A few weeks ago this was the harvest from my organic vegetable garden. I had many bushels of peas out of the garden this year which is always nice. Nothing quite like fresh peas and considering how labour intensive they are compared to my other crops it is satisfying to get a lot of them.
The Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park, and downtown Vancouver from Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
After a bit of hiking last week around Mount Seymour, I headed to Ambleside Park in West Vancouver to see if that location would offer a favourable view of Stanley Park, downtown Vancouver and the Lions Gate Bridge. I have photographed the Lions Gate from Brockton Point and Prospect Points in Stanley Park before, and wanted a new view of the Bridge. As it turns out, I think Ambleside Park actually offers a better view of the bridge than from most of Stanley Park. Clear and unobstructed, and during dusk at least – with a nicer background that is more evenly lit. The only issues I had last week at Ambleside were the giant tankers coming into the port occasionally and the nearly full (and not super) moon just above the bridge.
Two de Havilland Harbour Air seaplanes (DHC-3 Turbine Single Otters) at the Nanaimo Harbour Water Airport in Nanaimo, British Columbia
Last year I spent an evening at Maffeo Sutton Park in the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. I had spent a few previous sunsets at Jack point across Nanaimo Harbour from the downtown area, and was now looking for some more urban photography locations. I was lucky to get some good light (and weather) that evening, and had a decent sunset in the sky for many of my photographs. The first photo (above) shows two of the Harbour Air seaplanes floating at their dock at the Nanaimo Harbour Water Airport with some of the boardwalk and marinas in the background.
This is the BC Ferry ‘Quinsam’ entering Nanaimo Harbour from its Gabriola Island to Nanaimo run. Though a bit larger it reminds me of the Albion Ferry that used to run across the Fraser River between Fort Langley and Maple Ridge until a few years ago. Biggs Park/Jack Point is in the background (right).
Initially I was unable to read the name on the side of this sailboat at the time, but from the numbers on its sail I could determine its name: the Cu na Mara. Here it is sailing past some of the boats anchored at Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park during sunset.
My other goal was to make some “blue hour” photographs of the boardwalk and buildings of downtown Nanaimo. This perspective can be found from the Swy-A-Lana Fishing Pier. You can view other photographs of my trip to Nanaimo and other Vancouver Island locations in the Vancouver Island Photos gallery.
Sunset over the Cascade Range from the Skyline Trail on Mazama Ridge. The Paradise Inn, Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center and Paradise Valley Road are in the foreground – Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA.
On the first day of my trip to Mount Rainier National Park last year I hiked up to Mazama Ridge. I’d seen a number of photographs from there before, and it looked like a good place to start exploring the area around Paradise – beyond the views available from the roadside. I parked at the small lot (elevation: 5250 feet or 1600 meters) near the Paradise River bridge in Paradise Valley, and hiked up the Fourth Crossing Trail. I’ve been part way up this trail in the past, and though parts of it feel a lot like climbing stairs much of this is right next to the Paradise River which makes it a bit more pleasant. The Fourth Crossing Trail eventually meets up with the Skyline Trail after a climb of around 250 feet (76 m) in elevation. If I had to do this again I would park near the Paradise Inn and walk the Skyline trail from there rather than heading back down to my car along the Fourth Crossing Trail in the dark.
From the junction of the Skyline and Fourth Crossing trails there is a series of switchbacks to get you up to Mazama Ridge (at an elevation of around 5800 feet (1770m)). The Skyline Trail then comes to a junction with the Lakes Trail (which Google refers to as the Mazama Ridge Trail). As I was still primarily scouting I headed down the Lakes Trail in search of wildflowers and places to photograph. This trail heads downhill gently at first, but if you wish it will take you all the way down to Reflection Lakes. The panorama below is a view of the Tatoosh Range before the trail gets down into the trees.
This stretch of the Lakes Trail is also where some of the iconic views of Mount Rainier with wildflowers are found. If you do hike this trail, or any of these trails in Mount Rainier National Park please don’t trample the wildflowers or other foliage along the trails. The “keep on the trail” signs are around for a reason as some visitors to these sensitive areas seem to see nothing wrong with wandering off the trail and crushing the wildflowers. It was at this point in the trail I was talking to one of the park volunteers and we noticed some moron about 50 feet off the trail behind us trampling through the wildflower field. If that wasn’t bad enough, he was dragging an aluminum stepladder around up there. After I’d left up the Skyline Trail I ran into the volunteer again – he’d given the stepladder guy a good lecture. This really shouldn’t be necessary…
After making a few photographs along the Lakes Trail I headed back up to the junction with the Skyline Trail. I scouted the Skyline Trail up past the Stevens Van Trump Historic Monument at which point the light turned the sky a nice colour and the shadows disappeared from the foreground. At this elevation the Tatoosh Range comes into a better view compared to lower down on the Lakes Trail. I’ve said this before but often I prefer photographing the Tatoosh Range over Rainier itself – especially when in the Paradise area. I wrote a bit more about this in an earlier post featuring a panorama of the tatoosh range. Rainier takes up a lot of the sky and can be tough to photograph backlit by the sunset in the evenings. Dawn would probably be an ideal time, but I’m saving that for when I actually stay at the Paradise Inn or relatively nearby.
I had seen a few photographs with the shadows of mountains at sunrise and sunset, but hadn’t give it much thought in terms of finding this phenomenon myself. It was on Mazama Ridge I saw this for the first time. The dark blue in the sky is the shadow of Mount Rainier cast down towards Stevens Valley and the Cascade mountains to the east.
