Summer lives on in Colorado: A tale of environmental prosperity

On Friday, May 8 at 7:10 p.m., the hearts of Colorado College students sank in unison as we opened the dreaded email that we all anticipated. The subject line read: “Llamapalooza Cancelled: Other Fun Student Events.”

The last three weeks of the 2014-2015 school year were harsh, bitter and depressing. Slack lines slumped in dorm room corners and Frisbees silently grew moldy under desks. Streets and sidewalks slurped up our soggy feet.

And then the sun came out.

Flowers turned their faces upwards, blades of grass shot to the sky, and the leaves of trees brushed dust off of windowsills that their arms had never before been able to reach.

I found myself in the middle of June, hiking a trail I had done every summer for the past five years, but this time was different. My hands were sticky with wild strawberry juice. My bare feet felt soft and comfortable atop the green, luscious, grassy hillside.

Rather than anxiously pacing my water intake and praying that the creek I relied on would still be trickling in three miles, my water bottles overflowed, and I skipped over streams and rivers that carved their way through the mountains for the first time in years.

In the middle of May, I had to cancel a handful of backpacking trips because the trails were buried under five feet of snow. It seemed that the only dry trail in Colorado was a five-mile loop in Spruce Mountain Open Space, located about a mile west of I-25 in the small farm town of Larkspur.

However, we now find ourselves at the end of the first Colorado summer without wildfires in three years. April showers are no longer just a folk tale. Seasons moved from winter to spring to summer—springtime, what an oddity!

Prairie sunflowers lined country roads, springing to life after lying dormant for years, waiting for the right moisture conditions to present themselves.

Yes, May was soggy. It snowed in June. But then, our state came alive, and so did I. And if every Colorado summer holds as much prosperity as this one, I’d sit through the thunderstorms all over again, hunkered down in my tent, giddily anticipating what will bloom when the skies clear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *