A Stormy Year Along the Front Range

Along the Front Range of the Rockies, it’s been a year of storms. A blizzard in March  broke records and stranded thousands in their cars for hours. The National Guard had to come to their rescue.

In May one of the latest snowfalls on record brought heavy snow to already leaved-out trees, snapping large branches and whole trees. Clean up crews had work for weeks.

Summer finally arrived and we planted a rock garden in our back yard (see my recent post about rock gardens). Everything was growing well and even blooming more than I would expect for a first year.

Then the thunderstorms began. They follow a usual pattern—morning starts out sunny, soon a few puffy clouds peep up behind Pike’s Peak. These grow and multiply and seem to march across the sky in rank after ever bigger rank. Other times they produce streamers that seem to pull bigger clouds along behind them.

Soon we wrap Molly in her thundershirt and bring potted plants under cover.

By 1 or 2PM thunder rumbles closer, rain begins and lightning flashes. Hail pounds on the roof and punches holes in leaves. Bigger hail recently stripped the leaves right off plants. Water pours off the hill behind us and into the street where it deepens and finally swirls into the big storm drains.

The marshy retention area below us has stayed filled and ducks and Canada geese paddle around an area that is often dry by now.





There’s been so much water this year that some pipes in our neighborhood couldn’t handle it. Lots of head-scratching men arrived and eventually brought in tons of heavy equipment to put in new pipes.

Not an unusual summer pattern for the Front Range, and good for reservoirs and fewer fires, but like everything else weatherwise this year it’s gone on longer than usual, and  bushes look bedraggled and sad.

Here are before and after pictures of the butterfly bush.

I wondered if they could possibly recover before frosts that are just a couple months away.

Then my husband urged me to take a closer look at the butterfly bush. And right next to broken branches and leaves covered with holes, I saw new growth! I’m so excited and encouraged.

Storms come into all our lives at various times and often we just see the dark clouds and listen only to the threatening thunder. The rain and the hail seem to take over and blot out all else. But even in the midst of such storms, our heavenly Father is there to love us, encourage us, and grow us in ways that we only see when we look closely.

When difficult times come, do you, like me with my butterfly bush, just see the destruction and fail to look closely to see how God encourages and grows us through those times?


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