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huangrick2006的博客

黄志涛的博客,杂谈,教育,插队经历,美食。内容丰富,欢迎来访,发表意见,交个朋友

 
 
 

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(原创)Sleet in a mountain village 40 years ago(中文在后面)  

2013-02-24 23:34:51|  分类: 英语文章 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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(原创)Sleet in a mountain village 40 years ago - 黄志涛 - huangrick2006的博客
 
(原创)Sleet in a mountain village 40 years ago - 黄志涛 - huangrick2006的博客
 
(原创)Sleet in a mountain village 40 years ago - 黄志涛 - huangrick2006的博客
 
(原创)Sleet in a mountain village 40 years ago - 黄志涛 - huangrick2006的博客
 
(原创)Sleet in a mountain village 40 years ago - 黄志涛 - huangrick2006的博客
 
(原创)Sleet in a mountain village 40 years ago - 黄志涛 - huangrick2006的博客
 
(原创)Sleet in a mountain village 40 years ago - 黄志涛 - huangrick2006的博客
 
(原创)Sleet in a mountain village 40 years ago - 黄志涛 - huangrick2006的博客
 
(原创)Sleet in a mountain village 40 years ago - 黄志涛 - huangrick2006的博客
  

Sleet in a mountain village 40 years ago

    It brings unbelievable beauty as well as real danger and loss. People in China didn’t know much about it or even hear about it until the winter of 2008, when an unprecedented strange natural disaster hit most parts of the south provinces where it is usually warm and mild in winter, causing great losses and inconveniences to life and work of the local people. Now you know its name—sleet, or freezing rain.

Electricity was cut off for as long as three months in some worst parts. As nearly all the power towers collapsed because of the heavy ice on the power lines. The power nets in five provinces were out of work and it took at least half a year to bring them all back to the normal working state. Local residents had no running water or lighting or cooking fire without electricity, which they always took for granted. They had to fetch water from rivers and wells quite far away. No traffic was available on the road, since the roads were covered with ice. Driving meant committing suicide. Therefore children couldn’t go to school, people couldn’t go to work, and they had to stay at home. But it was very cold and they had to get coal or charcoal to keep them from freezing to death. The price of fuel shot up like a rocket. Candles had been sold out. Food, meat and vegetables were hard to obtain. People had to buy coal stoves, without which they would have had to eat everything raw and freezing cold. Millions of people were living in such a condition! Sleet taught people a hard lesson in the winter of 2008.

In fact, such a large scale of sleet is very rare in history. But it doesn’t mean sleet is rare. In some parts of Guizhou and Hunan province, you can find it almost every winter. During my stay in a mountain village in the south of Guizhou as a peasant about 40 years ago, I unexpectedly met it, which left a deep impression on me. I still remember clearly the unusual experience to this day.

One morning the piercing freezing cold took away the little warmth in my quilt when I woke up early. The house I slept in was very tall and spacious with holes of all sizes in the wall. The temperature was the same in or out of it. But I was young and strong, with no fear of cold weather. Usually I could keep quite warm in bed. But that morning was different. Opening my sleepy eyes, wow! I noticed that it seemed very bright in the house. I listened carefully. Nothing. Did it snow last night? I jumped up, put on clothes quickly and opened the door to see what was going on. It was not snowing. What confronted me was a crystal world. Unbelievably dazzling and beautiful! I looked up. The sky was like a livid lead plate, from which extremely fine and dense “powder” was falling. What was it? I had no idea.

I stepped out into the yard. But before I knew it, I had slipped and slid to the center of the yard right away. It turned out that the ground was covered with a layer of clear ice like a mirror. I tried very cautiously to pick up myself. But I didn’t dare to stand up straight or I would fall again. Some withered grass nearby caught my eye. The matchstick like stems were now as thick as my finger with ice wrapping around them.

Out of the yard were a few pine trees. Each pine needle was like a pencil. It seemed to me that they were thousands of glass flowers in bloom, which reminded me of what I could imagine in a fairy tale. Fascinated in awe and wonder, I had an impulse to draw a picture. Then I felt my face and hands were a little wet and cold. The fine “powder” was falling densely and silently. It was so quiet and you could hardly hear anything. No rooster crowing. Or dog barking. Or cow lowing. Or hog grunting. These were the most familiar noises one could hear in a village in the morning. I guess these clever animals must have hidden themselves in some warm places, sleeping comfortably. The silence, however, was suddenly broken by sharp, loud and fearful cracks coming from far in the mountain once in a while, which hit my ear and filled me with fear. What was it? I didn’t know.

