Last week, Muscovites got treated to a peculiar sight: a huge green cloud over the city. Because I grew up in North Carolina, my immediate thought upon seeing it (I was jogging to the House of Journalists at the time, running late for a film screening) was “tornado.”
Green clouds usually point to a large amount of ice in the clouds, which in turn is a sign of oncoming hail, which could mean that a tornado is forming nearby. Of course, in Moscow, a tornado would probably mean End of Days (cue dramatic organ music), rather than a weather phenomenon.
What the green actually signified this time around was a pollen cloud. A surefire way for nature to point out that it’s really spring outside, as opposed to the fake not-quite-spring Moscow usually experiences for all of March and until mid-April or so.
The pollen cloud was a beautiful, eerie sight, and I bring it up because of how people reacted to it. There were the usual quips on social networking sites afterward of course, but what got me was the fact that a lot of people genuinely freaked out. This included the people I saw taking pictures of the cloud with awestruck expressions on their faces.
“It’s 2012,” an expat friend messaged me that evening. “It can’t be a coincidence!” He was only half-joking, I think. Nobody likes to see anything unusual in Moscow - or other big cities. Big cities are always destroyed just a little too gleefully in all of the blockbusters.
This is beside the fact that the green cloud blanketed Moscow on the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Uh huh, that’s right - April 26. Also a coincidence? Well, yes.
The thing about pollen is that it’s pretty annoying. I don’t even have any major allergies - but my eyes still get irritated in the spring from all of that plant-dust floating around in the air. And don’t even get me started on the state of my (yes, very green) windowsill right now.
But after the pollen cloud had come and gone, all of the green leaves in Moscow seemed to unfurl all at once. The horror movie treatment did the trick. The weather turned. The ladies, including myself, ditched the thick leggings.
We waited for the other shoe to drop, but it didn’t happen. Sometimes, a freaky green cloud is just a freaky green cloud, even in the year 2012.
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- firstname.lastname@example.orgFun article to read Natalia07:14, 04/05/2012That was an interesting article and Moscow observations on the green cloud and your past memories of living in Nouth Carolina.
(The association with green clouds, potential hail and tornadoes.)
I learn something new everyday!
I found the green cloud of pollen interesting because I live in Ottawa on the other side of the world at about the same latitude.
I can never remember seeing a green cloud of pollen so this must be a unique Russian natural event.
Great article and fun to read!
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