Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mongolia | Sixth of the Nine-Nine | Zuraasan Zam Garna

The sixth of the so-called Nine Nines—nine periods of nine days each, each period marked by some description of winter weather—begins today, February 5th. This is Zuraasan Zam Garnai, the Time When the Trail of the Road Appears. This description would seem to indicate a slight warming from the previous Nine-Nines, a time when well-traveled trails become free from ice and snow. Indeed, yesterday, second day of the Year of the Iron Rabbit, the temperature got up to an amazing 21º F / -6º C in the afternoon. This morning at 9:00 am it was 10º F / -12º C, with an inch of fresh snow in Zaisan Tolgoi, and we are quite possibly heading into the warmest day of 2011 (Gregorian Calendar) so far. Although we can of course expect some more cold snaps I would say the back of winter has been broken. The afternoon sun is already so intense that my hovel gets uncomfortably hot, although my plants seem to be loving it.
One of my houseplants bending its breath-takingly lovely blooms toward the afternoon sun
Can the Appearance of the First Wildflowers of the year be far off?