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Old 01-16-2016, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Austin
595 posts, read 672,270 times
Reputation: 1091

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Quote:
Originally Posted by elvira310 View Post
When I visited Colorado a bit over a year ago (Summer 2014) I was making note of the arid "brownness" of the Western Slope (where I'd like to move—eventually). And I thought, "This is normal. I'm used to this." I'm from Southern California, so brown is fine with me. Arid is fine with me. Dry is fine with me.

And I guess the sun is too, but I'm from a much lower altitude. So I'd have to be wearing the long sleeves, the hats, and wearing the sunscreen and sunglasses. Well, everyone does, I guess.

I think I would adjust to this, as I'm already at least partway prepared, having spent most of my life in a place that is dry and arid and with its share of brown.

I'm finding this thread very helpful, though, as it's always good to be prepared.
You've hit on something that I've wondered about. I lived in Southern CA for a while. It is a beautiful area but definitely could be described as arid and brownish. I haven't been to the SF Bay area but judging from pictures, it fits that description as well. Do you all see people complain about all the brown when discussing California? I haven't seen it on here but I'm not on all that much and spend very little time in the CA forums. My impression is that people are much more critical about it for Colorado. Do others think that too?
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:42 AM
 
634 posts, read 891,215 times
Reputation: 1625
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricNorthman View Post
You've hit on something that I've wondered about. I lived in Southern CA for a while. It is a beautiful area but definitely could be described as arid and brownish. I haven't been to the SF Bay area but judging from pictures, it fits that description as well. Do you all see people complain about all the brown when discussing California? I haven't seen it on here but I'm not on all that much and spend very little time in the CA forums. My impression is that people are much more critical about it for Colorado. Do others think that too?
Yes - I do. Thank you!
I lived in CA for a short time and visited once a year for many years. The hillsides were always brown there and that was before the drought. Driving up Hwy 1 a few years back, stopped in Cambria to check it out and it was so dry and brown it was "crunchy".
Maybe it's because I live in the mountains and there are pine trees and evergreens surrounding me but I don't get the whole "Colorado is brown" thing.

P.S. thanks Elvira, just saw your post
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:55 AM
 
191 posts, read 134,689 times
Reputation: 411
One point for Colorado, at least that brown, dried grass is more likely to be covered by snow than in California.

Despite my complaints about the Colorado climate, I've tried to point out the clarity of the air. There's also a variety of unique cloud formations that's a never-ending show. And every kind of weather is possible (except for hot and muggy), if you wait long enough. For probably the first 20 years after I arrived, I was in love with it all. But as I've gotten older and traveled more, I see the downsides more clearly too.

My summary: The best thing about Colorado is the climate. And the worst thing about Colorado is the climate.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Colorado
722 posts, read 505,617 times
Reputation: 1043
Just moved here from New Mexico. By comparison this place is GREEN! I think some of this is perspective of where you came from.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:54 PM
 
Location: USA
1,024 posts, read 788,272 times
Reputation: 2314
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoodlemomCoS View Post
Just moved here from New Mexico. By comparison this place is GREEN! I think some of this is perspective of where you came from.
Indeed! I think it must be!

I have spent time in more "green" areas of the midwest. They are VERY green, and while that's nice, I didn't grow up with that, so it's not something I expect.

I recall an acquaintance from the midwest complaining about how "dry" Southern California was in comparison. I never thought about that—that is normal!

Granted, I've not spent much time on Colorado in the winter (I have passed through it, but that's all), but it looks very green (to me) in the summer, and the heat doesn't "stick" as much (can seem cooler due to the low humidity). And, the parts which were brown were like an old friend. I'm very familiar with that kind of brown.

In contrast, some parts of the midwest are oppressive in their humidity, to the point where I was thinking, "Who the heck can put up with this?!?!? This is horrible!"

It's all about what is "normal" to you.

I don't doubt that the winter in Colorado would take some adjustment. It sounds drier than California, though not as drastic a contrast as it would be to other parts of the country. California can get very dry. The hot beating sun will take some adjustment. Though the California sun is a thing to behold. But, on this thread we have all warned, so I will plan to wear lots of sunscreen, sunglasses, long sleeves.

