Surrounded by Vivid Color

Last week, I biked outside for the first time since knee surgery. Surrounded by vivid color, I had to stop and take a few photographs. I had looked forward to riding to Hygiene, about ten miles away, but the skies threatened.

bike hike in Boulder County

It has been stormy here in Boulder County. When I rode again yesterday, I made it to the tiny town. I returned home as the skies opened up. After going out for dinner, tornadoes, torrential rain, and a lightning show like no other, made driving a challenge.

Stormy skies above Niwot

Thunderstorms rolled in early today and the landscape is muted. When the skies clear, mountain vistas will once again burst with vivid color.

Have you been spending time outside? Has the weather been stormy in your neck of the woods?

This week’s photo challenge is “Vivid.

Get Ready Before It’s Too Late!

sunrise

“Red sky at morning gives sailors first warning.” This photo was taken today!

A blustery Rocky Mountain wind pummeled our house all night and is still thrashing our trees causing their remaining leaves to tumble like autumnal rain. A change in the weather is coming.

Meteorologists have been predicting this storm like salivating dogs staring through the window of a butcher shop, or better yet, like snowbirds drooling over brochures of Mexican cruises. It was in the 70’s yesterday and we’ll plunge to a high of 15 by Wednesday. I have one more day to pick apples, close vents in unused rooms, and get acclimated to winter temps before our first significant snowfall arrives.

Five fast and easy ways to get acclimated before the arctic mass descends from the north. Continue reading

Are You Ready “to” Spring?

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The bad news:

This Sunday, March 9th, marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time or what I like to call, “You Ripped Off an Hour of My Precious Sleeping Time.” We lose an hour at 2:00 AM when time springs ahead to 3:00 AM. Dawn will break an hour later and the sun won’t slide behind our mountains until 7:02 PM. It will be one of those groggy days which will oddly resemble jet lag. It will creep into Monday morning with an increase in traffic accidents and heart attacks.

I love when it ends in November and I have a whole extra hour to play, but the start-up is killer. I can’t believe one little hour can mess with our heads so much.

I wonder if anyone has ever screwed with time in order to win a war. I can imagine the enemy sneaking into camp and setting all the clocks ahead by one hour. Just think of the mayhem, friendly fire, and subsequent heart attacks.

Did you know that Ben Franklin is responsible for our abrupt and jarring time change? In 1784, he spent some time in Paris and came up with an idea to save on the cost of candles. It’s always about money and sometimes about the cost of wax.

The good news:

Here in Boulder, day lengthens by 2 minutes and 37-38 seconds every 24 hours. For all of you still in the eye of the Polar Vortex, spring will arrive on Thursday, March 20th, whether Weather likes it or not. The 4th of July is less than four months away. How can that be? Time is precise and controlled. It ticks on and on, with concise rhythm and constant meter. Weather is obstinate and unpredictable. It throws tantrums without warning. It has its way, always. It doesn’t care about Time or the season. It’s an emotional monster, a willful child, and a hormonal teenager.

On Sunday morning, when you set your clocks ahead, you’ll be one hour closer to spring. The days will lengthen, temperatures will rise, and snow will melt.

But don’t mention anything to Weather. We don’t want it to become a hot mess.

Are you for or against Daylight Saving Time?

Photo courtesy of Free Wallpaper

How to Survive the Polar Vortex

polar vortex 1

In case you haven’t heard, half the US is in a cyclonic weather pattern. It seems the center of the Polar Ice Cap has relocated somewhere between Madison, Wisconsin and Cleveland. The Polar Vortex is threatening to stick around and continue to break low temperature records all over the world. It spawned Winter Storm Leon which trounced through the South. It sprinkled the white stuff on several states which rarely see snow and wreaked havoc with highways and airports. His brother Maximus is bounding in from the west and is licking his heels. Is there no end to PV’s fury?

Noaa_current_snow_ice_canada_usa_1-6-2014Snow cover on January 6th, 2014

Looks like an ice age to me. Will spring ever arrive in our Northern states?

Breck snowstorm 2011

Here are some tips to help you survive the coldest winter on record.

