Springtime in the Rocky Mountains

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Hendrix
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Joined: 2010-12-24

Thanks, Cliff.  I hope you get a chance to see it in person some day soon.

Jane

Jane Hendrix
Mountain View Experimental Gardens
Peak 7-Breckenridge, Colorado USA.
Elev: 10,000 feet
Zone 4
http://www.picturetrail.com/hendrix & http://www.picturetrail.com/snowtrekker7

 

Hendrix
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Title: Member
Joined: 2010-12-24

Cohan,

When I lived in Chicago, Illinois (my birthplace), I mostly hated rain.  It was prolonged and the skies were gloomy for days on end.  Then I moved to Denver, Colorado where people watered their lawns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until the city imposed a 3-hour, every 3 days watering restriction.  A rain shower in Denver was cause for celebration. 

Now I'm in a mountainous climate that receives abundant snow (maybe "over-abundant" this year!) but not that much rain.  A brief thundershower after 1 p.m. is not uncommon which is why hikers are advised to summit the above-timberline peaks and be on their way down by 12 noon to avoid being struck by lightning.  But those showers are usually over in less than 30 minutes, after which the sky usually clears and the sun comes out again -- wonderful weather for visiting tourists but not for thirsty plants and trees.

This spring we had 3 days of real rain - that is, unfrozen precipitation.  Rain brings out the dark and light patterns of my rocks and seems to make all the flower colors more vibrant.  I welcome rain.  We never get enough up here.

Jane

Jane Hendrix
Mountain View Experimental Gardens
Peak 7-Breckenridge, Colorado USA.
Elev: 10,000 feet
Zone 4
http://www.picturetrail.com/hendrix & http://www.picturetrail.com/snowtrekker7

 

cohan
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Jane,as long as we are not actually flooding (not so far, though I'm glad I'm not near a river, many of those are high after a month of rain and snow still melting  in the mountains, and some farmers with soggy fields might disagree with me) I don't complain about moisture either--generally speaking more is better than not enough! This area is not usually prone to the most serious drought in the province, but it can be dry here, some years...

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Anne Spiegel
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-26

Jane, well do I remember the traditional afternoon thunderstorms in Colorado.  We would start very early in the morning and were always being chased down from above treeline by oncoming storms.  One minute it would be all blue sky, not a cloud in sight and then it would change so quickly.  In all the times we hiked in Colorado, I remember only one day when this didn't happen.  We were ridge-walking until almost 7 p.m., fabulous plants and not even a cloud.  A rare day.  Wish I had had the digital camera then.

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Your garden looks wonderful, Jane!  I'm looking forward to seeing more through the season now that (I hope), the snow is safely past.  That last snowfall is awfully hard to take, isn't it?  I'm glad to see that it was brief! 
(In Calgary, we usually get a week of snow in late May-early June, when the tulips and daffodils (and worse, the martagons) all get knocked down, the pear blossoms are wiped out, etc..  As Cohan mentioned, we somehow got away unscathed this year... maybe we'll get extra hail to make up for it.  :rolleyes:)

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Lori wrote:

As Cohan mentioned, we somehow got away unscathed this year... maybe we'll get extra hail to make up for it.  :rolleyes:)

lets hope not--so far so good! Rocky Mtn House got some significant hail the other day, lots of people talking about serious garden damage...luckily here we just had a suggestion of hail.... of course its scarcely been warm enough yet for severe storms!

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

You must be just on the edge of the hail belt, Cohan.  We haven't had a serious hail yet in the yard (i.e. damaging), but it has hailed 7-8 times already... pretty much every time a decent thunderhead builds up, which is the norm for here, it seems.   Love that Rocky Mountain(-influenced) weather!    ;D

Is hail a feature of your area too, Jane?  (Or are we just lucky here.  :rolleyes:)

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Hendrix
Hendrix's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-12-24

Lori,

Fortunately, hail is usually nothing to worry about here.  We sometimes get a brief shower of graupel (pelleted snow) but that doesn't shred the plants.  If we do get hail, it's of very small size.  No tornadoes here, either.  Our "claim to fame" is seemingly unending snow.

Jane

Jane Hendrix
Mountain View Experimental Gardens
Peak 7-Breckenridge, Colorado USA.
Elev: 10,000 feet
Zone 4
http://www.picturetrail.com/hendrix & http://www.picturetrail.com/snowtrekker7

 

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

We have had hail a number of times this year, also, Lori, but not big enough or long enough to cause damage, those ones don't merit much mention...lol.. last year we had a storm with small hail, but enough of it, in cool weather, that there was still hail on the ground in the shade for a couple of days--that did some damage--took a lot of the flowers off Philadelphus, Astilbe and others, thinned out some of my seedling pots-- made a mess of Corydalis nobilis seedlings especially--but they came back this year-- and even had a significant impact on native forest floor vegetation--usually natives are not visibly impacted...

Jane you are lucky to not have the more violent storms--though they make for pretty skies  ;D

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Interesting to hear about your varying weather patterns! Here at my summerhouse, hail is very, very rare in summer but a little inland it is not uncommon. In fact, it was a hail and rainstorm Thursday last week and some damage was done but not her at the coast. The biggest hails I have experienced were bean-sized.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

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