The Edge of Weather

One of the things I love the most about Pueblo is the extremes of weather we get, especially during the spring and fall.  Up until yesterday, we’d been having one of the most beautiful Indian summers I’d seen in a long time.  Along with this comes some pretty drastic temperature ranges.  For example, Monday morning when I woke up it was 27; by 4 pm it had reached nearly 80. You dress in layers and you look for the hardiest varieties of plants you can find!

One of the reasons that Pueblo has such interesting weather is that it sits in a little “bowl”, surrounded on 3 sides, south, west and north by mountains.  To the south and west is the Wet Mountain range, and to the north is Pike’s Peak. Even though these mountains are between 25 and 50 miles away, the effect of being in this little shelter gives us some of the mildest weather in the state.  Pueblo is known as the “banana belt” of Colorado.  On the other hand, we can have extremely quick weather changes and sometimes we get weather that never happens in the rest of the state. The other day when I was playing with the movie option on the camera, I did a brief “pan” from south to north, showing how the mountains sort of hug us in.  I tried to go slowly so as not to make you dizzy and you can hear the birds in the background as well as a distant train:

Yesterday, after a trip to Denver for more dental work, we decided to go for a walk around the Riverwalk.  I talk about this place a lot, but I don’t think I’ve ever posted any pictures.  I grabbed the camera because the weather was starting to change. A winter storm was blowing in and I wanted to get some of the effects on image (I guess you can’t say “on film” anymore).

As I’ve said, weather changes fast in Pueblo, and along with that, clouds move in, move out and the light changes moment by moment.  I tried to capture a bit of that here. This is the “top end” of the walk that encompasses about 1.5 miles. This walk follows the original course of the river through Pueblo, but after a devastating flood in 1921, engineers managed to shift the course of the river into its current route, bounded by high concrete levies on either side.  The water in this river walk part can be closed off if necessary for cleaning, etc.

Quiet now, but storm clouds coming…

Where the wall curves outward on the left is where I rescued the baby bird this summer:

This view is at the end looking back. The building in the middle is the headquarters of the Professional Bull Riders’ Association. Pueblo has so much more than just the government printing office! ;-).

One of the things I do miss about the East is red foliage in the fall. Most of the trees here are yellow or gold.  Lovely, but I miss my red.  Here’s a wonderful sample:

This is a small electric power plant that provides power for the city proper.  It always reminds me of the Tate Modern in London which also used to be a power plant:

After we crossed over Victoria Street which marks the top end, we started along the section that goes under Union Ave. and Main Street.  Pueblo’s City Hall is located there and is currently undergoing some major renovations.  Even though it was nearly 5 p.m. the roofers were still going at it.  May I also say that Puebloans were willing to extend a current one-half cent tax in order to help complete this renovation back to the building’s heyday and also upgrade the seating and infrastructure inside Memorial Hall, which is a performance space that often hosts traveling Broadway shows, etc.  When the “T-word” is demonized elsewhere, I am proud of Pueblo for realizing that it’s worth paying a small tax in order to keep something good for the city.

And the highly recognizable tower is getting a make over, too:

While the above photos are bright and sunny, once we passed them by a few yards, the clouds started blowing in.

This is looking toward the “bottom end” of the walk, near the train tracks. Only a few minutes later, and no longer sunny. This is a new foot bridge commemorating Pueblo’s veterans that will be dedicated tomorrow.  My G will have a brick with her name on it, and the item covered with the blue tarp is an amazing native sculpture, only 1 of 3 of its kind, that will also be dedicated.  The area that is now Pueblo was a gathering and meeting place for many tribes at the confluence of 2 rivers, so it’s only fitting.

Now the weather is coming in earnest. The light and temperature change by the second:

The bottom end path runs very close to the water. The wire around the tree trunks are to protect the trees from both deer and beaver which still live around here.

One section of the path goes through a section of native flowers and grasses, now wonderful, whispering forest.  G and Peaches are loving it:

More history: Zebulon Pike and his crew, on his way to Pike’s Peak (or Pike’s Folly as it was once known) apparently made camp right in this area on his way to the mountain which can be seen from the spot when it’s not obscured by clouds.

And looking back on the bottom end:

A few more sky photos. By this time the temperature had dropped a good 30 degrees and my hands were getting cold!

The building immediately on the left below is a call center for some phone company or other, with a break area the opens to the walk, and a break room with floor to ceiling windows that look out onto the water.  If you had to work in a call center, there could be much worse places.

This building is actually one of Pueblo’s few parking garages. After the call center went up, the city built the garage for employee and city parking.  For a parking lot, I think it’s pretty esthetically pleasing, especially when reflecting a gorgeous sunset!

As we headed back to the car, I snapped a quick shot of Union Avenue, the “historic district”. The building in the background where the farthest group of people is, is one of our favorite local coffee shops, the Wire Works. They offer Pueblo’s only vegetarian-only menu, and we often donate our excess produce to them in the summer.

By the time we got back to the car, the temperature was heading to the 30’s and the wind was gusting at 25+ MPH. It was a lovely walk, but we were ready to head home to a warm house and a bowl of soup!

Hope you’re all warm and cozy where you are.


5 thoughts on “The Edge of Weather

  1. Great pix, GG. I love the sky pictures! Also, it’s nice to see that some of the river has natural banks, with soil and grass and shrubs and trees. An all concrete river bank is kinda sad.
    What a wonderful city park!

  2. I agree! Great pictures. Kind of like Florida….one minute you’re sweating and the next it is raining and then cold. lol But, I enjoyed seeing some of Colorado

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