How could I walk on the ice? I put on the boots brought from Shanghai. They were no good. Then I saw a peasant walking steadily by with straws tied around their shoes. That was the trick! I followed suit and it worked perfectly. The lane in the village was made of stone slates and now each was like a small skating rink. I walked out carefully, breaking countless ice flowers on the way. Looking out to the mountain slope, I didn’t think any words were good enough to describe the beauty. I couldn’t help thinking about a few lines of a famous poet about ice and snow, when I heard the sharp crack again. Then I saw a big tree fell down and broke in the middle, showing the broken trunk on the mountain slope. Oh, now to my shock, I saw many such split trunks there. I realized it was the heavy ice on the tree that made it collapse under great pressure. So the sleet brought beauty as well as harm. At that time, we had no electricity in the village. We cooked and kept warm with wood. Unlike the situation in 2008, life wasn’t badly affected when I was there.

I turned to the road. In the distance the telephone lines along the road shaped like a series of U between the poles, some of which had fallen down. The usually busy road was empty. If someone offered me 100 yuan (a fortune then) in the county town, which was about 24 km from my village, I would have had to give it up. I realized for the first time that we were completely isolated from the outside world. I might as well go back home, start a fire, and cook my breakfast. As least I didn’t have to work in the field. A rest was always welcome. I tried to comfort myself.

Many years later, I learned that sleet is quite common in Guizhou, especially in the west and south, where a special weather condition is fit for the formation of freezing rain. It must be very cold in high altitude, with a lot of moisture in the air, but without wind. The fine “powder” is over cold droplets, which turn into ice as soon as they touch anything. That’s why a pine needle can be as thick as a pencil, and a cable can grow as big as an arm or even a leg. The mirror of ice on the slate forms just through a process of plating. It’s a pity that I was too poor to own a  camera then, or the photos would be just splendid

Seeing is believing. I’ll find some photos of sleet in the Internet, hoping you will like them.


 

冻雨

看电视上的气象预报节目,看到贵州有冻雨,勾起了我的难忘回忆。记得初见冻雨是在35年前,当时我在贵州独山插队。恰是元旦清晨,我被刺入骨髓的寒气冻醒。住在四面透风的房子里受冻不足为奇,但我是个不怕冷的人,本该暖融融的被窝没了热气令我惊讶。睁眼一看,呀!屋里似乎特别亮堂。侧耳一听,悄无声息。下雪了吗?急忙起床,推门一看,惊呆了:原来并没下雪,眼前却是晶莹剔透的冰花一片,炫目之美,无法形容。抬头望天,天色阴沉,似乎在飘洒着细细密密的东西。刚迈步到院中,滋溜一下滑了出去,原来院中石板上好像镀上了一层光滑如镜的冰,比涂了油还要滑。待小心翼翼慢慢地从地上爬起来时,注意到院墙边枯萎的小草,细如火柴梗般的草茎竟然裹上了厚厚一层冰,粗得象牛鞭。墙外的马尾松上,每一根松针都变成了铅笔粗的小冰棍,如一簇簇奇异的花儿在绽放,象是到了童话世界。正陶醉其中,忽觉脸上手上微微湿冷,原来天上正下着如最密最密的筛子筛出来的小雨点,无声无息地飘落下来。周围的一切是如此寂静,鸡不鸣,狗不吠,牛不叫,猪不哼,大概它们都躲到暖和的地方,舒舒服服地睡觉去了。在这万籁俱寂的世界里,猛然从山上传来清脆响亮,又令人心惊的声响,刺破寒空,直达于耳。是什么?不知道。

怎么出门呢?穿上上海带来的防滑靴,根本不行。见老乡在鞋上缠上稻草,于是如法炮制,果然十分有效。寨子里的路全是石板铺就,象是一个连一个的小溜冰场,但鞋上缠了稻草,就步履稳健。走出寨子,脚下喀嚓喀嚓地响,不知踏碎了多少美丽的冰花。放眼往山上望去,整个是一水晶世界,美得无法形容,壮观极了。正沉醉在这美景之中,忽见一棵大树拦腰折断,紧接着传来了一声响亮——啪——。忽然醒悟,难怪,这么多的冰压在树上,树干怎能承受?再仔细一看,山上断裂的树还真不少,露出白森森的断口,不禁想到,美到极至反生出悲来。冻雨带来美丽,但也是一场自然灾害。我转身向公路方向走去,路边电线杆上的电线垂得成了一串U字,后来听说许多地方电线断了,好在我们寨子根本没通电,所以也就没有影响。往常车马来往的公路上空荡荡的,当然,在这种天气里,谁还敢在山区的公路上开车呢?忽然想到过几天就要回上海,这50里的山路怎么走?但转念一想,管它呢,先回家生火,大家围在火塘边,烤火摆龙门阵,清闲快乐再说。

冻雨可以说是贵州特产,特别是贵州西部,别处少见。冻雨的形成必有极阴冷的天气,无风,高空气温很低,水气较多。天上飘落的细密小水滴是过冷水滴,接触到任何物体立刻结冰。所以细细的草茎被冰一层一层包起来,粗得象手指;水滴落在石板路上,一层一层结起来,就成了冰的镜面。如此奇景若非亲身经历,实在难以想象。只可惜当年没有摄像机,连照相机也没有,不然,拍下来才美呢!

 

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