I woke up bizarrely late this morning, probably because even at nine the light coming through my window looked like sunrise light. My whole apartment was sort of dark and yellow, as was the sky. This is sandstorm season in Beijing--loose sand from the Gobi Desert, which has been advancing eastward since the 1980s, blankets the city nearly every spring--but I've never been here in mid-March to experience one. I walked outside my door and found a layer of orange-brown dirt everywhere--the whole gray stone courtyard sort of looks like an old sepia photograph. My photos didn't turn out well, so just take a look at this one instead. Insane.
More on sandstorms and desertification in China here.