Hot and Cold

They told us it was coming, but it was still a very strange way to spend Labor Day. There we were, wearing summer attire as we covered plants to protect them from the elements. Not the heat; the cold.

The weather in Colorado has been exceedingly hot over the past weeks. Sunday the temperature in Denver reached over 100 degrees. It cooled down to 95 degrees on Labor Day Monday. The trees haven’t even starting changing colors. School just started. Winter was in a galaxy far, far away.

Except it wasn’t. Because the weather folks told us that sometime during the night on Monday, the temperature was going to drop faster than the coyote’s anvil on the Roadrunner cartoons. While the high reached 95 on Monday, on Tuesday, the high was 36 degrees when I jumped out of bed at 6:30, and continued to drop throughout the day.

It rained in our part of Denver for most of the day, but it changed to snow about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. It stuck to the grass, but the sidewalks were still hot from the 90-some degree temperature of the day before, and so the snowflakes melted as soon as the touched the concrete.

This weather pattern, of course, isn’t terribly unusual. I can’t blame it on 2020, though it being a catastrophic year doesn’t help. In fact, last year in October or November, the weather did the same thing. It happened a year or so before that as well. I know, because when the temperature drops so quickly and to such a degree, the bushes in front of our house get very unhappy. They’re fine if the temperatures drop gradually as they are supposed to, but the Big Drop is a killer.

This spring when we arrived home from AZ, our bushes looked dead dead dead. I gave them no hope. Bill, of course, was a bit more optimistic. Even he, however, began talking about pulling them out and replacing them with something less persnickety. Like the juniper bushes that we pulled out years ago. Nope, I said. Never go backwards.

Our daughter-in-law Jll was the one who said we should be patient. “They’re not such bad little trees,” she said in her best Linus impression. And she was right. It took patience and tender loving care, but they came back strong.

And now, once again, we were facing the Big Drop. So we were out in the 95 degree temperature putting blankets over our trees on Monday. We look like hillbillies…..

…but our hope is that the trees are saved.

We weren’t the only ones covering plants in 95 degree weather. Most of our neighbors had a few plants covered. I was happy to say goodbye to my tomato plants, which, while still giving me tomatoes, was looking very sad. I put my herb pot in the garage.

The neighborhood was deadly quiet yesterday. No dog walkers. No cars driving by. I guess people were busy braising dinner in their ovens and getting ready to take their long winter’s nap.

By the end of next weekend, the temperature will be in the mid-80s.

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