By Alkali Springs Correspondent
We are really happy to report that for the first time in many a moon, it has rained and rained in the beautiful Bear Paws. And like so many times before, it just needs to rain to make more rain.
Out our way, we thought that for the second year in a row our lawn was just toast until it freezes in the fall. Well, all of a sudden it has turned from toast to a sort of anemic green again. And for the first time in a month, the grass seems to be growing more quickly than the weeds. This is wonderful for it signals a time that conditions are less dry and less dangerous.
But, you know, it has been so dry for so long that it is going to take much more than the almost 3 inches of rain we got last week to make much of a dent.
For example, the lady who had our cabin before we got it had planted, on a steep hillside just out the back door, a whole hillside of ground cover intermixed with some of the most beautiful purple flowers we have ever seen. For the first four years we were at the cabin, they flourished every summer. For the last two summers, they've come up, wilted and just sat there stunned until fall. Not only that, but in the yard of the cabin, someone punched down a hole in a piece of pipe. That pipe contained water for the first three years that we were there. Not anymore though.
The whole tiny canyon we are located in is named Swamp Coulee. Driving up there these days, the first question is where is the swamp? Answer: It dried up two years ago.
And that is our problem. We get enough rain to bring back the grass at times, but our reserves are simply gone. We need several moderate to severe winters so far as snow accumulation goes in order to get back to a normal mode.
Not only that, but things are a changing. Take the snake population. You read a few weeks ago that the snakes are moving into town. Well, gentle readers, that is not the only place they are moving. Once again this summer, rattlesnakes have been seen and killed in places once thought to be completely free of them. So, when camping, hiking and picnicking in Beaver Creek Park, a good rule of thumb at this time of year is be on the lookout for them almost anywhere. And where it is too high for them, like on the sides of Baldy, some pesky black snakes reside that like to chase folks down the trail, their disposition is so sour. So do be on the lookout and keep your dogs protected as well. Long-prolonged hot spells spell more danger than usual.
One thing about all this moisture is that it sure brings impressive thunderstorms along with it. There have been some loud bangs and impressive lightning lately and while nothing has come close to some memories of memorable lightning, well, it has come close.
One time many years ago at a cabin up Greenough Gulch on Clear Creek, lightning struck the stove pipe and stove in the kitchen with the loudest "snap" you can imagine. But that pales in comparison with the story that our grandmother told about when she was camped with her children in tents on Clear Creek at the Minnie Rudd place. There the lightning was so prolonged and so close that her knitting needles actually got hot to the touch. That's too close for us.
And that does not hold a candle to the folks who twice in the mountains have experienced tornadoes along with those ferocious summer storms.
Come to think about it, we will be much happier when summer is a distant memory and we are wondering if we will ever get to the mountains again due to the blizzard that just hit.
If we can't have rain, bring on the snow!