Steamy summer romance

If we’re going to talk about the weather in Denver, let’s not waste our time on the snow. Denver’s real weather story happens in the summer.

At summertime, the foothills of the Rockies become a stage for some incredible rainstorms. From my west-facing high-rise apartment, just south of downtown, I have balcony seating for a meteorological opera that runs all season. The sets are breathtaking.

Lately, there have been afternoons when the sky was so ominous that it felt like a scene from Ghostbusters, with dark, threatening clouds hanging low above the neighboring buildings.

weather ghostbusters
“There is no Dana, only ZUUL…”

There have been evenings when a gentle rain over the foothills was back-lit by the setting sun, casting a pink and orange glow over everything as the sun slid away quietly behind the Rockies.

Watching this sunset, I immediately heard song lyrics: “Stop for a minute, wipe the progress from our eyes, and stare at the setting sun that holds us here alive…” (Brendan James, “Simplify”)

And there have been nights when a thick layer of storm clouds broke open just enough to illuminate the Flatirons above Boulder, leaving all of Denver in a dark shadow.

All of this is mesmerizing. I can hardly resist the urge to take pictures.

weather boulder

I’m so taken with these stormy skies that it’s becoming an embarrassment, like a steamy affair I can’t stop talking about. Friends ask, “How are you liking your new place?” and I try to say something about the amenities, or the fact that my new furniture has finally arrived. But really, I just want to talk about the views. I’m hooked and it shows.

sky porn
Let’s call a spade a spade: this is sky-porn.

I flipped through my Instagram photos recently and discovered that the majority of them were taken from the same vantagepoint on my balcony, either facing the same foothills to the south or the same familiar downtown high-rises to the north. I immediately became self-conscious, thinking, I’m totally being that girl.

There’s more to my life than sitting on my balcony all day, watching the clouds—I swear it. But I just can’t help myself.

weather rainy sunset

Maybe I should give myself some grace on this. I moved to Denver two years ago, having only spent a couple weekends here—one in winter and one in late fall. I had no idea what to expect for summer and I never bothered to ask anyone. I was just so eager to move and to begin beer-tasting that nothing anyone said about summertime would have mattered. Coming from Arizona, my only questions about the weather had to do with whether I’d be able to handle the cold in the dead of winter. As it turns out, I’d sold myself on the city having no idea about the best part: summer in Denver is reason enough to live here.

So what if I am “that girl” on Facebook and Instagram? Is falling in love with your city really such a bad thing?

weather storm clouds

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