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April 12, 2011 7:18 am

AMEND CORNER: Loving springtime in Wyoming

Written by Don Amend

I’ve heard a lot of complaining about the weather the past week.

It seems at least some of my fellow Wyoming residents are unhappy about the rainy, snowy, relatively cool — well, maybe a little bit cold — days we’ve had a lot of during the past few weeks.

Well, I’m not among them. I’m actually quite happy with the weather, and glad that it appears to be ready to hang in there for at least the rest of this week. It’s springtime in the Rockies, after all, and this is the weather I expect to see in April.

This is especially true this year, because, my steady girl-friend and I recently returned from 10 days in sunny Florida — well, sunny except for the extended thunderstorm that kept us inside for two full days.

Generally, though, the weather was pretty much just what most people go to Florida for. The last full day of our visit, for example, was spent on the beach at a nice toasty 85 degrees.

It was a fun trip, thanks to the grandchildren. The 4-year-old entertained us by reading to us — she is teaching herself — and the not-quite-2-year-old gave us bird-watching lessons, spotting turkey vultures (his personal favorite birds) soaring a couple hundred feet overhead and demonstrating their call for us.  The pair of them provided lots of opportunities for me to feed my obsession with taking pictures, as did flocks of brown pelicans and shorebirds and a few jellyfish that you don’t see much of in Wyoming. As a result, I came home with something more than 800 pictures, which I’m still trying to sort out.

So it was with some sadness that we had to leave Florida, and frustration with that a delay that kept us overnight in Salt Lake City compounded the low feelings.

But even though we arrived in Cody 13 hours late and minus luggage, I perked right up when we were greeted by temperatures in the mid 30s and a snowstorm. Despite the fact that I hadn’t left a jacket in the car to ward off the cold, the weather felt just right to me.

Now, based on the complaints about the weather I mentioned earlier, I expect many of you would find it a bit strange that I would be happy to be in a snowstorm instead of on a nice warm sunny beach.

Well, there’s an easy explanation for my attitude. It’s springtime in the Rockies, and this is what spring is supposed to look like. April isn’t the time for 85-degree days. Save those days for June, even July if possible. Let me keep waking up to temperatures just above freezing and surprise me with an occasional snowstorm.

OK, I suspect that a lot of you would take issue with me on this point, particularly if you’re trying to raise a crop of corn or sugar beets and dread a frosty morning when the crops are sprouting. Ditto for you kids who are trying to avoid frostbitten knees while running the 800 meters or slipping in slush while attempting a shot on goal. I sympathize with your problem, and maybe even feel a bit guilty about hoping the cool weather hangs in here for a little longer — maybe even a lot longer.

But I don’t feel that guilty, because I’m not responsible for the weather. It’s not like I prayed for snow or anything. Like everybody else, I’m stuck with what the jet stream and other natural phenomena send my way, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be enduring some 95-degree days in a couple of months, if not sooner, while you guys are seeing great growing weather and hot days when a baseball or golf ball carries a bit further.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying April the way it is right now, with a bit of a chill in the morning and the possibility that any day might bring a bit of moisture. I won’t even complain if I have to shoot the traditional Easter egg hunt in 4 or 5 inches of snow, and if I can see my breath during the Easter morning sunrise service, I’ll be perfectly happy.

Except for that part about grandchildren, you can keep Florida. I’ll stay in Wyoming and enjoy a perfect springtime in the Rockies.

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