Front Range Flooding: What I saw


I hoped for it. It rained.


And rained. And rained.


I worried. Lost sleep. But what did I see?


Not much.


Honestly. Yes, I followed posts and watched aerial videos.


I cannot begin to fathom the reach of devastation.


But in my garden, it just rained.




Should you care to view the local damage : Aerial Tour

Rescue efforts, Big Thompson Canyon


Being so far from a larger body of water, the river that runs through town, the Cache La Poudre, is a main source of recreation for us. There are a number of groups dedicated to maintaining the natural shape of the river, hoping to keep it safe for anglers fishing for wild trout (Forelle), and rafters and tubers, which you can see floating along the river on a drive up the Poudre Canyon into the Rocky Mountains. The conflict is one of water rights, a HUGE theme in the Western United States, as use for irrigation, drinking and industry can create unstable flow environments.

Poudre River (author:

Poudre River (author: Oneliketadow)

*Click on the photo for more information on the Cache La Poudre River at Wikipedia

The name has a story that goes with it: a party of trappers traveling through the area on to Wyoming, buried a cache of goods in a pit to lighten their load after a heavy snow storm impeded them. The stash was retrieved the later in the season, and because a large percentage of the stash was powder (I am assuming gunpowder), the river was called Cache La Poudre, French for “where the powder was hidden’. Before CLP, it was known as Pateros Creek, and even earlier as Piteux Creek, possibly because of a Frenchman left alone by an earlier party of trappers to guard a trap line. He didn’t fare well on his own, went a bit crazy and was in a ‘pitiful’ state when he later found. It is also said that members of the Ki-Ya-Ksa band of Sioux who lived in the area called it Minni Luzahan, meaning ‘swift current’. Today locals call it the Poudre, and Olivia’s high school was named for it as well. Go Poudre!

Yep! They’re here. It’s Miller time!

The Miller moth: adult stage army cutworms. Wing span of 1.5 to 2 inches. Every spring they ‘pass’ through Fort Collins, Colorado on their way to higher elevations and their nectar-laden feeding grounds. But as we have so nicely populated the area and planted such lovely gardens, they feel inclined to stay a while.

Our first spring here, ’99, was a good one – for them, not us! What an introduction to a famed and collective dread! If you are not in the know, in Colorado or a neighboring state, you might think I am a bit unfair. They don’t lay eggs til late summer, really just passing thru, sipping up the sweet nectar of a range of plants (mostly broad leaf and grasses), so no competition for me personally (not like moths that get into the pantry or woolens.)

So what is it I have against them you ask? How about the sheer number, in a good year, and I think this is the ‘best’ since ’99, that shoot out from the crevices when you open your door in the morning, take your mail out of the box or move a potted plant – 20-30 at a time, no problem. Better yet, when you pull one from your jeans pocket because you didn’t shake them out well enough from the warm-from-the-sunshine clothing you’ve hung out on the wash line (after leaving their brown dust marks). Best for last though – when they hit you in the face before you can get a window open as you defenselessly drive your car. Yechhh! Don’t believe me? Click here for a news report/video: Miller moths blamed for fiery crash

Oh, did I forget to tell you about their incontinence? The marks left on your walls, windows and draperies if indeed you managed to let some in the house? Ah, but to some dogs they provide a protein-packed treat, so there is that. But now the temperatures have dropped slightly, and it’s raining (finally), and they can’t move on. Just too cold for flying.

The only way we can deal with the lucky ones who come in from the cold is to creep up slowly and suck ’em up with the vacuum cleaner. As my daughter says, “It’s an art.”

Howdy Phyllis!

RED CARPET WELCOME for Punxsutawney Phyllis! Back in Colorado, she has come to see why so many find Fort Collins is a great place to live. According to  a friend who measures snow for a living (those guys in atmospheric research sure do some funny things!), we have a plethora of groovy cloud formations! Weather: partly cloudy, 66F. Winds from the West at 5 to 10 mph.

Children’s book author Susanna Leonard Hill has sent her book APRIL FOOL, PHYLLIS!, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler, to circumnavigate the globe! Finding out that Phyllis planned a stop here is what got me out of my comfort zone and into the blogging world.


Punxsatawney Phyllis has caught wind of winter’s last joke:  a blizzard on April Fool’s Day. She hails from a long line of pranksters, and they are not falling for it when Phyllis wants to cancel the groundhog’s annual Treasure Hunt. Her prediction proves her right, but she uses her smarts to avoid the worst and safely steers everyone back home .

There are plenty of practical jokes and scavenger riddles for young readers to solve themselves, and the last page includes useful tidbits: April Fool’s Day origins and traditions celebrated around the world. Ebbeler’s richly textured illustrations express a great deal of joy and chaos – and plenty of extra jokes hidden in plain sight! Perfect for this holiday at winter’s end, as well as Groundhog Day, and an appealing addition to weather-related themes in the classroom.

Click on (most of) the pictures for more info!

After a kaffee-klatsch with friends in our favorite non-profit coffee house, Everyday Joe's (she shared a hot chocolate with my son Aaron - with whipped cream of course!),

Phyllis wanted to try on colorful party-fare at Life of the Party.

And ask Kelly what's playing at the Lyric Cinema and Cafe - too bad we just missed the free matinee for kids!

It took a bit of coaxing but Phyllis did share her slice of chocolate cake with orange butter cream frosting with almonds at Little Bird Bakeshop, where she was even allowed to get a closer look at all the goodies!

Phyllis really enjoyed bumping into a friend in Old Town, where any passer by can tickle the keys of one of many Pianos about Town, part of the city's Art in Public Places project.

Olivia and I took Phyllis to view Horsetooth Rock, our famous local landmark. She wasn't up for hiking to the top as she seems to suffer from altitude sickness (almost a mile above sea level in town.

We got 'caught' by the freight train that runs right through town, but Phyllis loved watching all the wagons go by!

She was also thrilled to see her 'place' in our library.

And who would of thought Phyllis likes to climb trees too!

Take a chance on Phyllis – I’m sure glad we did!