One the Use of Patience as a Tool to Recover From Stupidity
Last Tuesday was my last full day in Colorado. John and I were planning to check out some higher elevation terrain northwest of Boulder. About a half hour into the drive, I realized that I had left my camera on John’s dining room table. I muttered bad words under my breath and felt really, really stupid.
It was a good collecting day. I got a nice snowberry sphinx moth as we began getting into the high country. Our initial destination proved to be a bust. The aspen trees were not even beginning to leaf out yet, and there was still snow on the ground. We wandered to lower elevation, and found an interesting looking spot at the St. Vrain Trailhead. It was crowded. There were lots of dogs. The trail wound through several campsites. But the calypso orchids were in bloom- a species I’d never seen before. Unfortunately, we had no camera. We both took some really bad shots with our cell phones. On the way out, we ran into a bunch of green-margined tiger beetles. We each got a nice series. They were even approachable- but as we had no camera, I got no photos.
The next day, John decided to forgo collecting. I was not leaving until 6 in the evening. It occurred to me that I could go back to the St. Vrain Trail and take some of the photos that I had missed due to my stupid move the day before. It was a chillier day, and as I drove up to Boulder, it started getting cloudier. And cloudier. And even cloudier. K-Country 99 was predicting clouds with rain by early afternoon.
By the time I started up into the foothills it was raining lightly and I was cursing myself. I had forgotten my camera on the last good photography day of the trip! Should I try to drive back onto the plains in the hopes for more sun? I decided just let it go and be a bit more patient with myself and the situation. I would continue with my plans in the knowledge that I would at least be able to get photos of the orchids.
The rain had stopped by the time I got out of the car, and the flat light actually made photographing the orchids a bit easier. I decided that I’d just take a nice hike and photograph flowers along the way. As I got further in, I realized that by walking just a bit further up the trail than I had the day before, the campsites stopped and the scenery got much nicer.
Prettier forest- though somewhat somber
The plant life was pretty cool. I saw a whole bunch of a parasitic plant called pine drops. They were just sprouting and made for some interesting photography. I was especially surprised to find a pretty blue clematis in bloom. Despite being unhappy with the fact that I would surely miss out on photographing the new (for me) species of tiger beetle, I was in beautiful surroundings and having a very nice time.
Maybe it was the blue of the clematis that did it, but just about the time that I snapped that photo, a patch of blue sky scudded overhead. I pushed onward, happy that it wasn’t going to rain on me. Then there was another patch of blue, and another. I noticed that there was clear sky approaching from the southwest. Realizing that I might have a shot at insect photography after all, I turned around and headed back towards the trailhead. Twenty minutes after I was the first bit of blue sky, I was standing in the Colorado forest in the middle of a beautiful sunny day. The woods looked even better on my walk out. The rest of the afternoon was beautifully sunny.
Cicindela limbalis habitat. They were crawling on the bare rock.
Note the complete lack of clouds in the sky here.
Patience. It’s the key to photography.
Green-margined Tiger beetle (Cicindela limbalis)