Living in Colorado can be an adventure, but when fire meets ice from record-breaking heat to an early September snowstorm, it’s a wild ride.
The state hit all-time high temperatures of 100 degrees over the weekend, and wildfires exploded. A forty-thousand-foot smoke plume exploded over the Cameron Peak fire. Ash fell like snow. Going outside meant inhaling unhealthy air. But, all weekend, forecasters predicted mountain snow in feet and up to six inches in my area outside of Boulder. What???
Two days ago, ash fell like snow from the sky.
With temperatures plummeting from the nineties yesterday to freezing, I hustled to protect my garden. I had waited all summer for green peppers, and there are two of them. I know, go buy some, right? No!
Along with tons of tomatoes sprawling out of their above-ground confine, several small pumpkins could use a few more weeks of growth. Freaking out about everything turning to mush, if temperatures drop into the twenties, my family suggested grabbing a sleeping bag and using body heat to warm them. I did the next best thing.
I became a garden wrangler.
The pumpkin vines, brittle from the heat, proved difficult to wind inside the four-by-eight foot garden. The twelve-foot tomato plants — yes, twelve! — were surprisingly pliable. I used sheets safety pinned together to keep the plants from spilling out. I used ski poles to prop up an old canopy to protect it from the snow. Danny nailed it all in place.
We tied a record for the earliest snowfall, when the storm rolled in yesterday afternoon.
I woke up at 4:30 AM, relieved to see the temperatures hovering around freezing. It snowed, but we didn’t hit the low twenties, nor receive the huge snow total. Yay! Now the plants will have time to harden off, and we won’t lose a lot of them.
The snow is like sugar frosting.
From extreme heat to snow is a shock, but it is beautiful!
An ice rink for the birds.
Roses peek out from a blanket of snow and wonder what hit them.
Daisies covered in the September snow.
Flowers in a freeze-frame, literally.
A snowy trellis perfect for lunchtime will be a bit chilly today.
I waited years for my trumpet vine to bloom.
The front will move out, and the temperatures will soar once again. The snow will melt and fade from memory. I’ve heard a vicious rumor that we won’t have fall color, but I think we’ll be okay.
The storm helped diminish the mountain fires somewhat, but they need a lot more of them. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, this is only the beginning of the ton of snow predicted to arrive in Colorado this winter. I can’t wait to go skiing!
Are you surviving the heat, or is snow on the way where you live? Are you a gardener? Would you try to save them or go to the store?