Friday night it arrived, a steady downpour most of the night, threatening floods in various Front Range communities, flushing algae and, I hope, mosquito larvae out of rainbarrels, and setting everything outdoors awash. Yesterday, waves of gentle rain passed through, separated by misty intervals—all very Pacific Northwest. More of same today, as it looks. Tomorrow, or whenever this lifts, is going to be VERY good for weeding! (Honey, looks like the lawn needs mowing again.)
All this rain also makes the rhubarb very happy, if not the celebrants at the 23rd Annual Pine Rhubarb Festival, where I spent most of yesterday. Though the crowd was reduced in size, its spirits were undampened, and the crowning of the Rhubarb Queen ("best ever rhubarb pie") happened right on schedule, as did all ten minutes of the parade. Between the all-you-can-eat pancakes with rhubarb sauce and the highly diverse bake sale that followed the judging, it was a delicious place to be on a rainy day.
Obligatory botanical note: Rhubarb, Rheum rhabarbarum (formerly R. rhaponticum), is a member of the Polygonaceae, not native to the U.S. but widely grown in the east and midwest and, yes, Colorado. Its stout petioles are edible, but its large leaves contain higher concentrations of oxalic acid and are considered poisonous. When cooked with sugar, the stems are used in "fruit" pies and other pastries, but lately I've had two reports of children in Mexico and other places enjoying the stems raw, difficult as it may be to imagine. (One entry in yesterday's bake-off was a rhubarb salad (not baked), but I didn't get a taste.)
Incidental personal revelation: Rhubarb also had a peripheral role in our courtship, via a Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, which must have been pretty basic as I don't even remember the recipe. I think it may have been not so much the substance of the pie as the fact that I could even make a pie that captured Darling Husband's attention.
Bonus link: A fun read on the 17th annual Rhubarb Festival.