Paul E. Anna: High Points | AspenTimes.com

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Just like that, everything changed around here this past Tuesday morning. It wasn’t just that the Labor Day weekend had come to a close, and with it, the traditional end of summer. And it wasn’t that people were leaving in droves with private jets streaking back to where ever it is that they come from and the airlines booked to capacity and beyond. It wasn’t even that the school bells were ringing as they heralded the beginning of a new semester, the first of a new year.

No, the change that made all the difference was, of course, the first soaking rains and cloudy skies that we had seen in weeks. When we all went to bed on Monday night (I’m talking the collective “we” here. If you stayed up all night, more power to you), it was still a warm summer’s eve. The moon was out and there were constellations to be seen in the nighttime sky. But somewhere between midnight and daylight, a front moved in, dropping the temps to below seasonal levels and misting our mountains. By mid-morning, it was positively wet as clouds dropped close to a half-inch of rain.

Now, this is not such an unusual occurrence here in the high country where the saying “if you don’t like the weather then wait 10 minutes and it will change” is so trite that I try to ignore it. But still, to have such a sudden change of season happen so precisely between dark and dawn of the traditional last day of summer was, well, a little coincidental to say the least.

I do recollect, however, that the same thing happened, in reverse, just about three months ago. You may remember our April and May. It rained and snowed and hailed and was, for the better part of two months, some of the most depressing spring weather ever in these parts. And then, as though someone flipped a switch, on the first day of June everything changed. The sky turned blue, the grass turned green, and from the dregs of the dark days we suddenly had the sunniest of summers. I don’t think we could have had a more beautiful summer than the one just past.

Now I’m not suggesting that we have passed into some sort of skewed reality here where the slow, subtle changes of season that we have all come to love for the last hundred thousand years or so have given way to a new weather-world order – one that is marked by sudden turns from dawn to dusk, from season to season. But you have to admit the timing and intensity of the quick changes is something to consider.

In the meantime, the best time of year is upon us: The trees beginning to turn golden and the evenings are becoming a little cooler. The next six weeks or so are some of the sweetest of the year. And after that comes winter…the reason why so many of us are here.

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Enjoy your fall.