It’s always nice to catch out an icon like Google and yesterday I did. It was, of course, the 20th day of March, which means that it is around Equinox (spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, autumn equinox in the southern hemisphere). Google’s Australian home page appeared as the image to the left. It was very pretty and the mouse rollover hint on the picture indicated that it was the “First Day of Autumn – Design by Eric Carle”.
The only problem with this is that in Australia, the first day of Autumn traditionally is taken to be the 1st of March. For the record, winter in Australia starts on 1 June each year, spring on 1 September and summer, logically, on 1 December.
It was a hot day today in Ulaanbaatar. Hot and dry. Late in the afternoon, early evening (right about now in fact), there is some rain in the area. This is accompanied by lightning and thunder and some local cool winds.
I will admit to feeling a wee bit homesick with the thunderstorms – sort of reminded me of late summer evenings in Sydney when the thunderstorms would roll in from the west, dropping the temperature (and a lot of rain) and giving the world that fresh “just washed” smell.
The thunderstorms rolling in from here are great as well, as they roll in over the mountains. Nature is great.
I noted it before when winter passed through into Spring, and then into Summer. These were overnight changes in Mongolia. Well, they seemed overnight at least. Here we are, sitting at the end of summer. Last weekend I wore shorts, this weekend I am wearing jeans and a flannelette shirt. Summer disappeared sometime in the last 15 days or so. Leaves will fall from trees soon (again, they will be there one day, gone the next).
Today is the 10th of September, it is overcast, very light rain from time to time. Temperature at night now is about 3 or 4 degrees Celsius. Daytime temperature between 10 and 18 Celsius. In 5 days time the central heating goes back on in Ulaanbaatar.
Hmm, grey days, short days, long nights and cold cold cold to come. I am looking forward to this first winter in Mongolia. I have some books on order and hopefully they will arrive this week as well as some more hobby stuff so I should be fine on the weekends and in the evenings. Then, if course, there is the internet — when surfing international sites it is slightly faster than snail mail – but just slightly.
Things do not change often in Mongolia. This is something that I have seen over the past two months. However, when it is time for change in Mongolia, it just happens. Winter gave way to Spring overnight. One day the trees were bare, the next day that had leaves. The cool of spring gave way to summer. One day, 16 degrees Celsius, the next, 33.
Now, only three weeks later, the same trees have their flowers and seeds. Today walking around was pleasant in the 35 degree sunshine – but unpleasant when it came time to breathe as thousands (dare I say millions) of soft, feathery white seeds from the trees were carted across Ulaanbaatar on the breeze.
All or nothing. When it is time for a change in Mongolia, then it is a complete 100% change – an immediate change.