I’ve shown the following image before, but I think it remains my favourite of all the images I made that evening on Mazama Ridge. A lot of Magenta Paintbrush (Castilleja parviflora) in the foreground (as opposed to the usually dominant Lupines) and great sunset colours in the sky. This was near the intersection of the Skyline Trail and the Paradise Glacier Trail.
Rolley Creek Falls in Rolley Lake Provincial Park near Mission, British Columbia, Canada
Last Fall I visited Rolley Lake Provincial Park. I parked in the day use area and hiked around part of the lake to photograph Rolley Creek and Rolley Falls. This was an easy (mostly flat) hike that was only about 2 kilometers. A few weeks ago I hiked there again from a different starting point – Burma Street near Stave Lake. On the map, if you ignore one obvious aspect, this seems like it should be a 500-600 meter hike. As all I was interested in was a spring photograph of the waterfall, this looked like a good idea, and I would also be able to check out the lower falls which is right next to the road. It was, but I wasn’t able to get close enough to it without wading across the creek, which I wasn’t prepared to do. My “shortcut” was indeed short. I believe the distance actually wound up being as expected – about 600 meters. This did involve about 200m (650 feet) in elevation gain, however. Seems I overlooked my usual step of checking a topographical map before I decide which way is the “easy” way. I completed the climb anyway, and made the above photograph – this time with lush spring foliage surrounding the falls.
For more images from the Fraser Valley please visit my Fraser Valley Gallery.
A few weeks ago I drove out to Harrison Hot Springs, BC to explore Sasquatch Provincial Park. On the past two occasions I had attempted to visit the Hicks Lake area of the park during the off season I had been turned away due to construction. This time everything was open and I was able to explore around the area around Green Point, Trout Lake, Hicks Lake, and Deer Lake.
Trout Lake Creek
At the entrance to Sasquatch Park there is a small parking lot at the park sign. I’d seen a small creek on the map flowing through this area from Trout Lake down to Harrison Lake. Most creeks I find look like all the others, but this one had enough character and dense foliage surrounding it to make things interesting.
I this this may be one of the spots I visit in the fall just in case there are some interesting colours here.
Once at Hicks Lake I parked at the day use area and hiked part of the Hicks Lake Trail. My aim was to photograph some of the streams and potential waterfalls flowing into Hicks Lake (I’d picked a cloudy day for just this reason). Near the group campground area I found a trail down to a beach on the north side of the lake. The cloudy day I had planned for transformed into a mostly sunny one, so at this point there were not photographs of the lake itself that I wished to make. However, this did give me the opportunity to photograph a few Common Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) that were basking on the sandy beach. I posted another photograph of one of these Garter Snakes in an earlier post.
Near the group campground area a small creek runs down the mountain into Hicks Lake. I spent a few minutes photographing these really small cascades flowing through the ferns and other understory foliage. Sometimes photographing in the forest can be rather challenging as there are so many plants growing in various directions complicating the search for a simple composition. Around a creek or a waterfall I think this can work well as a frame for the scene, providing there isn’t as much chaos in the middle of the photograph.
From the lakeside creek I walked back to the day use area and then to the perimeter trail around the campground. I remembered quite a few of these spots from many years ago when I camped here with my parents. It was good to see all sorts of kids fishing along the shore like I used to. I hiked a bit more of the the Hicks Lake Trail south towards the end of the lake. There didn’t seem to be many streams on this side of the lake, so I headed back just before reaching the south end beach (Sandy Beach). I did hear some rushing water while at the south end, so perhaps on another trip I’ll investigate this. Walking back through the campground I checked out the final few streams on my list, didn’t find much photographically interesting – so I headed to Deer Lake.
Deer Lake is just up the road from Hicks Lake, and is the last of the 3 easily accessible lakes in Sasquatch Provincial Park. As I was there late on a Friday evening, traffic through the campground was fairly heavy with last minute campers trying to find a spot. I parked in a day use area and had enough time to explore around the south edge of the lake near the Bench Campground. I spent a few minutes making this photograph of the surrounding forest and some snags reflecting in the lake. The blue tinge at the top of the photograph is the result of campfire smoke from the Bench Campground nearby. This may be a better scene to photograph when there are fewer campers making dinner! It also looks like a great spot in the years we have decent fall foliage colours.
On the north side of “The Point” I photographed campfire smoke lingering over the Lakeside Campground and one of the picnic areas at Deer Lake. With the light fading, I got in the car and drove back to Harrison Hot Springs hoping to catch some sunset light on Mount Cheam and Harrison Lake. Those photographs will have to wait for another blog post coming soon.
This spring I decided to document as many rose varieties I could find in my parent’s rose gardens. I’ve made a few photographs of them in the past, but I figured documenting them by name and variety (accurately) would be a good idea. Most of these roses fall into the categories of Rambler, Climbing, Old Garden, Shrub, Species, and David Austin’s English Roses. This is a sampling of those photographs – you can find all that I’ve made so far in my Roses Gallery.
Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) on the shore of Hicks Lake in Sasquatch Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada
Last week I spend a day exploring Sasquatch Provincial Park near Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada. I did some hiking, and while at one of the beaches on Hicks Lake I found several Garter Snakes basking in the sand along the shore. Not my intended subjects, but as a wildlife photography opportunist, I was happy to take advantage of the chance. I used my longest lens with a 1.4x extender so I wouldn’t have to get close enough to these snakes to disturb them. The ants on the beach, however, seemed disturbed enough to crawl up my legs and all over my camera bag. Not sure how beach oriented people would fare at this location…