This is what it looks like outside today. If you were to look closely, you'd see the battered and frost-singed remains of my crocuses, daffodils and tulips at the base of our noble lion. Yes, I just planted these last fall. Yes, it makes me want to cry. But that's not the worst of it... The worst is the loss of our spring bloom. Now, you might think "Denver - oh, it's the Rocky Mountains! It must snow all the time!" Not so. I lived in the mountains. Oh yes, I did. I lived in ski country for more than a decade. And I loved it. In ski country, no one would bat an eye at a heavy blizzard in the middle of April - or the middle of May for that matter. But Denver....Denver is a different climate altogether. Here on the high plains, the climate is almost balmy. We generally have mild winters. It isn't uncommon to have a 60 degree day or three in the middle of winter. Denver is also a garden city. I don't know if it's all the buffalo that roamed the plains, or the cattle the took their place, but our soil is incredibly, unexpectedly fertile. The combination of fertile soil and a mild, sunny climate makes for gorgeous gardens. Our neighborhood has some of the best. It's an old neighborhood (the original portion of our house dates from 1913) full of little bungalows, tudors, Denver squares, and enormous old-growth trees that lend both shade and atmosphere. Many of these trees are fruit trees. Apple, pear, crabapple, peach, plum...you name it, we have it. They are mature and well grown and beautifully-tended. And then there's Cherry Creek downtown, named for the noble ranks of enormous, gnarled trees that line it from one end of town to the other, pink boughs heavy with bloom hanging down over the water each spring. Each spring, that is, until THIS one! We have had maybe four or five blizzards since the last week of March, beginning just when the buds were beginning to open on the flowering trees. The first blizzard left 90% of the flower buds burnt black with the deep freeze. The second blizzard did in those that had survived. The next couple set to work killing the garden flowers mid-bloom. Long story short....here's the thing. Every year I look forward to my spring post - the post where I get to wander the city photographing all the wealth of flower-bedecked boughs and petal-showered sidewalks. This year, I have been deprived of that post. There will be no spring bloom. One of these days, it will just be summer...and until then I'm stuck in my office, staring through the bamboo blinds at the snow beating down on my poor tulips.
So, this is a FAIR WARNING: I'm about to go on a blog rampage! Oh yes, I feel it coming on. First, I'm going to dig up my glorious photos of last year's spring bloom, and mourn the spring that will never be. Then, I'm going to get creative. Without all those flower photos to post this month, I'm going to have to come up with new and innovative photo projects with which to cheer myself out of my depression. Daughter is sleeping off a morning of cabin fever in her crib. Husband is at work, no doubt furiously typing up news stories about road-closings and storm damage. And I...I am about to blog like the wind!