  • Wear a hat to bed. Heat rises and your pillow could cause your ears to freeze off.
  • Get acclimated. Strip down and jump in the snow. Roll around and count to 10. Then hit a warm shower. Repeat this exercise a couple times a day and soon you’ll be wearing shorts and a t-shirt while picking up your newspaper from the snowy curb.
  • Quit shaving. This goes for women too. All those little hairs trap body heat. Make a waxing appointment for May or June.
  • Sleep with a friend, a lover, a neighbor or all of the above. Hey. This is serious. You have to stay warm.
  • Don’t have any friends? Buy or adopt a dog. With a record-breaking winter like this, you’ll need three of them to keep you warm. You’re a cat person? You’ll need twenty.
  • Layer up. To stay warm indoors, slip on your Lycra workout clothes and wool socks. Throw on your long undies, sweat pants, turtleneck, and wool sweater. Don’t go outdoors without a one-piece ski or snowmobile suit, hat, face mask and goggles. Wear wool gloves under your mittens. Make sure to pee before you dress.
  •  Start baking bread, buns, cakes and cookies. Leave the oven door open after you finish to help heat the room. The couple extra pounds you will gain will create a nice layer of fat to keep you warm.

Continue reading

Storm Chasing During Boulder’s 100-Year Flood

Jessica Farris -Creekside 3Photo by Jessica Farris

Drenched by torrential rain over a period of four days, creeks swelled into forceful rivers, dams burst and walls of water cascaded from the foothills all along the Front Range in Colorado. 18.44 inches of rain fell in South Boulder alone, but surrounding areas recorded 14 to 16 inches. Thousands have been evacuated to shelters. 3 died in Boulder County. Nearly 200 are unaccounted for, but many are still being rescued and don’t have access to phones. Yesterday, National Guard helicopters rescued over 550 people and the thwapping of blades could be heard overhead early this morning. Many towns are still completely cut off. Our average rainfall for the month of September is 1.63 inches. This is insane!

Living in a semi-arid state, most expect the occasional forest fire and we’ve had our share. Much of Boulder is located in a one hundred-year flood plain. Our one hundred years are up! This tops any rainfall recorded since 1864. We live on a hill.

A friend of my daughter, Jessica Farris, took these photos in her neighborhood.

Jessica Farris - 1st and Bower

1st Street and Gower in Longmont – Jessica Farris

Jessica Farris - Creekside

A family canoes in a nearby park – Jessica Farris

Jessica Farris - Creekside 2

It has become a waterpark – Jessica Farris

At first, the welcomed rain seemed like fun to many, something that wouldn’t last and should be enjoyed. College kids played in the underground walkway as water rose to their knees. Click here for video. Others went down streets and the Boulder Creek in inner tubes, but the rivers continued to swell and became violent. Boulder Police began arresting anyone in the rushing water.

I had some fun in the beginning too.

I had to retweet this!

 

Soon roads closed as rivers overflowed their banks. By Wednesday night, Boulder, parts of Longmont, Lyons and Estes Park were cut off along with many other small towns. It took my son Kelly an hour and a half to drive from Longmont to Niwot which is normally a ten minute drive. The Saint Vrain River cut Longmont in half. He drove north and east before heading south to our house. Determined to find a way back to his home in Boulder, he consulted Coloradotrip.org and navigated frontage roads and side streets with higher topography to wind his way back. It took another 90 minutes for a 20 minute drive. Continue reading

The Bright Side Top Ten List

Most of you come to the Wild Ride for an upbeat quirky post and I don’t think I have let you down yet. This is Boulder, Colorado’s eighth, yes, 8TH week of snow in a row. Talk about quirky!

My husband, Danny, and I enjoyed summer-like weather last weekend. We spent Saturday afternoon and evening on Pearl Street taking in all the sights and sounds of spring in gorgeous 75 degree weather. I walked barefoot on Sunday. I should have known it was temporary.

Pearl Street Mall

Our never-ending winter cycle continued when another six inches dumped from the sky. Instead of a traditional Maypole dancing kind of day, we got a picture postcard of Christmas in May.

May Day 2

Being a hopeless optimist, here are my

Top Ten Reasons Why I am Still Welcoming the Snow:

#1 – West Nile has not been reported in our state.

#2 – The ants I slaughtered last year at this time, are still deep down in their little ant apartments where they belong.

#3 – After realizing I am allergic to yellow jackets, I am happy to report not one buzzed around in the snow today. My traps are locked and loaded.

