Friday, April 29, 2016
Spring in Boulder, Colorado
We're two days away from May, and it's snowing. Of course, we had small flurries multiple times yesterday, but the forecasters are now saying we'll have a six-inch accumulation by supper tonight. Besides distemper outbreaks in our local raccoon population, spring also brings thunder snow and lightning. Late Monday night and/or early Tuesday morning, we had one heck of a rain, hail, and thunder and lightning event. I thought we were having a downpour of rain, until I looked out the window and saw hail bouncing off the neighbors' roof. There was one very loud roll of thunder in the middle of the event. Lightning struck an ash tree six blocks from the house, and blew most of the bark off the tree.
This time of year also means that Boulder starts to see ravenous bears that have just emerged from hibernation. The first black bear sighting in Boulder happened yesterday, when a youngster was spotted in a yard near Broadway in South Boulder. It had apparently eaten plenty during the night, and sought refuge in a neighborhood tree for a twelve hour nap. It left about dusk, after being filmed by all the local television stations and by hundreds of curious adults and children. (Hey, there's been a bear sighting! Let's go look!)
This photo was released by the Boulder Police Department, who were asking that citizens stay away and give the bear plenty of room.... Did they? Of course not!
I did have to laugh at myself last night. Joel was on-stage, and I was staying with Rosie. It was 8 p.m., full dark, and with light sleet falling. Rosie suddenly lifted her head and looked toward the back yard. I could see what looked like a flashlight beam inside the shed, as the door was, oddly, open. My first thought was what is a bear doing in the shed? My second thought was why the heck would a bear have a flashlight? My third thought was that the light was at a very high angle... It finally hit me that Mark, the gardener, had returned after dark to cover the new flowers and tender plants to protect them from the snow. The "flashlight" was a head-lamp, and Mark was getting wire forms and protective sheets out of the shed. - I was mean, I guess. - I walked up behind him in the dark, and said, "Mark! This is unexpected!" He almost went through the roof, he jumped so high. Then I felt guilty for frightening him. So I stayed out and helped him cover the plants....