Clare B. Dunkle

About Clare B. Dunkle

Northern European Seasons

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.

German spring

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.

Dutch spring

Then the bulbs bloom, and the trees put out fresh, light green leaves.

Dutch spring

The sunlight shining through those new leaves gives spring a fairytale quality.

German fields in spring

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.

German summer

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.

Mosel grapevines

In summer, the grape vines in our part of Germany are growing. This is along the Mosel River, not far from our house.

Yorkshire moss

In England, even summertime is cold and damp by Texas standards. This is in the Yorkshire Dales.

English moorland

Not everything in England turns green in summer. To the right in this picture is moorland in the Peak District, covered with reddish scrub.

German autumn forest

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.

German autumn

Autumn is my favorite time of year.

Autum grapevines

The grapevines change color too.

German Oktoberfest

The towns and cities hold their Oktoberfest celebrations.

German forest in snow

After autumn, the trees are bare until the snow covers their branches. This was the view outside my window.

Snow blossom

Snow and frost can do amazing things. This snow made the dried weed bloom again.

German Christmas market

Just when winter begins to seem drab, the Christmas markets arrive to provide color.

Norway in winter

But not every European country is gray in winter. Norway is full of color.

Norwegian town in winter

The bright towns blend right in.

Norwegian cat in winter

In Norway, calico cats seem to be wearing camouflage!

All webpage text copyright 2003-2014 by Clare B. Dunkle, unless attributed otherwise. All photos copyright 2003-2014 by Joseph R. Dunkle, unless attributed otherwise. You may make one print copy of any page on this site for private or educational use. You may quote the author using short excerpts from this website, provided you attribute the quote. You may use the photos in both print and virtual media to promote the author's books or events. All other copying or use of this website material, either photos or text, is forbidden without the express written consent of the author.