The only thing that I can comfort myself in that is, I wouldn't be going to Colorado as a youngster, and I could take the precautions right from the start. I haven't already had years of heavy sun exposure behind me. (I never have been a sun worshipper in California either.)
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Old 01-16-2016, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,795 posts, read 4,899,143 times
Reputation: 17144
In winter, Colorado is dry. I keep two console humidifiers going; together they put about 12 gallons of water per day into my house. That keeps the humidity at a comfortable 35%

But although it may be 32 degrees outside in January it's usually sunny. My south facing windows collect the sun and the inside of my huge house is 75 degrees and 35% humidity. That's very comfortable.
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Old 01-16-2016, 04:55 PM
 
Location: IN
20,786 posts, read 35,828,356 times
Reputation: 13210
Disadvantages: way too much sun, high UV, very dry air, trees and plants take forever to grow, too little precipitation, too brown, row crop agriculture is definitely severely limited.
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Old 01-16-2016, 09:02 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,333,575 times
Reputation: 10278
Wow!! I must say that as a Colorado native I share very few of the complaints other folks seem to be expressing. It's true that Colorado has 4 seasons just like many other temperate parts of the country. The landscape does indeed tend to become barren in later fall and winter if there's no snow on the ground. This is especially true if you happen to live in a suburb where everyone has replaced the native flora with that exotic species, Kentucky bluegrass. Bluegrass needs water and more water - if it doesn't get the amount of precip its used to back home, it turns a dreary yellow-brown until homeowners turn the water on again in the spring. Most of our native plants also turn brown in the winter, too; but this is not so much the fault of Colorado - even places like Arlington, VA or Lexington, KY don't look all that green and wonderful in January - not to my eye they don't, anyway. At least we normally have pretty snow capped mountains to look at by way of consolation. I'll grant that parts of the PNW (and elsewhere) remain greener in the winter than we do, but just take a look at the skies - grey, grey, grey - forever and always grey from the beginning of October to the beginning of June. Plus, the PNW gets less daylight than we do - never mind all those cloudy/misty/foggy days. Just for the heck of it, I compared sunrise/set for this date (1/15) in Bellingham, WA vs Cortez, CO. Colorado gets an entire extra 1 hour and nine minutes more sun than Washington does. I've lived in the PNW and it had to have the darkest, dreariest winters in all of the US. You can have it. Give me Colorado, "brown weeds" and all.

As a matter of fact, many of Colorado's ugliest weeds thrive on disturbed soils and were brought here from elsewhere. One example out of hundreds is Russian thistle, aka "tumble weed." Hollywood loves to use scenes which feature tumble weeds blowing across a dusty landscape to signify the desolation of parts of the American West. I don't know about the Western US, but the Russian steppes must be desolate as hell. On the other hand, take a look (and a smell) at the many wonderful varieties of sage which grow in Colorado. My fav is a silvery green variety (Artemesia tridentata. Its aromatic scent Is so pungent and so pleasing to the senses, that the Navajo use it as a cure for depression. I always keep fresh Artemesia in my home because just walking in the door and catching a whiff always raises my spirits.

And what's wrong with mountains that look blue or even purple in the distance? The alps have the same colors as do most mountains in the western US. Even the mountains more populated by deciduous trees like the Appalachians have a tendency to a bluish cast when viewed from afar - the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia or the Blue Mountains of Maine come to mind among many others.

Finally, even the Front Range has some fantastic sunsets - complete with Alpenglow and an amazing shift of colors between dusk and dark. I saw them in the Springs, and I've seen them everywhere else in Colorado - especially out here in the SW mesas and the rugged San Juan Mountains. If there are now too many fires or floods or whatever around here for folks, you should have paid some attention to all the warnings about global warming. Climate change is having an impact everywhere from forest fires and drought in the West to Katrina in the South to Super Storm Sandy in the NE. Believe me, Colorado was once a fairly placid place - Colorado Springs didn't burn down every other summer, the St. Vrain was not in the habit of turning into the Mississippi, and you did not see endless stands of dead trees up in the mountains due to beetle kill.

