For two weeks every year, a beautiful meadow located just outside of Truckee, California is filled with Camas Lilies. The trail is about three miles long, a fairly straight line, and runs parallel to a creek which frolics along, twisting and turning, peeking through the trees, keeping you entertained with it’s joyful accompaniment. I had photographed this meadow a number of times in midday to late afternoon sun, but I knew that the image would be magical at sunset, IF the clouds cooperated. I looked at the date from the images I had taken five years back, and started watching the weather, praying for clouds, which were finally answered on a Tuesday afternoon.
Packing up my gear, I threw in two headlamps, knowing that I’d be walking back in the dark, something I’d been afraid to do in past years. I figured that I could hike three miles in about an hour, so the latest I’d be back in Ruby would be about 930pm. Not too late, and since the boogie man comes out at midnight, I’d be fine. The sunset lasted forever, and filled the sky with color in every direction. By the time I’d photographed the glorious light from every imaginable angle and direction, the sun had long since set. I turned on my headlamp and headed back to the trail, noticing a bee following me for part of the way. About one mile from the trailhead, my headlamp picked up a pair of eyes in the distance. I stopped, my heart skipping a beat, and swept the area with my light. Four pair of eyes shone back, peering from the darkness. Too tall for coyote, too reflective for humans.
It was a family of deer, who watched me for a minute, then leapt off into the brush, happy to see that I wasn’t a hunter. I smiled, and hiked the rest of the way back to Ruby who was waiting patiently for me, a smug grin on her grill. I swear I heard her say, “I told you you’d be OK.”