Hollyhocks ~ and Colorado Floods
After days of torrential rain, the sun is out once again. Watching the news has been horrifying. To see my home region so terribly devastated by floods. Terrible. I got out the paints today to help me focus on something a little more joyful this afternoon. Much happier with this now. Think it's about finished, but I'll wait a few more days before I sign it just in case I need to tweak something. Flowers always make me smile.
Inspiration came from these hollyhocks, spotted in an alleyway in West Des Moines, Iowa. They were so joyful, that I snapped several photos of them.
This is where I had gotten this painting to a few months ago. I wasn't happy with it and had set it aside. Everything was too yellow in tone and the leaves in front were just a chaos rather than looking like leaves.
Here I am, set up and ready to work. It was a good way to spend the afternoon.
Now that the rain has stopped, and the sun come out again, there are signs of autumn starting to show.
There won't be any trips to the mountains this year for photos as the there are few routes up into them from our area. Every major and minor canyon from I-70 west of Denver north to the Poudre Canyon west of Fort Collins has damage. Most of them are impassable with miles and miles of road damage and bridges out, not to mention the huge loss of homes, power, gas, water and sewer to them.
The damage continues out onto the plains. The South Platte river which all the mountain creeks flow into, usually flows at about 4-6' in depth, but topped out at nearly 20' at the peak of the flooding. The waters spread wide across an enormous area, bringing destruction and much damage to many communities around us. The last estimate of flooded area measured in Colorado was an area the size of the state of Connecticut! Our annual precipitation amounts usually fall in the 14-16" range ~ we are a semi-arid region. This storm system brought upwards of 12-18"meaning that we got our entire years worth of water in less than a 5 day period of time, and most of it concentrated over the steep mountain valleys that funneled it down to the plains at an escalating rate of speed. It truly has been phenomenal to see.
My daughter's fiancé was one of those impacted as his home was in a mandatory evacuation area. Thankfully, he only experienced mud in the driveway and yard and had no water in the house. He was one of the very lucky ones. I know so many people directly impacted.
I don't have photos of the damage, as I've been trying to stay home and out of the way of the rescuers and other emergency personnel. Denver's Channel 7 News has had great coverage on their website if you'd like to see more about what is happening in the area. There will be months and years of clean up and repair. So many thousands have homes that are badly damaged. Just to take care of the debris will be an enormous challenge.
Where I live is well above the river level and so my little house and I have escaped flood damage. I did miss two days of work because I could not get across flooded rivers and creeks to Denver. My DIL Amanda is an EMT in Boulder and she worked 60 hours straight and was one of the first on scene in the devastated town of Lyons. We got to see her on the evening news as she performed her job. The plant where all 3 of my boys work was badly damaged in the flooding, so they are now working to recover and restore it, though it looks to be weeks before they will be able to resume production.
How our hearts go out to those who have lost so much. Many prayers going out for strength and perseverance through the oncoming days as everyone tries to move towards a more normal life.