Thursday, May 7, 2009

Coming Up Green

I’m trying to get around to all my blogging buddies, but as usual the Internet connection is often tenuous. Of course we are also a little busy right now. We’ve recently completed changing out the entire Coalition crew where I work so we are all getting used to each other. We may have a German officer join our staff in the future, but that’s not settled. Right now our staff is composed of UK Army, French Army, US Army, US Air Force and retired Army Officer old fart contractors like me.

We continue to have rain, though not as intense and prolonged as during March and April. We did have a couple “gully washers” last week, but now most of the rain lasts only a few minutes or hours, just enough to wet things down. As I type this, it is pouring outside.

On the plus side, it’s very green right now and the temperatures have been below normal, hovering around 65°F during the daytime and dipping down into the upper 40’s at night (that's about 20°F below normal for this time of year). Normally the rains would have stopped in late March, not to resume again until October. Hey, we and the locals are not complaining at all!

Mountains below 10,000 feet have lost their snow, but the higher elevations are still white-capped and getting more snow on days we get rain.

Here’s some recent shots.

Operation Arbor Day
During a break in the rains in March,
our Afghan General, second from left, had his Headuarters Staff outside
planting trees and flowers.

A month later at the end of April.
Starting to show some progress.

Kabul's tree-lined streets greening up.

We get the rain, the mountains get the snow.

The Queen's Palace all greened up.

Streaks of purple-blue through green fields.

The flower up close.
Try to ignore the litter.

Quick! Call the counter-narcotics guys!
Yes, those are poppies in the middle of that bouquet!

Imagine if you will, Darulaman Palace in its glory years.
Russian plums in full bloom all around the base of the palace
and flowers lining the steps down into garden and surrounding the fountain below.

Um...yes, here too.

More green with more rain on the way.
Note the snow-capped mountains in the distance.

The produce vendors open early now.