2015 Nature Calendar Now Available!

2015 nature calendar british columbia washington mountains

2015 Nature Calendar Covers – Canadian/US Holidays (Calendars use the same interior images)

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30% OFF! Use the code NEWYEAR (case sensitive) at checkout and get 30% off! Code valid through December 21th, 2014.

   My 2015 nature calendars are now available! I have put together some of my favourite images made in the past year into a 11″x17″ (28cm x 43cm) calendar. Included are 12 photographs of landscape and nature scenes from British Columbia and Washington State. There are two versions of this calendar – one with Canadian holidays and one with US holidays. The Canadian Calendar’s cover photograph is from British Columbia, the US version has a photo from Washington state – but all the images within the calendar are the same.

You can view a full preview and purchase this calendar through the links below (be sure to choose the correct version!)

My Top 10 Photos of 2014

   As in previous years this is more of a top 10 favourite photographs of 2014 than what I consider to be the “best”. Choosing the images for my Nature Calendar happens earlier in the fall, and does help me narrow these things down a bit ahead of time. Once again, I am making this post so I can be a part of Jim Goldstein’s annual Your Best Photos project. Look for his post early in the new year with all the entries from a wide variety of photographers.

   So in no specific order here are my top 10 photographs of 2014:

trout lake creek moss and rocks
Trout Lake Creek flows through the rainforest in Sasquatch Provincial Park

(Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia)
Blog post: Sasquatch Provincial Park

lions gate bridge and downtown vancouver from ambleside beach
The Lions Gate Bridge and downtown Vancouver

(West Vancouver, British Columbia)
Blog post: Lions Gate Bridge from Ambleside Park

Read the rest of this entry »

Mount Redoubt from Chilliwack Lake

This was supposed to be a post about Bald Eagles at the Harrison River but it isn’t…

snow blowing off mount redoubt in the north cascades

Snow blowing off Mount Redoubt and Nodoubt Peak in the North Cascades

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   Last weekend I headed out to the Harrison River area to look for Bald Eagles with Steve Cole. As was the case last year, it was very cold by our standards and I had to break out my “big” jacket and a down vest to keep warm (it was -10°C at Chilliwack Lake). This year the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival was a few weeks in the past but reports were indicating there were a lot of Bald Eagles still out on the flats near the Harrison River. Reality turned out to be a bit different as we hardly saw any when driving on Highway 7 and up Morris Valley Road through to the Chehalis River. We saw a lot of eagles in 2012 and last year there were still quite a few eagles though the frozen water made it tough for them to get at the salmon. This year, there wasn’t even a few random ones sitting up in the trees. I suspect the roughly 150mm (6″) of rain earlier in the week that flooded the Harrison River’s banks flushed out all the salmon and the eagles moved on. Last year we decided on Silver Lake Provincial Park as a landscape photography backup plan (which taught me a good lesson at the same time). This year I was still hoping to find where the Eagles might have picked as a secondary location and therefore opted for the Chilliwack River Valley through to Chilliwack Lake.

snow on trees over the chilliwack river

Trees along the Chilliwack River

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   Unfortunately, I think we saw a total of 2 Bald Eagles at the Chilliwack River Valley and Chilliwack Lake (adding to our grand total of 4 earlier in the day), so clearly they had not congregated there. The water levels in the river were quite high, as were those in the lake. My hopes of recreating some of my earlier photographs of the shoreline patterns at Chilliwack Lake didn’t quite work out as the water level in the lake was several feet higher than it was last fall. Walking down to the bridge over the Chilliwack River did present this scene with some snow on the light coloured branches of these trees (likely Red Alder) overhanging the Chilliwack River. I made a few photographs from the bridge before we headed back to the flooded boat launch area to photograph the sunset on Mount Redoubt. I always enjoy being at Chilliwack Lake and even if the sunset doesn’t do everything one would hope there is usually a nice view of Mount Redoubt and the North Cascades peaks in the area.

For more of my photographs from this area check out my Chilliwack Provincial Park Gallery in my Image Archive.

Road to Artist Point at Mount Baker

The Mount Baker Highway (SR 542) winds towards Artist Point in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington State, USA

road to artist point in the north cascades

The road to Artist Point

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   Having finished photographing the Heather Meadows area back in early October, I headed up the Mount Baker Highway to Artist Point. These three photographs were made from Artist Point, but show the highway (SR 542) on the way up between Heather Meadows and Artist Point.

parking spot near artist point under table mountain north cascades

A scenic parking spot in the North Cascades

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   I photographed this small car in this way to not only include some of the late evening light on the rocks above (the lower part of Table Mountain) but also to make it look a bit like a car in the middle of nowhere. The photograph below shows the scene in a bit more context. I think someone had pulled out into that spot for a nap, even when I left after dark they were still in there with the back hatch open.

scenic parking spot near artist point in the north cascades

Scenic parking spot near Artist Point

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You can view more of my photography from the North Cascades in my North Cascades Gallery.