May day 2013

#4 – I can’t mow the lawn, weed, trim hedges, or deadhead (dang!), so I have more time to write.

#5 – With all of this amazing moisture, we won’t have to start the sprinkler system for at least a couple of days. Our bill may stay in the two digit range this month.

#6 – No wildfires have been reported in our state for the month of May.

#7 – Prolonging my hibernation means wearing cozy Smart Wool socks and eating fresh bread and homemade soup. My Dumb Ass cotton socks will have to wait a few more days.

#8 –  This crazy weather gives me lots of fodder for social media posts.

May TweetMay day 3

#9 – I have another chance to make a snow angel with Roxy.

#10 – I will appreciate spring so much more when it finally arrives, even if I have to wait until July.

Are you an optimist, a pessimist, or a realist?

Related posts:

April 2011,2012 and 2013 – A Photo Essay

April! April! Where for Art Thou?

April 2011, 2012, and 2013 – A Photo Essay

someone give me a sign!

This morning, I watched these robins ruffle their feathers to keep the snow from accumulating. Poor birds…

In March of 2013, a cycle started with snowstorms arriving every Monday. Mother Nature must be on steroids because this has continued for seven weeks!

This is last year’s post comparing April of 2011 to 2012.

A Heatwave Cometh Early 

April 13th, 2011

A lot has been written about global warming and it has become a hot political issue. Pun intended. Regardless of your stand on whether it exists, it has been a warm spring here in Boulder, Colorado. Last year there was so much snow in the mountains, we worried about flooding. This year it was warm and dry. Snow totals are 39% to 49% of normal.

March 23, 2012

This is the first year my wisteria has bloomed. I am amazed that it has survived our harsh winters here over the last 10 years. This is Colorado not California for God’s sake. I love it!

I am kinda digging this warm spring.

April 24th, 2012

Temperatures reached a very hot 88 degrees today and it feels more like June 24th than April 24th.

I have already battled ants this season. The miller moths that usually migrate in the millions at the end of May became the next unwelcome early arrival. I can hear them flapping their wings in the night above our bed. They are one month early and they never knock before coming into the house…So rude!

This foreshortened photo of my legs is really weird and so attractive!

In April 2011, we had a seasonal snowstorm that set back the spring foliage and nipped our fruit trees. The pruned die-back on the rose bushes filled a humongous trash can.

April 24th, 2012 – There is very little die-back and that will save me soooo much time!

April 13th, 2011

An icy garden

April 2011

April 24th, 2012

These are the last of the tulips in 2012 and it isn’t even May!

Last year in April the snow slowed down the tulips and this year they have already bloomed!

This year our spring is so summer-like.

Last year was like an ice age. What a difference!

Lilacs are in full bloom on April 24th, 2012. I have similar photos from last year  in the middle of May!

We are not out of the woods for freezing temperatures until May 15th, but if we continue with this warm weather, we will have amazing fruit this year!

I have already made fresh rhubarb pie and the raspberries are about to bloom.

Raspberry rhubarb pie. Yum!

This is the end of a very lean ski season.

Avoiding the rocks.

Climbing them instead!

If it does threaten to freeze, I will be the crazy lady in the yard protecting everything with sheets like a Hampton’s homeowner covering furniture at the end of summer.

It is a good thing that weather isn’t like a bell curve or we would hit temperatures in the 140’s in July. It is supposed to chill out at the end of this week, but I have lost my faith in weather forecasters.

In the meantime, I will take advantage of the nice weather!

~~~~~

April 2013? Not so much.

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We’ve had over 40 inches of snow this April and it ain’t over yet! Last week’s snow melted over the weekend. Another 8 inches fell overnight and it is still snowing…

Scientists are scrambling to make sense of the strange weather. A press release from CU-Boulder yesterday, announced findings that climate zones will shift faster as climate warms. This was the result of a joint research project conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and CU.

All I know is every inch of moisture is welcome respite after a long dry winter. We won’t have any forest fires as long as snow is on the ground.

Breckenridge and Vail Ski Resorts reopened for three days last weekend due to the enormous snow totals. Maybe ski areas should start opening in December and close in June!

Do you think we’ll ever be able to work in our gardens here in Boulder?

Will Harry ever regain the respect of his flock? 

All photos by Susie Lindau

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Climate change

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