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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   My 2015 wall 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!)

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.

terminal lake panroama at heather meadows

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Fishing Boats along the Fraser River

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   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

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   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)

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   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.