Heather Meadows Fall Foliage

   During my recent trip to the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State, I photographed a variety of scenes around Picture Lake, Heather Meadows and Artist Point/Kulshan Ridge. In my previous post I showed a few of the photographs from the Heather Meadows area that included peaks of the North Cascades. In this post I have a few more images of fall foliage colors from Heather Meadows, but these scenes are not as wide in scope and in the case of the first image here (my favourite), a bit abstract.

sky reflection in austin pass lake at heather meadows in the fall

Austin Pass Lake Reflections at Heather Meadows

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   I think the above photograph of Austin Pass Lake is my favourite of these four images. I had already photographed a wider view of the the area and then tried to isolate the details at this end of the lake. I liked how the clouds looked a bit like they were flowing from the inlet out into the lake.

mount herman fall reflection in austin pass lake at heather meadows

Mount Herman Reflecting in Austin Pass Lake at Heather Meadows

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   A similar angle on Austin Pass Lake to the first photograph but this time with the reflection of Mount Herman.

photographer and fall colour heather meadows

Photographer/Hiker at Heather Meadows

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   Can you spot the hiker/photographer in this photograph? I don’t photograph all that many people but when someone stands still in a place like this it is a good way to show the scale of the scene. Reminds me a bit of my photograph of Silver Falls in Mount Rainier National Park where someone standing in the scene really gave an indication of its scale.

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Terminal Lake below Table Mountain

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   I liked the fall foliage colors in this landscape around Terminal Pass Lake in Heather Meadows (below Table Mountain). Everything here almost seems to be going westward (to the right). The water looks to be flowing into the lake, and the rocks look a bit like they are flowing down the talus slopes. The trail (the Fire and Ice Trail I believe) is leading you in that direction as well.

You can view more of my photography from this and surrounding areas in my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.

Ruskin Dam in Mission BC

   On my way to Rolley Lake Provincial Park a few weeks ago I stopped to photograph near the Ruskin Dam on the Stave River in Mission, British Columbia, Canada. After several heavy rainstorms in October the excess water collected in Stave Lake is released over the Ruskin Dam. The Dam is currently undergoing a refit and reconstruction to upgrade the original structure built in the 1930’s – which is why you see the crane tower and all the scaffolding and work materials here. Only 3 of the 7 original spillways are currently flowing – after the refit there will be a total of 5.

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Ruskin Dam in Mission, BC

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I also recorded a video of the Ruskin Dam water flow which indicates the sheer volume a little better than the photograph above. You can imagine the roar of the water coming over the dam, but there is no sound on this video because in addition to that all you’d hear would be the traffic of the road and a conversation between two fisherman nearby!

Heather Meadows and the North Cascades

   I made a number of photographs in the Heather Meadows area of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington a few weeks ago – too many for one blog post. So, these are the images from Heather Meadows showing some of peaks of the North Cascades looking north. I’ll follow up with another blog post showing some different details in the Heather Meadows area soon.

austin pass lake in heather meadows north cascades

Austin Pass Lake and Mount Larrabee

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   Driving up the Mount Baker Highway (SR 542) brings you to the Mt. Baker Ski area, and then to the Heather Meadows Visitor Center Parking lot. From there a short walk will give a great view of Table Mountain, the Bagley Lakes, Austin Pass Lake and the North Cascade Peaks to the north. The above photo shows Mount Larrabee above Austin Pass Lake. My visit was in early October and the fall coours in the Mountain Ash, Mountain Heather and Blueberry bushes were better than I had seen before.

bagley Lakes in heather meadows north cascades

Bagley Lakes in the North Cascades

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   This view of the Bagley Creek/Bagley Lakes in Heather Meadows shows Mount Larrabee as well as some of the more dramatic American Border Peak to the west.

The Border Peaks and Mount Larrabee from Heather Meadows Picnic Area

Austin Pass / Heather Meadows Picnic Area View

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   On the way into the parking lot at Heather Meadows one passes this picnic table in the Austin Pass Picnic Area with an excellent view of Canadian Border Peak, Tommyhoi Peak, American Border Peak and Mount Larrabee.

heather meadows visitor center volcanic rocks view

Heather Meadows Visitor Center

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   This is a view of the Heather Meadows Visitor Center from the Bagley Lakes trail. As this area is quite near to Mount Baker itself, there is a lot of volcanic rock of various forms around the area. Viewing the larger version of this photograph you can see the top of some Andesite columns. There are many other columns to view in the area especially on the Mt. Baker Highway between Heather Meadows and Artist Point.

You can view more of my photography from this and surrounding areas in my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.

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

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   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

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   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

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   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.

unnamed creek flowing into rolley lake

Unnamed Creek Running into Rolley Lake

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   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.