Cathy Walton-Smith: 10 signs of spring in the Rockies |

Cathy Walton-Smith: 10 signs of spring in the Rockies

Spring has sprung. Today is the first day of spring and the only way we can tell here, high in the Rockies, is that winter is a little less severe than in December and January ” on most days.

Following is a list of the 10 signs of spring in the Rockies:

1. All solid ground has turned to mud.

2. When stepping on what appears to be a firm patch of snow, you immediately fall through because the inside snow has melted away. This is a phenomenon known as rotten snow.

3. Our first blooming plants of spring are the fungi that live in melting snow. They spew out spores which cause an allergic reaction in humans.

4. There are running streams everywhere you least expect to see one.

5. The weather becomes confused, changing from a sunny day to a snowstorm accompanied by thunder and back to sunshine in a matter of minutes.

6. People forget to wear their coats in the morning and wish they had them in the afternoon.

7. Snow skiing turns into a water sport.

8. Cats go berserk for no reason.

9. The fertilizer your dog has left in the yard all winter becomes very pungent.

10. All your friends go to Mexico while you have to stay home and work.

Only three months until summer.

Speaking of cabin fever, set aside April 26 for the annual Cabin Fever Follies. If you’re working up a number, make sure to let the show organizers know immediately.

This local talent(?) show features performances by young and old alike — both famous and infamous. As in the past the show will benefit the Grand Arts Council. Get your act together now and call Jan Sears at 887-0339 for more info. This world renown Grand Arts Council talent show is always a sell-out.

The Grand Arts Council has asked me to send a reminder out to all graduating high school students. If you plan to continue on to college with an emphasis in the arts. Apply now for the $1,000 scholarship being granted through each area high school. Details are at your counselor’s office. Applications must be postmarked on or before April 4.

The Grand Lake Planning Commission is holding a public meeting on April 2, 7:30 p.m., at the Grand Lake Town Hall. The commission will consider amendments to the zoning and subdivision regulations and welcomes your participation. Copies of th proposed regulations are available in Town Hall for public review during normal business hours, or online at If you can’t make it to the meeting, you may submit your comments in writing by March 31st at noon. Mail to P.O Box 6, Grand Lake, CO 80447, fax to (970) 627-9290 or e-mail to

As I read the article about moose attacks in last week’s paper, I was reminded that we really do live in the wilderness. We think it’s wonderful to live amongst such wildlife as moose, bear, coyote and mountain lion. But, they really do want to be left alone.

Wild animals can be unpredictable when startled. Your best defense is to let them know you’re coming. I lived many years in Alaska, and never went hiking without wearing my “bear bell.” If you wear a bell, you may not see as many animals, but they will hear you coming and not be startled by your presence. They can make the choice to move away or let you near without being startled. It makes sense.

Louie Heckert Day comes up next week on March 29 at the Lariat Saloon. Lift a toast to our gone-but-not-forgotten friend in celebration of his life. Dress in the theme of the day in your favorite polyester shirt, plaid suit and tap shoes if you’ve got ’em. Dressing in Gladys attire is also appropriate.

Still no bluebirds.

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