Fall at Rolley Lake Provincial Park

   Rolley Lake Provincial Park in Misson, British Columbia is a place I started exploring again last fall having visited it many times as a kid. Last year I was able to find some fall colours in individual trees and went back again last week to hopefully find the same.

vine maples on the rolley lake trail in rolley lake provincial park

Vine Maples on the Rolley Lake Trail

-click to enlarge-

   This is not Eastern Canada, so we don’t have the large deciduous forests that provide great fall foliage displays. Usually we have to rely on Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophylum) and Vine Maples (Acer circinatum) for our fall colours in the Fraser Valley, and they don’t always show very well. This year appears to be one of those years where environmental conditions dictated a turn from green to orange/brown rather than a wide array of reds, oranges and yellows. Still, even in a bad year for fall foliage all you need is to find one tree in a photogenic place. The Vine Maple trees were hanging over this spot along the Rolley Lake Trail on the north side of the lake. You can see one is a nice yellow colour, while just a few feet away its cohort is still perfectly green.

fallen tree becomes a nurse log over a creek

A fallen tree becomes a nurse log

-click to enlarge-

   Further along the trail you run into a small bridge crossing a creek (that I believe is unnamed) running into the north west side of the lake. Just upstream from the bridge (I did some exploring) I found this tree that had fallen over the creek and was now home to a lot of mosses and some fern species. A textbook definition of a nurse log if you remember that from science class.

boardwalk on the rolley lake trail

Boardwalk on the Rolley Lake Trail

-click to enlarge-

   On the western side of the lake there is a marshy area filled with a lot of low shrubs (especially Spirea) and this bridge spanning one of the small streams that drain through into the lake. While these shrubs were not exactly showing off a nice fall colour display, I did like their reflection on the lake with the background forest and mist higher up the hillside.

widgeon peak reflected in pitt marsh

Unnamed Creek Running into Rolley Lake

-click to enlarge-

   This is one of the two main creeks (also unnamed I believe) that run into Rolley Lake along the north side. I followed this one up the hill for a ways and found this spot that had a few nice, mini waterfalls and mosses and ferns. You can tell in times of higher water that this creek can carry some power – as shown by all the boulders, stumps and other debris in the creek. Not a neat and tidy area, but I thought I’d show the randomness of nature with this one.

You can see more of my Rolley Lake photography in the Rolley Lake Provincial Park Gallery in my Image Archive.

Fishing Boats on the Fraser River

Fishing boats tied up on a dock along Bedford Channel – on the Fraser River in Langley, British Columbia, Canada

fraser river fishing boats

Fishing Boats along the Fraser River

-click to enlarge-

   On my recent walk through Brae Island Regional Park in Fort Langley, British Columbia I stopped at one of the viewpoints on the Bedford Channel shoreline. Bedford Channel runs between Fort Langley and Brae Island and many may be familiar with it by crossing the bridge over it to the now defunct Albion Ferry. Earlier in the year I’d stopped at this view point but the spring freshet water levels were very high and I wasn’t about to get near the river. On this visit I was able to walk along the shore for a while and photographed these fishing boats docked along the channel. While not quite as nice as the scenery I found later at Tavistock Point further along the trail, it was a nice spot to pause for a while.

Mount Shuksan and the Nooksack River

Mount Shuksan towers over the confluence of Swamp Creek and the North Fork of the Nooksack River in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State, USA

mount shuksan and the nooksack river

Mount Shuksan and the Nooksack River

-click to enlarge-

   This is another one of my lunch spots in the North Cascades of Washington State. The North Fork of the Nooksack River runs next to the Mount Baker Highway at many points, this one being just below the point where the highway starts climbing in elevation towards the Mt. Baker ski area. A short drive east up a gravel road and you are presented with this view where Swamp Creek runs into the Nooksack. I only wish the deciduous trees that lined the river at this point were Vine or Bigleaf Maples, as these Red Alder never develop much fall colours.

See more of my photography from this area in my North Cascades Gallery.

Sooty Grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus)

A Sooty Grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus) walking warily near the trail to Table Mountain in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State, USA

sooty grouse dendragapus fuliginosus)

Sooty Grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus)

-click to enlarge-

   Last week I made the trip up to the Mount Baker Ski area and Artist Point at the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State, USA. First I made the obligatory stop at the iconic Picture Lake (more on that soon) to eat my soup, then I photographed some of the fall colours in the Mountain Ash and Blueberry bushes in the Heather Meadows area. After arriving at Artist Point I photographed this Sooty Grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus) on the trail to Table Mountain. As with most of my wildlife photography, this was an opportunity I happened upon rather than directly seeking it out. Wildlife was not on my mind but there were 3 of these Grouse foraging near the trail. Well camouflaged, I didn’t even see them until one of them flew out of my way from the edge of the trail. I switched lenses and got ahead of their direction of travel, and they walked right past me. There are a lot of visitors here, so they are likely used to people, but it is still always better to let wildlife approach your position than the other way around.

