Archive for the 'Calypso' category
Was archiving an old drive and found several batches of water fall photos I never posted. Catching up with them as I plan a return to Rocky Mountain National Park.
A few weeks ago, I dashed up to the Park on a spring afternoon, forgoing a training ride I’d planned to do, because the weather was gorgeous, the previous weeks had finally signaled that spring was truly returned to the mountains, and I hade a new hope. I had read somewhere while researching this project, that Calypso Cascades were named for a flower. An orchid, no less. I had a hard time imagining orchids blooming amongst the pines and firs, so I set out to find them. I have taken many hikes to seek these elusive blooms, they stand only about 10 centimeters high, grow in undisturbed soils, and flower for only a short time each year.
This year, I finally found them. They are just as exotic as one would expect from an orchid, and to find them blooming alongside a trail and piles of fallen needles is one of the more incongrous sites I’ve seen while pursuing this project.
It seems like that whenever I go out to shoot a falls with a preconcieved idea of what photos to take, nature conspires against me.
Another return visit two seasons after the first. Another completely transformed scene. About a month ago a strong windstorm roared through the Front Range. Walking up the trail from Copeland Falls, the remnants of the storm were everywhere. Every few hundred feet, another tree lay across the trail, though for most of distance to Calypso the rangers had done a good job of clearing a path with chainsaws. Nearer to Calypso, however, the chainsaws hadn’t yet reached and walking became reminiscent of early video games where there was a near constant decision to be made whether to duck under the next massive tree trunk that slanted across the trail or to climb over it. Having spent the night of the wind storm at my bedroom window watching tree after tree fall across my own small property, I can’t imagine the noise, and associated terror, of this forest in the storm with trees crashing to the ground, either ripping up their root balls or snapping off in a jagged shower of splinters.
At Calypso Cascades itself, there didn’t seem to be any new tree trunks added to the chaos of the creek. The pillows of snow over rocks and trees almost completely hid the cascades, leaving only a small window of water edged in clear ice. In the silence of the snow-covered forest, though, the cascades could still be heard, rumbling under foot like the distance sound of a laden freight train. As I clambered around trying to find some view that captured the winter aspect of Calypso, I was excruciatingly aware of the stream that coursed icily beneath my feet and the potential discomfort of a long wet walk back to the trailhead.