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The Unbeautiful Side of Spring



Yeah, yeah: robins, daffodils, blue skies.

Let us consider those other signs of Spring.



That metallic shriek from under your car is probably the sound of your axle breaking. Spring’s freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw cycle wreaks havoc on the streets, which in turn wreak havoc on your undercarriage, not to mention your dental work.

Freezing Rain.

And you thought snow was bad? Ha! Talk about misery, danger? Baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Glacial Lakes.

Yes, the snow is melting, but—the ground being still frozen—there’s nowhere for the meltwater to go. So it pools.

Better leave some extra time to get wherever you’re going. Once you factor in the time needed for portage, you may just be doubling your trip.


By day, a glacial lake; by night, a skating rink.

Better practice your falling skills, mate. Believe me, you’re going to need them.


Once the ground actually does begin to thaw, it softens. Welcome to Quagmire Season!

Among other reasons, Putin’s 40-mile road-jam is stalled north of Kyiv because its has to stay on the road. It’s rásputitsa season in Ukraine, the mud-time, which means that you might as well stay at home. Once a tank sinks into the mud, you’ll never get it out again.

Mat’ sira Zemlya, Moist Mother Earth, fights back.

Flotsam and Jetsam.

The receding high tide of Winter leaves behind it six month’s worth of accumulated detritus: beer cans, syringes, potato chip bags. The occasional gritty quarter is the best you can hope for.

The Dog Shit Miasma.

A plague on irresponsible dog-walkers. Nothing says early Spring in a Northern city quite like that whiff of canine waste that hits you every time you step out the front door: six months’ worth, all thawing at once. Hoo-ha.

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