If you take a drive an hour north of Denver, Colorado, you'll come across a scattering of small towns. Meander through them and you're bound to find yourself in area full of dirt roads. Just on the outskirts of one such town where wooden poles for power lines are very common but the internet not so much, you may find my street.
Along the street where I live it is common to see people riding by on horses, and sometimes ATVs. Some people walk by with their dogs, and some dogs run free by themselves. In the winter it's common to see vehicles stuck in snow drifts while in the summer you may spot a tornado. Once the afternoons warm up a little more, a neighbor will start walking his icecream cart around and sell his tasty treats. Cars and trucks zip by from time to time - sometimes too fast - and kick up a cloud of road dust that lingers for a couple minutes. As night draws in, a slow-crawling wall of dust and mist can be seen in the distance, and it just rolls in on a gentle breeze from the west like something out of an episode of the Twilight Zone.
When the wind comes out of just the wrong direction, you can smell the ...freshness... of nearby cattle farms. In the colder times of the year, all the neighboring wood-burning stoves fill the air with the smell of camp fires. And throughout the year, aromas of freshly cut wood wafts over from my neighbor's tree trimming and wood cutting business as piles of mulch from a mix of trees waxes and wanes out by his driveway.
It's usually pretty quiet on my street. A stillness pocketed by the occasional barking dog, bleating goat, or crowing rooster. Once in a while comes the sound of howling coyotes late in the evening. On weekends in the summer months , mariachi music can be heard (a little too well) from neighboring houses well into the night. A happy time for those enjoying the camaraderie. And for those who are not, well, it does eventually wrap up.
And when the music stops and the dust settles, when the cars are parked and the roads are still, when the bustle of the day is done and the week is spent and everyone has time to slow down, all the little things of nature can be found. Shoots of grass peeking out of the snow, patches of wildflowers cropping up. Cricket chirps and bird calls gently tease the air. Dragonflies zoom around eating mosquitos, and toads sometimes croak. The sunrises and sunsets never disappoint, and the rain is always a welcome sight. The first leaves sprout, and the last leaves fall. The coming snow is palpable, and the summer sun is intense. And beyond that, the Rocky Mountains stand as a testament to all backdrops everywhere of how to wrap up the image is a solid and well-grounded way.
If I can only remember to put my phone down and enjoy it.