The Lousy Winter of ’18/’19
Now that the magnolias are in bloom, it’s about time for my traditional photographic review of last winter. And what a lousy winter it was … One snowflake on a scale of one to five! And a position in the mild winter top 10 of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute
I know, weather and climate are not quite the same and you cannot automatically blame global warming for every mild winter day. But still it makes you wonder if snow photography has a future.
However, the winter of 2018/2019 also had a few photogenic moments. But one had to act quickly.
The first snow fell on the early morning of December 16. It was just a wafer-thin layer, but at least it gave me my Christmas card. And because it fell on an early Sunday morning, it took a little longer than on a weekday for the snow to melt under thousands of footsteps.
Unfortunately, this promising start didn’t get a follow-up. While the polar vortex terrorized North America, the thermometer in Rotterdam did not seem able to break through the magical border of zero centigrade. It was not untill mid-January that it get a little colder.
The most wintry day of the winter, with even an emergency timetable by Dutch Railways, was 22 February. No emergency for Rotterdam transit company RET, though; the trams kept on driving without problems.
And on the market I spotted a proud flag of tropical Surinam.
In such a white world the few colorful elements really stand out, such as the street art at the former Hofplein railway station.
This is of course also the time to zoom in on flowers and plants. Here we are in the Rose Garden behind the Boymans Museum.
And my Euromast pass also came in handy on this winter day, although the view in this narrow window of opportunity was not optimal. But the Mansion and the Coach House, just below the tower, looked very pretty.
On February 1, the winter showed up one more time, with what turned out to be a farewell greeting. But also this time one had to be quick, because the layer of powdered sugar was paper-thin and disappeared within a few hours.
And that was the winter of ’18/’19. The rest of February felt like spring, with temperatures approaching twenty degrees. The first two weeks of March felt more like autumn, with a lot of rain and strong winds.
In previous years it sometimes paid off to take the train to the eastern or northern regions of the Netherlands, but this year also that was futile. And even a photo expedition to Iceland, at the end of February, yielded little more than some nice reflections in the melting ice on Lake Tjornin.
So I guess I have to plan a genuine polar expedition next year. Or hope that that polar vertex will ignore America and come our way for a change. Although there are probably many readers who are not really keen on that to happen. Who in fact are quite happy with a mild winter ike this one. Well, conflicting interests … But don’t worry, it’s not that I have any influence on those things…
Anyway, let’s first work our way through a few other photogenic seasons.