Here’s to H2O | AspenTimes.com

Here’s to H2O

Paul E. Anna

Ask anyone in the Roaring Fork Valley how their summer is going and you’re likely to hear the word “beautiful” in their response.Yes, the summer of ’05 has been one of the most beautiful summers in recent memory. In fact, it would not be a stretch to state that, in Aspen at least, this is the most beautiful summer of the fledgling millennium.Everything is just more vivid this year. The sky seems bluer, the clouds seem whiter, and the fields … well, it looks like you could just spend each day rolling around in the softness of the greenest pastures to be found anywhere on earth. People who have lived here for a while are fond of saying that this is summer “the way it used to be.” And they’re right.So why is this year better than last, and the two or three before that? It’s simple. This year we have had a good dose of snow and rain, and nothing makes this valley beautiful like a little moisture. Snowpack was up in the winter giving us a great late ski season. Then, in the spring, the rains came for days at a time. Remember that couple of weeks in May when it seemed like the sun would never shine again? And then in June, we had a series evening storms that soaked the earth just as all the trees, grasses and, yes, weeds were in need. The result is that all the rivers and reservoirs are close to full. All over the valley the ditches are running with dispatch. And in the Aspen groves the roots of the trees are still taking in minute amounts of moisture throughout the hottest times of day. Yes, there is nothing better than H20 to make our summers great. It is the magic elixir that turns our forests green, makes our gardens grow and nourishes our very bodies.It hasn’t rained since the Fourth of July, and with a high-pressure system settling in, it looks unlikely that we will have much more in the next few days. But as this sensational summer lingers on, stop for a minute and give thanks that our drought is, if not ending, at least taking a brief respite. For it is water that allows us all to respond when the question is posed, “my summer has been just beautiful.”