Driving up Boulder Canyon, the sound of water surrounds me. With Boulder Creek running alongside the road, it’s hard not to notice what’s going on. Water!
The rush of water, roiling rapids, pushing down the hillside at levels not seen in more than a year. There’s so much water, that Boulder Falls even seems worth stopping for. Full confession — I’ve wondered why an entire parking lot requiring people to cross a busy road is dedicated to this less than overwhelming attraction. When we first moved to Nederland, we saw the sign and parking lot and stopped like everyone else. I walked the short trail to take a peek. That’s it? After living in California in Oregon, and witnessing majestic waterfalls spewing water hundred of feet down a cliff, it seems a little underwhelming to me. But what do I know?
Four months ago I wouldn’t have thought it was possible. Four months ago, the water was so low, I thought the reservoir might dry up altogether.
Last November, I thought we were doomed. We’d just been through one of the driest October fraught with wildfires. And the prediction for a La Nina weather filled with me with dread. La Ninas usually are drier for the Front Range. Colorado’s drought outlook showed extreme drought throughout the state.
But weather is a funny thing. And the last four months have brought abundant moisture to Nederland and the surrounding area. Despite La Nina, March, April and May have brought snow and rain that continued to make dent in Colorado’s drought.
Last weekend, I raptured in a gray day full of rain and fog. I almost thought I’d be transported to Seattle. Friends complained about bad weather over the holiday weekend. I raptured in it. What could be better heading into wildfire season, than a weekend of rain?
In my mind, every day that we have continued moisture means a shorter wildfire season. Water seeps into the soil and retains it, growing green grasses. Right now, wildfire danger is low on the Front Range and I couldn’t be happier about this unexpected turn of events.
But the Front Range’s good fortune with the weather is contained to just a small part of Colorado. A look at the drought map for Colorado shows a story of two different Colorados. Front Range and Plains are looking good. The western part of the state still show extreme drought with no relief in sight. So those that are thinking are good fortune means a summer of clear blue skies should think again. Fires in western Colorado will bring smoky skies just as sure what we experienced last fall.
But for now I’m happy and feeling blessed. Mother Nature has blessed us in unexpected ways this spring.