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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

The Loch

August 11th, 2008 · 2 Comments

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Today I returned to one of the two most beautiful lakes in Colorado. I hiked six miles up and back on the Loch Vale Trail from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead. When I got to the trailhead, the temperature was so cold that I needed my down jacket, while it was hot in Boulder. It was a crystal clear morning in the mountains after a clearing rain overnight.

Half-way Up the Loch Vale Trail

Half-way Up the Loch Vale Trail

But how can you compare degrees of beauty? Isn’t beauty infinite?
I wondered about this today as I tried to compare the beauty of lake that I hiked to, known as The Loch, with Emerald Lake. Both are in Rocky Mountain National Park. The beauty of The Loch is harder to capture in a photograph precisely because it offers so many viewpoints, while Emerald Lake has just one.
First Sight of The Loch

First Sight of The Loch

The Loch from the North Shore

The Loch from the North Shore

Later This Morning at The Loch

Later This Morning at The Loch

As beautiful as the panorama of the lake is, the photographs that I took today that excite me the most are close-ups. Even some birds stopped long enough for me to photograph them:

A Pair of Blue Jays

A Pair of Blue Jays

A Ptarmigan, but a Different Species (or Sex) Than I've Seen Before

A Ptarmigan, but a Different Species (or Sex) Than I've Seen Before

I finally found and photographed the one flower in my field guides that struck me as especially beautiful, but I hadn’t noticed before. I had certainly seen it. But it is so small that I ignored it until I looked in it today and found the spots on the pedals that attracted me so:

One Tiny Sandwort

One Tiny Sandwort

Wild raspberries were already ripe along the trail today. They tasted sweet!

Wild Raspberry

Wild Raspberry

When I stopped by the creek leading from the lake to photograph some flowers, I got a bonus bug. Is this red bug a bee or something else?

A Red Bee on a Yellow Flower

A Red Bee on a Yellow Flower

We Might Fall in this Position, But not the Bee

We Might Fall in this Position, But not the Bee

This Brown Butterfly Competed with the Red Bee on the Same Flowers

This Brown Butterfly Competed with the Red Bee on the Same Flowers

This Butterfly Lives at The Loch

This Butterfly Lives at The Loch

The Loch Vale Trail is excellent and not too steep, going from 9,200 feet at the trailhead to 10,200 feet at the lake. On the way up I considered going farther or making a loop back on another trail. But my left shoulder hurt too much.

I must have done some damage on my backpacking trip last week, although I didn’t notice any problem then or on my two subsequent hikes. This calls for a good massage, which I am scheduling, and for using a fanny pack on my next few hikes. I know that I will be OK soon.

David

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Posted in: Hiking, Photography

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 mcclellan smith // Jan 28, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Hello David
    I was searching for a photo of wild raspberry and found this one on your blog. Would it be possible for me to use this in a book we are working on, It is a book about wild plants and food, published my the Seattle Mountaineers. I will give you credit for the photo and send you a copy of the book. I will need to send you a release form for the publisher. Let me know if it is ok. Thanks , nice photos-Mac

  • 2 David Mendosa // Jan 29, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Dear Mac,

    My pleasure! By email I am sending you a higher resolution image suitable for publication. I would love to get a copy of your book.

    Best regards,

    David

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