Returning to our Littleton, Colorado, farm, I headed west on Interstate 70 (my usual and most efficient route). Redbud trees adorned the woodlands of Missouri and eastern Kansas while turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks sailed in the clear blue sky. All across the Great Plains, newborn calves frolicked near their placid mothers, oblivious of events to come.
In the Flint Hills of Kansas, a proscribed burn had escaped control in the strong, southerly winds; flames licked along the highway and water trucks raced toward the leeward side of the charred grassland. Just south of Russell, cormorants and white pelicans crowded a small lake; near Oakley, a bevy of female turkeys gathered to watch their suitors display and, farther west, at Goodland, ring-necked pheasants foraged along the Interstate. Despite afternoon highs in the lower 70s F, residual pockets of snow graced the High Plains, increasing as I approached the Front Range; great-tailed grackles argued at a rest stop in Arriba, Colorado, and a golden eagle soared above the highway at Deer Trail.
As I neared Metro Denver, an upslope haze partially obscured the mountains and cooled the air; this upslope flow is expected to intensify overnight, bringing a mix of rain and snow to the urban corridor. Such is the nature of spring along the Colorado Front Range.