Cottonwood Season

The weather here in Karlsruhe is fantastic. No, it’s BETTER than fantastic. Summer started weeks ago, at the beginning of May. We have already had plenty of days around 27-30°C (That’s the high 80’s to low 90’s in Fahrenheit) It was even sunny in the WINTER. Everytime I look back at the weather in Paderborn, where we used to live, I laugh a little.

Oscar throwing his hands in the air in front of the Karlsruhe Palace with a huge blue sky in the background

Oscar enjoying the weather in Karlsruhe

It isn’t really Schadenfreude since I do feel bad for the people left behind there. They don’t know what they are missing. But then again, so many Paderborners claim to actually *like* the weather there, so I guess it’s ok.

You have to understand that Paderborn is in a rain black hole. It literally sucks the rain out of all the surrounding regions and doesn’t let it leave Paderborn. It’s not the kind of rain I was used to from Michigan, either, where there is a big storm for an hour or two, and then the sun comes back. Or when the clouds are out that there are some variations in the clouds allowing the sun to peak through. No, in Paderborn the sky is an endless sea of grey, and the rain is just a light drizzle which goes on for days and days. (Who am I kidding? it is more like *months*.)

Balcony full of rain

the view from my old apartment in Paderborn

It is grey all the time, to the extent that in the winter time you don’t even know weather the sun is rising or setting. Add that to the extra short days in a German winter and you have one big recipe for dreariness. Even in the summer it doesn’t always get that much better. Last summer (2011) we had like 1 week of really nice hot weather, but the rest of the time it was too cold to even go swimming. And it rained a lot then, too. We all kept wondering when spring would end and summer would arrive. But then we looked at a calander and it was already the end of August. ?!what!!??

You wouldn’t think that the weather in Michigan would be anything so special that one would miss it. But compared to Paderborn, Michigan weather is like a shining rainbow. In the summer it’s hot, broken up by some very violent thunderstorms which then pass and give way to glorious sunshine. In the winter it’s bitter cold but the sun still comes out often, glittering on the ice and snow like crystals. In the fall the trees all turn colors and the air is nice and crisp. In Paderborn all the seasons just kind of ran together and most of the trees just turned a dull brown.

And of course, Oscar, who is from Mexico, obviously really missed the sun – I probably don’t even have to go into details for you to believe me.

But we moved to Karlsruhe in January (one month before Olivia was born) and it really is bliss. Karlsruhe is right on the edge of the Black Forest, and is the sunniest and warmest region in Germany. People even plant *palm trees* in their yards!! (Albeit they have to heavily protect them in the winter since they do get snow.)

All this is simply to say, that we are very happy here. And of course, to finally come to the point of my post, which is that I am keeping all the windows and doors wide open to enjoy the nice weather right now, which means that all of the cottonwood seeds are blowing in all over the place. They are all over the floor and I even found them in the toaster. So it’s a little bit annoying, but still definitely worth it. I would take the cottonwood seeds over a constant drizzly rain any day.

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2 Responses to “Cottonwood Season”


  1. 1 Grand Dad May 27, 2012 at 3:16 am

    I thought the weather in Paderborn was great during my stay last fall! So I look forward to the even better weather in Karlsruhe .

    • 2 christiana83 May 27, 2012 at 3:22 am

      Yeah, the Fall last year was really nice, some kind of weird fluke… I think Nature was trying to make up for the terrible summer. But still it is much nicer in Karlsruhe although it does get quite hot.


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