Some (Bad) Words About the Weather

june snow 0620
Christmas (trees) in June: the view behind the Almont Post Office, compliments of Lynn.

Well, we’re firmly in June and it is 2020, so of course it snowed overnight. I believe it also snowed in June last year, but that was the Year of No Spring, when it snowed all the way through May into June. This year we’ve already had some days of high heat, which might make you think you were done with things like snow, but 2020 seems to be the Year of Cruel Jokes, and so it has snowed.

At work yesterday Gilly covered the flowers that were planted mere days ago by Seeds of Life. I think Kirsten, the proprietor and woman with an exceptional green thumb, was a bit embarrassed by her effort this year, but it’s entirely our fault as we asked her to go very easy on our budget. They’re still going to look very nice, assuming they can survive deep freezes deep into June.

Kara sent a picture of her backyard farm under drapery. When I left our house after lunch yesterday Lynn was searching for sheets to cover her new plant beds, but when I got home in the evening there were no sheets. Her weather had called for precipitation last night before hard freezes tonight and tomorrow, and Lynn felt the moisture would be more important. Of course, she wasn’t expecting that moisture to be snow.

(I also had to smell her and Oz, victims of a skunk sighting, but they must have been properly socially distant, because we did not need to break out the de-skunk elixir.)

So far, our (mostly Lynn’s) experiments in landscaping have been utter failures. The deer went after whatever flower she specifically bought for its deer-proofness; her bulbs have frozen multiple times; and the grass that looked so incredibly green in early April has been dead and yellow since May. All we’ve grown successfully have been weeds, and we didn’t pay for those (except for having them mowed down last week).

I had not planted the tomato starts Kara gave me, but I still nearly managed to do them in when I set them on the deck railing one day and forgot them in the afternoon wind. Our neighbor Jackie, new to Gunnison last year, said something the last time our paths crossed about all the wind, and I obtusely replied that I’d always been told the wind blows as long as there’s snow on the peaks, which usually dissipates in early May.

But she was convinced the wind blew all last June, and apparently she was right. Or she’s certainly been right this June, with winds enough to knock over helpless little tomatoes and even one of Lynn’s clay flower pots. So far the grill has not flown away, but it looks like it might, every afternoon as its cover strains mightily to break its surly bonds.

Potatoes gone to seed in our panty that must let in more light than we think had to be moved from the pantry they were overgrowing, and I was going to try planting them because what the heck, but I keep waiting for a forecast without the threat of a freeze in it. I could be waiting into August, at this pace.

So it is June and we have had heat, and wind, some rain, and now enough snow to still be covering the deck at this morning hour, just as the wind chimes start up. You know, all the reasons that remind us of why we go through the cold and snowy winters, to get to our lovely mild summers. Those halcyon summer days of temperateness, blue sky and abundant sunshine, a tiny breeze to evaporate the hint of moisture at your temples . . .

Where was I again? Not in Gunnison 2020, obviously.

Jackie’s assertions aside, I don’t really recall June ever being this windy. I say this as an apparently former bicycle commuter, a commuter who never looked forward to April because wind is my least favorite condition to ride in. But the only issue I recall having in June was taking more turns than usual to keep my bike in the shade of cottonwood trees, which seem to abound near corners.

I don’t really recall June ever being this snowy either, but now that it’s done so two years in a row it might be a real Thing.

I need to go start my day, now that Kara has informed me that she’s leaving the sheets over the flowers downtown because it’s so cold and windy. I may have to dig out my winter jacket, although I doubt it’s too far removed from where I left it a month ago when it was still in regular use.

We here in Colorado do like to say: if you don’t like the weather, give it five minutes and it will change. I just wish it would change out of this snowy mentality, no matter how many bragging rights that brings with it.


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