This storm cloud over Long’s Peak in the Rockies is apparently less common than it used to be. When I lived in Denver, clouds would build up over the mountains every summer day. In the late afternoon about four or five o’clock, the clouds would finally spill over the peaks, like a mighty wave bursting a dam, and come speeding over the high, desert plain. Typically, the clouds would be a crackling thunderhead. Hail storms were frequent. The clouds would dump rain and move on toward Kansas. It lowered the temperature, watered the plants, and made for a fresh, refreshing evening.
My friends in Denver tell me this hasn’t happened for about ten years. It typically gets cloudy, but it doesn’t rain. The climate has gotten drier. The dust blows more frequently. Cactus now appears at higher elevations. No one is sure if it is global warming, the result of people in sub-divisions watering their lawns, damming the rivers, or all the above. But, it is different.