You can view more of my wildlife photography in my image archive’s Animals & Wildlife Gallery.

The Pitt Addington Marsh

Pitt Addington Marsh, Gloomy Peak, and the Coast Range after sunset in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Canada

coast mountains reflected in pitt marsh

Gloomy Peak and the Coast Range reflected in Pitt Marsh

-click to enlarge-

    A month ago I headed to the Pitt Polder Ecological Reserve in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Candada to check out potential for fall colours, and to photograph the northern lights should they show up (they didn’t). This is Gloomy Peak and parts of the Coast Range reflected in a pond along the Pitt River. A familiar spot for me, but I did like the light here after sunset even if it was rather brief.

Birch trees and cotton grass at pitt marsh

Paper Birch and Chamisso’s Cotton Grass at Pitt Marsh

-click to enlarge-

   The Chamisso’s Cotton Grass (Eriophorum chamissonis) was one of the reasons I walked into the marsh along the dike. I had read they grew here, and I enjoyed them as a foreground element when I first ran into them at Washington Pass. I think I will try to photograph this area again when the leaves are exhibiting some nice fall colours. While the Maples cannot be relied upon for nice colours, the birches usually deliver, though they are few and far between.

widgeon peak reflected in pitt marsh

Widgeon Peak and Pitt Marsh

-click to enlarge-

You can view more of my photography from British Columbia in my image archive’s British Columbia Galleries.

Golden Ears Sunset Panorama

Sunset hits the clouds clearing from Mount Blandshard (The Golden Ears) – photographed from Tavistock Point at Brae Island Regional Park in Langley, British Columbia, Canada

mount blandshard the golden ears

Clouds clearing from Mount Blandshard at Sunset

-click to enlarge-

   As I mentioned in my previous post I also photographed Mount Blandshard (aka The Golden Ears) while at Tavistock Point last week in Brae Island Regional Park. The forecast had been for a cloudy day but as I came up to Tavistock Point the clouds started clearing from Mount Blandshard. I was able to make this panorama just as the light from the sunset came through the clouds to the west.

Fraser River Sunset

   Sunset at Tavistock Point and the junction of the Fraser River and Bedford Channel at Brae Island Regional Park in Langley, British Columbia, Canada

sunset at brae island regional park

Sunset at Tavistock Point on the Fraser River

-click to enlarge-

   Earlier this week I was in Fort Langley, British Columbia to do some photography, or at the very least scout some locations. I quickly realized that walking along the Fort to Fort Trail would not yield me the views I really wanted so I crossed the bridge to Brae Island Regional Park and walked along the river there. In a few spots where I was able to photograph some Fraser fishing boats tied on on the docks, but the best view was at Tavistock Point on the far end of the Island. I had walked here (about 5km round trip) earlier in the year, but the mosquitoes were so bad that I jogged much of the way just to keep the cloud of them behind me. Even so, I wound up with about 50 bites, which were not pleasant. This time there were no mosquitoes and the cooler late September air was a more pleasant walk anyway. The forecast was for very little chance of clearing so I was quite lucky to get this opening in the clouds and some nice sunset colours as well. Previous to making this photograph, there was some clearing on the Golden Ears (Mount Blandshard) and I was able to photograph some interesting cloud formations and some sunset light on the peaks. I’ll leave that panorama photograph for an upcoming post though.

You can see more of my photography from British Columbia’s Fraser Valley in my image archive: Fraser Valley Gallery.

The North Cascades Book

   I am pleased to have two of my photos in the new book The North Cascades: Finding Beauty and Renewal in the Wild Nearby by William Dietrich. The photograph of the Eastern Cottontail and Mount Pierce in Chilliwack, British Columbia (below) both made it into the book. I haven’t read the book yet, but I was pleased to see one thing when I looked through it (beyond the great photography). The map of the North Cascades did not stop at the US/Canadian border as I often see it shown – but continued on up into British Columbia where the real northern bounds of the North Cascade Range lies.

For more information about The North Cascades: Finding Beauty and Renewal in the Wild Nearby – visit the website http://www.wildnearby.org/.

the north cascades

An Eastern Cottontail and Mount Pierce in the North Cascades of British Columbia

-click to enlarge-