It is still summer. In the east, rain has brought flooding (also here in Colorado when rain falls on land scarred by forest fires earlier this summer or last year). In the west, hot and dry conditions have led to numerous raging wildfires. Here at Mueller, the days are warm (for nearly 10,000 ft) with highs in the upper 60s and lower 70s. We are sitting on top of a ridge, so we don't have to worry about floods and we've had enough rain, the fire danger is only moderate.
But changes are coming. Last night, the Denver and Colorado Springs areas had heavy rain and lots of hail. We didn't have any hail here in the park, but today when we drove less than three miles north and east, we saw what looked like drifts of snow on the roadside and the fields were dusted with white. The low temperature last night was about 49, making snow unlikely. And to see it still around after noon told us it must have been hail. This is the view we saw outside our car as we drove east on US Hwy 24.
We saw these mounds next to a building. If you look closely at the second photo, you will see the small hailstones.
All of this tells what will be coming soon. See this Aspen tree branch? It has turned yellow. It won't be long till the hilsides around here will be covered with gold--fall leaves.
We visited Mueller last September to interview for this volunteer position. You can check out the beauty we saw then, here.
We hope to see some of this fall beauty before we leave Sept. 9, but that may be a little early in the season.
Another sign that fall is on its way is this van and trailer. All those ATVs and coolers suggest hunting, in our opinion. I'm not familiar enough with the hunting season calendar to know where these folks may be headed.
The sky was clear Monday evening when I captured this almost full moon rising over Pikes Peak.