Many Texas schoolchildren are lucky to get a snow day every few years. Where I live in Texas, we usually become very excited over potential flurries, only to have our hopes dashed year after year. Not only that, but our Texas city has only two seasons: hot and mild. These are separated by a week or two when all the leaves fall off the live oak trees—in spring!
Northern Europe has four regularly spaced, respectable seasons. The part of Germany where I lived doesn't get very cold, but we could expect a nice multi-day snowfall at least once or twice a year.
In our part of Germany, the grass stays green for much of the winter. In early spring, it is the first thing to come back, well before the trees are ready to leaf out. The groundcovers come back early too. This is at Maria Laach, Germany.
Then the bulbs bloom, and the trees put out fresh, light green leaves.
The sunlight shining through those new leaves gives spring a fairytale quality.
The rape seed fields bloom bright yellow, and yellow pollen falls on everything. People with allergies dread this time of year. This picture shows our town cemetery, where our beloved landlord and landlady now reside.
Summertime in Germany is usually very green, although we were there for one horrible drought year, 2003. Europeans will be talking about the heat wave of 2003 for decades. People died all over Europe.
In summer, the grape vines in our part of Germany are growing. This is along the Mosel River, not far from our house.
In England, even summertime is cold and damp by Texas standards. This is in the Yorkshire Dales.
Not everything in England turns green in summer. To the right in this picture is moorland in the Peak District, covered with reddish scrub.
In autumn, the leaves of each species of tree turn their own special colors. Germany has an understory tree whose leaves turn dark orange. Those leaves are small, and they give a unique look to German woods in fall. German soldiers wear camouflage that matches it.
Autumn is my favorite time of year.
The grapevines change color too.
The towns and cities hold their Oktoberfest celebrations.
After autumn, the trees are bare until the snow covers their branches. This was the view outside my window.
Snow and frost can do amazing things. This snow made the dried weed bloom again.
Just when winter begins to seem drab, the Christmas markets arrive to provide color.
But not every European country is gray in winter. Norway is full of color.
The bright towns blend right in.
In Norway, calico cats seem to be wearing camouflage!