When I think of July I think of hot temps, Fourth of July and the peak of the incredible short growing season at the Bar B. I will now think of July 2014 as the Summer of Noah.
With a little help from monsoon season and El Nino, it’s rained A LOT. By mid-July local weather geeks would record 4.5″ of rain in just the first two weeks of the month. Colorado averages only 8″ of rain a year.
During my extensive time in school, I never took a meteorology class and I wish I had. Colorado is the perfect storm of chaos theory to study. Not like studying, say, Seattle, where you can pretty much bet on the forecast of rain 80 percent of the year.
Colorado has a weather cycle in the summer; beautiful clear mornings, building clouds in the early afternoon that unleash thunderstorms and downpours. This year has followed that pattern like a seamstress and each early afternoon huge storms drop large amounts of rain. The puzzler has been the storms that come at night when you it’s so dark you can’t see nuthin’ and each time you look outside the window you expect to see Norman Bates staring back at you.
A particularly bad storm in early July dropped 2″ of rain in half and hour. Since I live at the top of the mountain, I don’t worry much about flooding. What starts here rolls downhill and that evening it rolled off the roadway above the house, past Paul’s car, puddled on the driveway and raced down the makeshift roadway into the Slightly Unenchanted Forest. The torrent swept the leftover evidence of chipping down to the area near the well and then it veered sharply into Mr. “I’ve Got A Gun and A Lighter’s” meadow. The amount of water was impressive. Were it not for a slight grade near the house, the accumulating water and debris would end up in his front room.
I’ve been up here long enough to know that one event begets another. Mitigation means cleanup; rain means erosion. The pile of long logs and the old railroad ties up by the road probably saved erosion under the boulders that line the ridge above the driveway. I’m guessing there will need to be some sort of work done up by the road to divert the water down the road and NOT into the driveway that will now need to be regraded at some point. Oh, wait, each year the driveway has to be plowed a few times. Plow, regrade, what’s the difference.
I have no complaints about the rain. Fire danger is not a topic of conversation. You can always tell a yahoo on a weekend excursion to the mountains. At the grocery store in Conifer locals don’t complain about the rain.
My growing season is pretty dismal because of all of this but isn’t that why God invented farmer’s markets? And arks. Might need an ark or two before this is over.