Well the Pleasant Part of Spring has finally begun.

The part where there is no more mud or sludge on the ground to worry about.

This is one of those few times in the year where the weather is just right.. not to many mosquitoes or flies swirling around and only the occasional dust cloud that blows into you with the wind.

But in general conditions are good enough for you to walk around with any short sleeve shirt and a light jacket.

And it is because of this that I would officially call this the start of..

The Walking Season..

There’s a real collective instinct to this especially when you live in Siberia.

The countless Women who have undoubtedly been couped up in their homes, schools and offices for the last 6 months have a real emotional connection to the Spring and the easiest way for them to express and celebrate this is just to simply go walking..

And I’m not talking about little itty-bitty strolls here either..

I’m talking about frequent and seriously long walks all over the place.

And in tight skirts and high heels too..

You see when I first visited Russia 4 years ago I was invited to go for a walk with our lovely Inessa who you see above in the banner.

Since it was in September and the weather was starting to get a little chilly a black overcoat and a pair of sexy high heel boots was her chosen wardrobe for that day.

So on the very first morning of my arrival she decides to give me a “little” tour of her town.

Well this “little tour” ended up being a 5 hour walk through all sorts of broken and craggy city terrain.

Being the car driving urbanite that I was at the time I was simply exhausted but did my best to keep the stiff upper lip and not break too much of a sweat.

I certainly felt like a Stranger in a Strange Land awkwardly walking around with my camera in hand and with my head constantly twisting from side to side trying to take in all the sights as if I were Grandpa Jones visiting Honolulu for the very first time.

Inessa on the other hand was just this gorgeous and non-stop Energizer Playboy Bunny walking machine.

She reminded me of an urban ice skater..

Just elegant beyond belief as she smiled and glided along the street regardless of the pot holes and concrete depressions before us.

Now aside from me laughing at myself and realizing just how much of a visual mismatch we were at the time.

This was also the first moment when I realized..

“Jeezzuz these Russian Women are in SHAPE..”

– End Flashback –

S0 yesterday as I was going for a stroll down the river bank.. it seemed as if I was just part of an endless flow of young people who were also cruising to soak up the sun and the refreshing breeze.

All of them seemed to be exuding that classic enthusiasm for Mother Nature as she encourages the creation of New Life.

It’s as if the carnival had finally come to town when you were a kid but in this case there was no carnival in sight because frankly there didn’t need to be…

The heavily anticipated onset of this season was reason enough.

The Incredible Spring fashions that I was seeing on these Ladies was certainly a BIG PART of this “Energy”.

Kind of like flowers blossoming in all of their colorful glory waiting for just the right chance to attract a passing honey bee…

Now as I was contemplating all of this a little irony crept up in my thoughts as I remembered living in the US and being absolutely inundated with television, radio and print ads from JC-Penny’s or Macy’s that always began with the line..

“Spring is here! Come see our incredible lineup of colorful and sexy fashions at our Welcome to Spring Sale!!”

But back then for some reason I never really noticed those “New Spring Fashions” with the Women that surrounded me in the US.

It simply seemed just like the same old stuff to me.

Meanwhile back on this side of the world..

There is comparatively a minuscule amount of advertising for clothes but you can certainly SEE the difference in fashions BIG TIME.

I guess the easiest way for me to illustrate this would be for you to take all of the Victoria Secret catalogs you’ve ever gazed at..

Get past the lingerie and into the regular fashions section..

Then create a walking parade of these images in your mind.

Maybe only then will you come close to visualizing what can be seen here during this time of year.

In any-case Gentlemen..

In Russia we are dealing with the onset of nothing short of a full scale Mini-Skirt Invasion..

White Flags anyone?