy-sucking head our way. Although I can say I do love the occasional iconic snow storm with large, fluffy snowflakes that float and dance to the ground and blanket the dreary, grayish-brown world, I realize I really don’t like winter.

Our days are getting shorter, and the memories of only 4 hours of light a day last winter flood back and make us cherish every moment of natural light we have. The skies are gray and overcast the majority of the time now. We were told that October and November were the worst months in Moscow because it is so colorless and rainy. Even though it’s still cold and will only get colder, once the snows starts to come and stick, it really does brighten things up.

But…I suppose I’m rambling. I should be talking about fall in this post and not winter.

Last year I really struggled with fall here in Moscow. I couldn’t help but compare it to the beautiful, breathtaking autumns of upstate New York that we were used to. The autumn colors in upstate New York were rich, brilliant, and had a large spectrum of colors. The autumn colors in Moscow are basically yellow and brown. I thought it was quite drab and depressing.

However, this year I really enjoyed the beauty of fall here in Moscow. I wondered how I could have missed it last year. Was it because the fall colors weren’t as bright last year as they were this year? Or, did I learn to appreciate Moscow’s own beauty as something separate and could not be compared to upstate New York? Had I finally moved on? Could it also be because I was able to get outside a lot more this fall? Whatever it was, I was glad I had the opportunity to take pleasure in the beauty around me.

The following pictures were taken throughout September. There is just something I love about fall. Maybe it’s the crisp, jacket weather, the changing colors, the earthy smells, and the anticipation of the holidays ahead. I used a dislike fall because that meant I had to go to school. School was always a high-stress time for me. But, (nanner-nanner) I don’t have to worry about THAT anymore! Now, my children go to school, and they actually love it, and I get to enjoy fall for what it is; a wonderful, beautiful season!

This was taken on our way to Izmaylovsky Market.  
I HAD to get a picture because there was actually red and orange leaves!

James and Bruce found this little earthworm by the bus stop one Sunday and played with it. Thankfully, they didn’t touch it, but they would cover it with leaves to make a house for it, and then they took the leaves off before we left so that it didn’t get stepped on.

The chains on the swings at this park were covered in what looked like green garden hose.

The four pictures below are taken outside near our church building.


  1. I have always loved, loved the fall. It has always been my favorite season, especially with winter to follow. Here our falls consist of mosquitos, hot humid weather, and a long torturous time of waiting until it cools off! Then the leaves turn brown and fall off. I miss my northwest falls. I can't understand why I get stuck in hot climates when I love the winter. Although to be honest because of global warming winters just are not the same! (Well I am sure they are in Moscow, I am just thinking of Oregon and Utah.)

  2. I am glad you found some beauty there. I was thinking of you as we signed the lease on our new apartment. It is on the 14th floor and was partly chosen because it will be easier after my next surgery.

    I hope the snow comes soon, to brighten up the drabness that is boxing you in.

  3. So glad to hear your happiness....
    Love you!