Sunday, October 7, 2007

Seasonal changes (My Sacred Life, Sunday)

Denver is a strange place, meteorologically. We're close enough to the Rocky Mountains that our weather patterns are simply impossible to anticipate with any accuracy.

If one is 30 miles west of where I sit at this moment, it is pretty easy to figure out what is going to happen with the weather: by now, the cold nights will have become regular, and probably it has already snowed a few times. The storms, when they come, tend to blow through pretty quickly.

If one is 30 miles east of me, you know the wind is going to blow 30 mph about 75% of the time. When it snows, it closes roads precisely because of those winds. It doesn't rain enough for you to rely on if you farm, and the winter is hazardous for your livestock if you are a rancher.

Denver gets a mix of weather, sometimes reflecting our proximity to the mountains--a quick-moving storm which leaves 3 inches of snow and is gone by the time one gets out of bed in the morning--and sometimes experiencing a plains blizzard which pushes back toward the mountains--the dreaded "up slope" storm--which stalls out and dumps snow measured in feet instead of inches.

This weekend has been a good example, as it was over 80 degrees yesterday, quite windy, and then when the front came through around 8 pm, it was still windy, but had dropped 25 degrees down toward 50. The shoulder months, particularly October and March, are always an adventure in rapid change here.

That long intro brings me to what I decided was sacred to me this morning, and it is a shot of fall arriving on my street: a gorgeous old evergreen two houses down from us. Every morning this week, as I left for work, I noticed this tree. The early-morning sun so highlighted the pine cones that it looked almost like a Christmas tree from a distance. There are a great many cones on this tree!

Finally, after days of failing to pause, I brought out the camera Friday morning, walked down the street, and took this picture to share with you.

Slowing down just enough to take notice and admire what this tree is up to was my sacred moment this week.


The Dream said...

Thanks for taking the much needed pause and sharing this fantastic photo. I want cooler weather (can you hear the whining?). It's above 90 degrees today and it's a sweat-fest. I'm wilting.

Kate I said...

Rick, I just left your beautiul area of Colorado on Tuesday and was so enjoying your wonderful fall weather. I don't think I'd be enjoying your winter quite as much...but each season really does have it's own magic! Does your sunny and cold, trump my rainy and warm? Tough call...I head south to Mexico anyway!

Patti said...

Brrr, a decidedly chilly post! I live in a very temperate zone (just north of Sydney in Australia) and our winters are probably much like your spring, so I have never really experienced a seriously cold winter. Those pinecones are wonderful, I can see why you needed to snap a photo.

Carla said...

What a wonderful way to connect. I love reading your posts. I don't know what it is, but your writing helps my mind calm down.

Rick Hamrick said...

Eileen--hang on! I'll send you some cooler weather. I'm a bit backed up on my orders right now, so it may not get there until Thanksgiving...

Kate & Patti--we don't usually suffer much: lots of sunny 50-degree days (that's 10 C) which make any snow disappear quickly. And, I am a decidedly cold-weather guy! Humidity and warmth are fine, but only when I take a shower.

Carla--it must be contagious. Writing these posts seems to quiet my mind.

Love to all!

Mich said...

Denver sounds a lot like Canberra!

Jane said...

My ex's parents had a gorgeous house built on top of a mountain outside of Boulder. I loved going there. It's so different than it is here in PA. One thing I loved the most was driving down a scenic highway with rock climbers and kayakers just feet away!

Melissa said...

Thank you for sharing! I have been having a particularly difficult week of home sickness, missing Colorado deeply. I think my upcoming move back to NY is triggering some separation axiety from RI and also bringing up memories of past homes. It's nice to see your Denver pics! I love seeing sights that I once saw in person. And they are wonderful photos as well.