It’s March 27 at John Martin Dam, Hasty, Colorado and March is definitely ‘going out like a lion’! Coloradans out here on the southeast plains awoke to blizzard conditions with white-out, gale-force winds and about a foot of snow. When newcomers to our state ask about the weather they usually hear, “Wait a few hours”! Today was a perfect example. It's 3PM, the sun is out, there's barely a breeze and the park is postcard-perfect for any camera-ready snow bunny. Hard to believe that only days ago the temps were pushing 70. Lilacs are breaking bud, the elms are shedding millions of seeds, robins are happily searching unlucky spring worms and daffodils are strutting their yellows and pale oranges. Snow nestles up against the flood gates of the dam and the Arkansas River flows quietly under a thin sheet of ice.
Continuing west on the park road, we noticed a fisherman braving the 20 degree temps on the edge of Lake Hasty. He later told us trout were biting one after another at about 12 to 14 inches long. He said he had started throwing his line before noon when the blizzard was still lurking. What a picture that would have been!
Continuing west we looked north and caught sight of some white tail deer; they did not seem to appreciate our intrusion, or maybe they were just camera shy.
As we turned south into the Lake Hasty Campground, we glanced at the Red Shin Standing ground rising tall behind us. Red Shin was a Cheyenne warrior in the 1800’s who won the hand of his maiden by fighting off many other warriors from this high butte. We imagined how shocked he would be to stand there now. No longer does the lazy Arkansas River wander through the Cottonwoods as it used to. Now it flows under hundreds of feet of reservoir water to the west of the dam, then quickly changes to a creek-sized wandering waterway, heading east.
We drove by the newly finished handicapped fishing area and involuntarily scared up a large flock of cormorants including a Blue Heron, who were resting calmly on Lake Hasty before our intrusion. For now, a lone picnic table stands quietly on the platform, awaiting spring visitors.
We continued through the campground, stopping to take this nicely framed picture of the stilling basin side of the dam.
Three campers braved the early spring snow in their large, warm RV’s.
Nature keeps southeastern Colorado on her toes. For now, John Martin Reservoir lies quietly under a chilly layer of sparkling snow.
NOTE: ALL PHOTOS ON THIS BLOG (UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED) ARE TAKEN BY DANIELLE SIMONE AND ARE AVAILABLE FOR USE ONLY BY PERMISSION. Thank you.