Afterglow

Afterglow

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - Eagle Trail
In search of fireflies

 

This evening's goal was to track down the rare and legendary Photuris lucicrescens: the Boulder Firefly. To that end, we rotated our usual phases to begin the hike after sunset.

Phase 2:  Special guest E joined D, C, D2, and S for a family-style meal on the patio at Sherpa's. Saag, chicken tikka masala, lamb vindaloo, tofu aloo, momo platter, and garlic naan.

Phase 3: Trident Cafe, amid stacks of books and unsent postcards.

Phase 1: C reported having seen fireflies near the Eagle Trail, west of the Boulder Reservoir and east of Boulder Valley Ranch. Blustery winds gave us doubts whether any flying insects (let alone fireflies) would be aloft in such a tempest. However, E spotted a glowing light just beyond the fence at the trailhead, and off we went, west along the path. As darkness descended, the weather began to calm. After three quarters of a mile, we arrived at Little Dry Pond (aka "Boulder Valley Ranch Pond 1"), and, as if on cue, the fireflies emerged.

As the poet Bashō wrote in 1688:

草の葉を落つるより飛ぶ蛍かな

Blade of grass
a firefly lands
takes off again.

 

We tarried a while, taking pictures and enjoying the evening afterglow and the cries of coyotes. Meanwhile, frogs and night birds joined in chorus, and sang the sun to sleep.