Historic Longmire Area of Mount Rainier

   I have been catching up on editing some older images I made in 2010 at Mount Rainier National Park. Below are two images of historic buildings in the Longmire Historic District. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve been to Longmire since I made these photos back in 2010. I tend to enter the park from the Stevens Canyon entrance now due to its proximity to Tipsoo Lake, Sunrise and relatively quick access to the Paradise area. Sadly, Longmire gets left out most of the time now.

   This is the entrance to the historic Longmire Administration Building built in 1928.

the historic longmire administration building at longmire in mount rainier national park

Historic Longmire Administration Building

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   This is the Longmire Service Station which was built in 1927.

lower falls and gold creek with a flowering streambank arnica

Longmire Service Station

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   Between Longmire and Paradise lies a small loop road at Ricksecker Point. I have photographed many of the views from Ricksecker Point including this telephoto image of the peak of Mount Rainier itself. The glacier on the right hand side of this photo is the Kautz Glacier, which in part forms Kautz Creek many will be familiar with crossing if entering the park from the Nisqually entrance.

rocky snow and ice on the peak of mount rainier

Snow and Ice on the Peak of Mount Rainier

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You can find over 200 photographs from Mount Rainier in my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery.

Tipsoo Lake on a Cold Fall Morning

   On the last day of my 2010 trip to Mount Rainier National Park I got up early and attempted to photograph sunrise at Tipsoo Lake. In what became a learning experience I did not confirm the hotel alarm clock was set to the right time. Consequently I got out of bed too late despite setting the right alarm time which made me miss sunrise. Well, if only I had – I was forced to watch the entire sky turn orange from my car before I had reached the lake. Despite this, I did enjoy walking around the lake, alone, in below freezing temperatures with frost on the now dying wildflower plants. I didn’t really appreciate how peaceful this was until I visited Tipsoo a few years later in the Summer during the peak of the wildflower season

view of mount rainier and tipsoo lake from tipsoo lake viewpoint

View of Tipsoo Lake and Mount Rainier (Buy Print/License)

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   This photograph was made from the viewpoint along SR 410 above Tipsoo Lake. On the right is the edge of Yakima Peak, the Cowlitz Chimneys, Barrier Peak and Governors Ridge can be seen in the center.

You can find over 200 photographs from Mount Rainier in my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery.

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) Singing

A Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) singing in the marsh at Elgin Heritage Park near Crescent Beach, British Columbia, Canada.

alpenglow on hope mountain by silver lake provincial park

A Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) singing near Crescent Beach (Buy Print/License)

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   I photographed this Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) singing along the boardwalk over the marsh at Elgin Heritabe Park in Surrey, BC earlier this spring. I visited this park several times to photograph the Red-winged Blackbirds and on this occasion had this Song Sparrow sit on a branch right in front of me and start singing. I was able to make several photographs, and record two videos (see below) before the inevitable foot traffic of other park visitors caused it to fly away. Still, having a sparrow land that close and start singing was a great opportunity, one that I was only able to capitalize on as I was walking around with my longer lens (70-200mm) on the camera at the time. Landscapes do not tend to catch me by surprise nearly as often as wildlife, so when walking around on trails I often have the long lens on my camera instead of my favorite landscape lens (17-55mm). This way I am not trying to change lenses in order to photograph a bird or other animal close to me which is an activity that usually results in a missed opportunity.

   The video linked below was recorded with my Canon 7D and its internal microphone which leaves a bit to be desired as it picks up all sorts of background noise. In the video you can hear the Song Sparrow singing, but you’ll also likely notice other birds singing, the flock of geese flying overhead, frogs, and the sounds of a speed boat accelerating up the nearby Nicomekl River.

song sparrow singing video

For more of my photographs of wildlife and animals please take a look at my Animals and Wildlife Gallery.

Cowlitz Chimneys and the Sarvant Glaciers

The Cowlitz Chimneys and Sarvant Glaciers at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State, USA.

cowlitz chimneys and the sarvant glaciers in mount rainier national park

Cowlitz Chimneys and the Sarvant Glaciers in Mount Rainier National Park

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   I have most often viewed the Cowlitz Chimneys in Mount Rainier National Park from the eastern side of the park near Tipsoo Lake. I photographed this panorama of the Chimneys from the Sunrise area of the park along the Silver Forest Trail. The Cowlitz Chimneys are the remains of a rhyolite plug at Mount Rainier and the highest Chimney (South Chimney) has an elevation of 2318m (7605 ft). I had thought when I made this photograph that the patches of snow and ice below the chimneys were just that – the remaining snowfall from the previous winter. However, upon some research it seems that these are the Sarvant Glaciers and are “permanent”. From comparison photographs it seems these glaciers may have melted beyond their usual ebb and flow in recent years due to lower snowfall levels in the winter and warmer temperatures.

You can see more photographs from this area in my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery.

