Spring has sprung and is sprinting toward summer here in Rostock. The horse-chestnut trees that line many of the parks and roads are covered in big spikes of flowers. There are fledglings all over the place, running around on the ground until their wings are developed enough to let them fly. (Many of them don’t make it and the curious eye will spot the occasional bit of carnage under a bush). In the shallow western end of the old city moat, newts are breeding among the sunken leaves and floating catkins. From one day to the next, the skies above the city have filled with squadrons of swifts, whistling incessantly as they outmaneuver any insect that dares take flight.
The days are rapidly getting longer. The sun might officially go down at 9:02 today, but the twilight stretches to well after 10 as the sun skims just below the northwestern horizon. Early this morning there was light streaming in our north-facing kitchen window.
The spring here brings more than just a physical thaw. Come to Rostock in the winter and you will think the population generally has forgotten how to smile. You will see few people on the streets, and often the only parts of them that are visible are scowling. Now the streets are full of summer dresses and shorts, and their occupants are reveling in sunshine.
This, frankly, is the perfect time to be bringing post-doc candidates to Rostock. Flowers, birds, smiling faces, warm breezes, so much sun. These interviews are as much about convincing people they want to come here as they are deciding which people we want to hire. Having the place at its best certainly helps in that regard. We won’t do any interviewing in February.