I’m not going to say it’s been a long winter, because it hasn’t. I’m not going to say that the snow stuck around too long this year; because the weather is pretty much right on track for this time of year.
What I will say is that, finally, with the turn of the weather to more consistent sixty degree temperatures and up, Boulder residents are beginning to tentatively pack away their snow gear (except for a few sweaters) and celebrate the fact that spring is finally here to stay. Here are some of the ways that I can tell that it’s Spring in Boulder.
College women ditch their Uggs. The traditional winter uniform of yoga pants tucked into Uggs is no more. College ladies now sport yoga pants and flip flops to class which, you know, are just a different version of socially acceptable slippers, but, hey — it’s not Uggs.
Your neighbors begin trying to give you their veggie garden “bounty.” There is nothing I love more than garden fresh vegetables. Many members of my family are backyard gardeners so I get my fair share of tomatoes, broccoli and squash throughout the spring and summer. It’s wonderful.
However, I get the good veggies because those people love me. Your neighbors will be bringing you piles of rhubarb and asparagus because they failed to realize how prolific they are and the vegetables are currently taking over their yard. They will do it with the guise of neighborly love, but make no mistake, if they have to look at another asparagus stalk, they’re going to pour balsamic vinegar into their eyes.
Hippies are easier to pick out due to their all-natural aroma. Of course, with spring comes the sun. With the sun comes heat. With heat comes sweat and with sweat comes that distinctive Boulder smell that only the people who “don’t believe in antiperspirants” emit. I’m not judging your underarm product-free friends. I’m sure they are far out. They’re just going to smell a bit ripe from now until late September.
Subaru trunks switch from ski gear to crash pads. Boulder is a very walkable city and oftentimes the only time a car gets any use is when it’s time to venture into the mountains; hence it becomes a seasonal storage locker for whatever mountain sports fit the current season. Ski racks are off, and bike racks, crash pads, SUPs, and canoes are on.
You’re already getting invites to Solstice parties. People, I realize that the summer solstice isn’t until late June, but it never hurts to plan ahead and make time in your iCal to reconnect with our earth mother. Also, if you’re a water sign, please bring a beverage to share; air signs bring an appetizer and fire signs — please bring a dessert.
You can’t throw a tea infuser without hitting a coffee shop menu featuring cold brew coffee. I know that Boulder loves its coffee, but come on, it’s hot out. Who wants to have regular old hot coffee when you could have room temperature coffee?
You run a real risk of Frisbee damage to your car. If you park your vehicle within a three-block radius of a park, consider yourself warned.
The Foothills become a tinderbox. Despite the floods last fall, most of us are accustomed to a certain level of arid, dry climate that dries the Foothills out every spring despite whatever level of wet winter we had. That fire danger sign on the way up Boulder Canyon doesn’t dip below orange until the leaves start turning. So, you know, be responsible with fire in the mountains because Boulder burns and we’d rather not. Mkay? Mkay.
Photos of Sanitas summit selfies flood your Instagram feed. Sure, there have been hardcore runners tackling the Sanitas trail all winter, and I’m sure they won’t let you forget it. But with spring’s arrival, the less hardcore yet still serious runners hit the trail with the feverish gusto of a prairie dog crossing Foothills Parkway and when they reach the summit, you will know about it via social media. Everywhere.
Watering restrictions are in full effect. I find it hilarious that this is ever news anymore. Are there really people sitting by the TV waiting to hear if they can water their lawn for five hours every day? I think by now, most Boulderites know to limit their water usage in the spring and summer. We’re eco-conscious, so if you’re new to town, watering restrictions aren’t suggestions. They’re a way of life.