Silver Lake and Hope Mountain

Alpenglow on Hope Mountain at Silver Lake Provincial Park near Hope, British Columbia, Canada

alpenglow on hope mountain by silver lake provincial park

Alpenglow on Hope Mountain from Silver Lake (Buy Print/License)

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   Approximately 10km up the Silver Skagit road from Hope, British Columbia you’ll find the entrance to Silver Lake Provincial Park. The park contains a boat launch and a 25 spot campground, but as I live within an hour away in Langley I have mainly visited here on the way back from the Thompson Okanagan or as a day trip. The photograph above was made on an evening where I was lucky to have a near perfect reflection and some great fall foliage colors. Fall color is somewhat hit and miss in the Fraser Valley, but in 2013 there were some pretty great colors in the foliage of the Vine and Bigleaf Maples. Silver Lake is a great fall destination at all times of the year, but my favourite time here is in the fall. After turning up Silver Skagit road you will see several great views of Silverhope Creek, as well as Eureka Falls just before the turnoff to the park.

For more photographs from this area please take a look at my Silver Lake Provincial Park Gallery.

Harbourfront Walkway in Nanaimo

The Harbourfront Walkway, boat docks and Nanaimo Water Harbour Airport in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

nanaimo harbourfront walkway in nanaimo british columbia

The Harbourfront Walkway and Fishing Boats in Nanaimo Harbour (Buy Print/License)

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   I was lucky to spend a week photographing Nanaimo, British Columbia and other parts of Vancouver Island in 2013. I made this photograph on one of several evenings where I walked along the Harbourfront Walkway past many small shops and marinas. I previously shared a different view of Nanaimo Harbour but I think I prefer the wider field of view in the above photograph as it shows more of the fishing and other boats in the marina.

Lower Falls Trail in Golden Ears Provincial Park

Lower Falls and the emerald pools of Gold Creek at Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada.

lower falls and emerald pools of gold creek in golden ears provincial park

Lower Falls in Golden Ears Provincial Park

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   One of the easier hikes to do in Golden Ears Provincial Park is the Lower Falls Trail (map) along Gold Creek. The trailhead is easy to find at the northwest end of the parking lot (the grey spot just after the Gold Creek Bridge on the map linked earlier). This hike is only 5.5km (round trip) and has minimal elevation change which makes it much more accessible than some of the other trails in Golden Ears Park. The trail has also been upgraded in recent years, so much of it is crushed gravel. Personally I dislike walking on crushed gravel and prefer a natural trail even with tree roots, slugs and the occasional puddle. I guess the resurfacing does have some benefit in initial parts of the trail that were often filled with puddles and mud in the spring and fall, but I would have preferred they left the rest as is. I have previously hiked to Alder Flats on a number of occasions, and while that is a nice hike, it doesn’t have the scenery one gets to enjoy along the much easier Lower Falls Trail.

   After walking about 1km up the trail from the parking lot I came to the first spot where I stopped for photography. There are many small side trails down to the creek along the entire Lower Falls Trail (be sure to follow those instead of making your own). My first stop was only about 5 meters from the trail and showed a nice summer view of Gold Creek. This looks to be a good spot to stop during fall foliage colors as well.

   My next stop was probably the most famous spot along the Lower Falls Trail – the viewpoint where one can see Gold Creek and parts of Mount Blandshard. Just before this viewpoint you’ll see a number of side trails to a beach which is a great spot to stop and eat lunch or just relax.

lower falls and gold creek with a flowering streambank arnica

Lower Falls and Streambank Arnica

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   After a 10-15 minute walk from the viewpoint I arrived at my ultimate destination: Lower Falls itself. The water levels shown here are probably more typical in late August, but were this low in late June due to our lack of winter snowpack in the mountains and a drought this spring/summer. In normal years this waterfall will be a raging torrent in fall, winter and spring – and can be quite dangerous. I was able to get up on a rock and photograph Lower Falls from a nice vantage point but only due to the lower water levels and lack of strong currents (and depth) in the water below. In far too many of the past years people have fallen into the water at various points in Gold Creek and died as a result.

   Many of the cracks in the rocks near Lower Falls had Streambank Arnica (Arnica lanceolata) growing in them. I was lucky that one of the Arnica plants was in a good position to include in the above composition along with the waterfall. On my way back to the main viewing platform I photographed one of the other Streambank Arnica plants growing in a crack in one of the boulders beneath the falls.

streambank arnica growing out of rocks near lower falls

Streambank Arnica (Arnica lanceolata) flowering next to Lower Falls

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For more of my photographs from the Golden Ears area visit my Golden Ears Provincial Park Gallery.

Kalamalka Lake Viewpoint in Vernon

Evening view of Vernon and Coldstream looking over Kalamalka Lake in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

view of vernon coldstream and kalamalka lake at night

Kalamalka Lake Viewpoint near Hwy 97

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   Kalamalka Lake and other areas around Vernon are among my favorite places in British Columbia’s Thompson Okanagan region. The above view of Kalamalka Lake, Vernon, and Coldstream was made on the same evening as another photograph of mine: a Panorama of Kalamalka Lake. Unless I am in a hurry, I always seem to stop at this lookout to stretch my legs and look at the view. On this day I was coming back from Kelowna at just the right time for some blue hour photographs.

lakeside property in vernon british columbia

View of Kalamalka Lake from Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park

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   This second view is from Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park along the Corral Trail. In the larger version of this photo you can just see the viewpoint from the first photograph above on the hill in the upper left hand corner.

For more photographs of Vernon, Coldstream and the surrounding areas please visit my Thompson Okanagan Gallery.