Amazingly, Colorado is still an incredible, lovely state, and people should enjoy it while they can; not complain because the mountains look "blue."
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:30 PM
 
13,294 posts, read 25,467,231 times
Reputation: 20392
I'm one of those who cannot sand the muggy summers of the East Coast, and they are only getting more so with each passing year, and grey muggy summer days. I loathe it. It hurts my joints and my mood and I don't want to do anything but stay inside like a prisoner of air conditioning (cold damp air). Dry air was the first reason I had to want to move to Colorado (which I expect to be doing in a little more than two years, retirement). The East Coast is certainly not green over the winter until stuff starts blooming/greening/leafing in the spring. It goes grey/brown (and damp) in November and comes back around April. Yes, it's lovely but it's still not year around or anything. And the crummy summers knock it out of the park for me.
I will be living at 7,000 feet. Have never been a sun bunny, am fair-skinned and will have to cover up a lot right away. Thanks for the reminders.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,888 posts, read 102,301,239 times
Reputation: 32946
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
Wow!! I must say that as a Colorado native I share very few of the complaints other folks seem to be expressing. It's true that Colorado has 4 seasons just like many other temperate parts of the country. The landscape does indeed tend to become barren in later fall and winter if there's no snow on the ground. This is especially true if you happen to live in a suburb where everyone has replaced the native flora with that exotic species, Kentucky bluegrass. Bluegrass needs water and more water - if it doesn't get the amount of precip its used to back home, it turns a dreary yellow-brown until homeowners turn the water on again in the spring. Most of our native plants also turn brown in the winter, too; but this is not so much the fault of Colorado - even places like Arlington, VA or Lexington, KY don't look all that green and wonderful in January - not to my eye they don't, anyway. At least we normally have pretty snow capped mountains to look at by way of consolation. I'll grant that parts of the PNW (and elsewhere) remain greener in the winter than we do, but just take a look at the skies - grey, grey, grey - forever and always grey from the beginning of October to the beginning of June. Plus, the PNW gets less daylight than we do - never mind all those cloudy/misty/foggy days. Just for the heck of it, I compared sunrise/set for this date (1/15) in Bellingham, WA vs Cortez, CO. Colorado gets an entire extra 1 hour and nine minutes more sun than Washington does. I've lived in the PNW and it had to have the darkest, dreariest winters in all of the US. You can have it. Give me Colorado, "brown weeds" and all.

As a matter of fact, many of Colorado's ugliest weeds thrive on disturbed soils and were brought here from elsewhere. One example out of hundreds is Russian thistle, aka "tumble weed." Hollywood loves to use scenes which feature tumble weeds blowing across a dusty landscape to signify the desolation of parts of the American West. I don't know about the Western US, but the Russian steppes must be desolate as hell. On the other hand, take a look (and a smell) at the many wonderful varieties of sage which grow in Colorado. My fav is a silvery green variety (Artemesia tridentata. Its aromatic scent Is so pungent and so pleasing to the senses, that the Navajo use it as a cure for depression. I always keep fresh Artemesia in my home because just walking in the door and catching a whiff always raises my spirits.

And what's wrong with mountains that look blue or even purple in the distance? The alps have the same colors as do most mountains in the western US. Even the mountains more populated by deciduous trees like the Appalachians have a tendency to a bluish cast when viewed from afar - the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia or the Blue Mountains of Maine come to mind among many others.

Finally, even the Front Range has some fantastic sunsets - complete with Alpenglow and an amazing shift of colors between dusk and dark. I saw them in the Springs, and I've seen them everywhere else in Colorado - especially out here in the SW mesas and the rugged San Juan Mountains. If there are now too many fires or floods or whatever around here for folks, you should have paid some attention to all the warnings about global warming. Climate change is having an impact everywhere from forest fires and drought in the West to Katrina in the South to Super Storm Sandy in the NE. Believe me, Colorado was once a fairly placid place - Colorado Springs didn't burn down every other summer, the St. Vrain was not in the habit of turning into the Mississippi, and you did not see endless stands of dead trees up in the mountains due to beetle kill.

Amazingly, Colorado is still an incredible, lovely state, and people should enjoy it while they can; not complain because the mountains look "blue."
As many have said, what you grew up with is "normal". If you didn't grow up with this, it takes some getting used to. In Pennsylvania, the grass is green, albeit muted, all winter long. I'm always awed when we go back at how thick the woods are, thicker even than in the midwest and how lush the greens are. We can all learn to like a lot of different things, and take the good (lack of oppressive humidity) along with the not so good (dry, brown, drab colors).
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