I got news from Seattle that spring is also late in coming there: the picture at the left was taken yesterday. They got 7 inches of snow in some of the suburbs around the city, more expected through the weekend. It's the latest snow in 35 years, and about to set records.
It's strange weather, and people will cite it as evidence against global warming. But I believe that the biggest consequences of climate change will come from ocean, rather than atmospheric, warming. As temperature and salinity change, the forces that drive global currents will rebalance. There is real potential to tip the Conveyor, which, would drop temperatures in northern Europe dramatically.
Right now, though, we seem to be simply in the grip of a late winter, more like the seasons rotated rather than deepened. The flashes of sunshine are reason enough to be happy to be here, a little past the snow. I drove through Leiden yesterday, and the tulip fields are almost coming into bloom. One red one was painted, and there were sprinkles of yellow and white in adjacent rows. I really want to reach the Keukenhof this year to see it all in full bloom.
The girls have posted tagged pictures of their exploits on Facebook: their narrative (and the comments they've collected from friends) is pretty funny. It's been good to see the familiar sights through fresh eyes, and to tap into some of the enthusiasm that they have. Unfortunately, it sounds like the bottle of oude jenever that I sent back got confiscated at the border. The customs people stamped her passport to say that she is a minor who attempts to smuggle alcohol across the border: that will, unfortunately, make for exciting crossings in the future.