Fort Collins monuments (and the stories behind them)
"Monuments are a great way to learn about your city, the people who have been there before," said Thomas Cauvin, a Colorado State University professor of public history and the mind behind a recent Northern Colorado monuments project. Fort Collins monuments (and the stories behind them)
3. "20% Chance of Flurries"
"20% Chance of Flurries" sits on the east side of CSU's Monfort Quad, reminding passersby of the perseverance of Colorado's farm and ranch families. Location: Colorado State University
Located on the east side of CSU's Monfort Quad — perched high above the sea of students trudging to class every day — is a frozen glimpse into frontier life.
The 16- by 11-foot bronze statue, named "20% Chance of Flurries," shows a cowboy clutching his horse's reins and holding a calf on his lap.
The statue, which was sculpted by Chris Navarro and dedicated in 2005, honors the farm and ranch families of Colorado. A plaque below the sculpture includes a poem of the same name, written by Jeff Anslinger.
20% Chance of Flurries
As we headed out to start the day
We noticed the sky was turnin' gray
A cold north wind had started to blow
and we knew that by noon there'd be snow
Now I'll admit its early spring
And a man never knows what the weather will bring
But most of the calves are already born
And just last week the sheep were shorn
Then the blizzard blew in like a demon from hell
How much snow we'd get was hard to tell
So towards the shelter we pushed the stock
But the snow was a driftin' by two o'clock
Then the sheep went to millin' and the cattle bunched tight
But like mad men against nature we kept up the fight
We were yellin' and whippin' with our catch ropes
But as the blizzard raged on, there sank our hopes
Across our saddles we carried calves to the shed
And prayed to God that by morning they all wouldn't be dead
We made it to the house, but our hopes they were gone
Then the blizzard blew out just before dawn
For we knew the battle we had lost
But then first light showed us the cost
My heart was sinkin' while I was on the saddle
Countin' dead sheep and draggin' frozen cattle
But in my mind some words still remain
This weatherman's little rhyming refrain
Stockmen and ranchers, you have no worries
It's only a 20% chance of flurries.
20% Chance of Flurries is a sculpture that won a national competition and was commissioned as a 15 ' tall monument by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Placed at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, the sculpture honors the dedication and hardships of the people who make their living ranching and farming. The image of a cowboy on a horse saving a young calf embodies the test of endurance that highlights the best qualities of the men who live in the West. They face hard conditions, and take life as it comes. This sculpture is available in a table top size. chrisnavarro.com