Leaders of both houses of Russia’s Parliament said on Friday they would embrace a vote by Crimea to break away from Ukraine, while Gazprom, the Russian energy company, warned it may shut off exports over a $1.89 billion payment.
FRISCO — OK, it’s not quite spring yet, as least as far as the “official” definition, which sets the start of the loveliest season at vernal equinox, around March 21. But meteorologically speaking, March 1 is the start of spring, regardless of what the groundhogs and robins are doing, and it’s also the snowiest month of the year for our little slice of the Colorado high country. Sometimes it feels like a battle of the seasons, with winter furiously throwing more snow on to the ground in an ultimately futile effort to slow the inevitable — like the return of the robins. Continue reading →
FRISCO — A short hike along the Ptarmigan Trail to start the Memorial Day weekend yielded some of the first real spring-like images of the year, including some always spectacular pasque flowers, as well as aspen leaves finally starting to show, as late as I can ever remember. All this just one year after the earliest and warmest spring on record, which may be another sign of weather extremes driven by global climate change, or, maybe, just nature;s inherent capricious whimsy. Continue reading →
Buttercups bloomed this week, the first wildflowers after a long winter.
FRISCO — After a few false starts, it appears that spring has truly sprung in the Colorado high country, though it shouldn’t surprise anyone if it snows once (or twice) more before all is said and done. But the past few days, we’ve experienced beneficial moistening rains and the Earth is responding in overdrive. Grass and other plants are growing almost visibly from day to day, the first few wildflowers have popped and streams are swelling in their banks. Even after many years living high in the mountains, the speed always surprises me a little. Our native plants, adapted to a short growing season, seem to know there’s no time to waste.
A stand of aspens is partially submerged by a spring snowmelt pond near the Meadow Creek trailhead in Frisco, Colorado.
SUMMIT COUNTY —At long last, the melt season has started in the Colorado high country, nearly a month later than last year. As it goes in the mountains, things change in a hurry once it warms up. Tender green sprouts shoot up at the edge of crusty snowbanks, sometimes growing an inch per day. There’s not a lot of time — at 10,000 feet, most plants have to reach flowering stage within just a couple of months. Springtime in the Rockies! Continue reading →
FRISCO —While this mid-April storm may not quite qualify as a bona fide drought buster, it sure won’t hurt and it will definitely take the hard edge off concerns about summer water supplies. As of Monday afternoon, about 16 inches had piled up here in Frisco, and more snow is, supposedly, on the way. Continue reading →
Big snowdrifts are slowly melting in the lee of what were once islands in Dillon Reservoir.
FRISCO — After a spate of cold, gray days (and there are more to come), April sunshine finally broke through Friday afternoon. What a great way to start the weekend! It didn’t take long for the snow to start melting away in the flats around Dillon Reservoir, showing how far the water level dropped this winter. Beneath a few meltwater ponds, the dry, cracked mud of last autumn is still visible — apparently it takes a while for the thirsty Earth to replenish itself. More snowy and cold weather is expected starting Saturday afternoon right into the first half of next week, but the afternoon sunshine gave a hint of warmer days ahead. Continue reading →
SUMMIT COUNTY —April yielded some of the best pictures of the year, from rich and saturated colors, finally warmed by the seasonal sun, to delicate scenes of melting ice and dramatic sunrises. Vote in the poll for your favorite April picture. The winning photo will be featured as the monthly image in the 2013 Summit Voice calendar.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Fall aspen season, when the leaves turn, is rightly hailed as one of the most spectacular times of year in the high country, with splashy colors and crisp air. But the spring transition, when the trees go from bare bones to flickering green in just a few days, is equally stunning, although a bit more subtle. It’s a little harder to capture the tender green of emerging aspen leaves, since the display is not quite as showy. Continue reading →
SUMMIT COUNTY — When I started bushwhacking up along Meadow Creek Saturday, I wasn’t sure what I would find, but I wasn’t expecting icicles. Yet in the deeper, shadier sections of the gorge, there they were, looking wintry. Technically, they’re probably not really icicles, so I’ve decided to call them splashcicles, since they form when water from the creek splashes up and coats nearby branches or logs, only to drip down again. Continue reading →
Kim Fenske captured this great image of snowshoe hare during a late winter excursion on Mt. Yale, in the Sawatch Range. Click to see the rest of his adventure.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — March came in like a lamb, and, well, it went out like a lamb as well, with a skein of dry and mild weather that was pleasant but frightening. Dillon Reservoir is on track to melt as early as it’s ever melted, which could add to potential water woes through increased evaporation, and the snowpack at local ski areas was nothing to brag about, unless you’re a huge fan of spring conditions. But life goes on, and like any other month in the high country, there are moments of great beauty, even if the weather is unseasonably dry and warm. Continue reading →