Liberty Bell Mountain from Blue Lake

Liberty Bell Mountain and Early Winter Spires at Blue Lake in the North Cascades of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in Washington State, USA.

liberty bell mountain from blue lake in the north cascades

Liberty Bell Mountain and Early Winter Spires at Blue Lake in the North Cascades (Purchase)

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   A few years ago I hiked up to Blue Lake in the Washington Pass area of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest – an area I had always thought of as part of North Cascades National Park. While Washington Pass is very close to the National Park, and some of area is in part maintained by the National Parks Service (especially the Washington Pass Overlook), it is part of the National Forest not the National Park. The parking lot and trail head can be found along Highway 20 (North Cascades Highway) 1.26km/4128 feet west of the Washington Pass Overlook turnoff. The short hike to Blue Lake is only 3.2km/2 mile and gains 350m/1050 feet of elevation to a total of 1906m/6254 feet. This photo is made a few hundred feet higher than that, along (and up) a trail to the west of the lake.

   As you can see from the above photograph, Blue Lake is aptly named. I was fortunate on this trip to arrive when the Subalpine Larch (Larix lyallii) were turning colour. Subalpine and other species of Larch are one of the few conifer species that are deciduous – they lose their needles each fall. This can be a beautiful display but is only found in higher elevations in this part of the world. Blue Lake is situated immediately below the iconic Liberty Bell Mountain. Liberty Bell is the spire on the left hand side of this photograph next to Concord Tower, Lexington Tower, and the Early Either Spires (North and South). Another view of Liberty Bell can be seen in my older post with some photographs from Washington Pass.

For more photographs from the Washington Pass area of the North Cascades visit my Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Gallery in the Image Library.

Sunset at Kitsilano Beach Park in Vancouver

Kitsilano Beach Park and buildings in the West End and downtown Vancouver at sunset. Photographed from Kitsilano Beach Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

kits beach sunset panorama vancouver city

Sunset at Kisilano Beach Park in the City of Vancouver (Purchase)

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   Earlier I shared some blue hour photos of similar scenes of Kitsilano Beach Park, Vancouver’s West End, and English Bay that I made back in March. The two photographs here were made about 20 minutes earlier when there were some sunset colours in the sky, and even a hint of Earth’s shadow (aka the Belt of Venus – top, right). This is the kind of sunset photograph I enjoy – the light from sunset in the sky, on the mountains and the buildings to the east. I was in Vancouver on this day due to the good weather and that we had just had some fresh snow on the Northshore Mountains – conditions that had eluded me the previous winter. The top photograph here includes Mount Seymour with some fresh snow above the buildings of the West End of Vancouver city. I think the two make a good combination.

kitsilano beach and the boathouse restaurant at sunset

Kitsilano Beach and the Boathouse Restaurant at Sunset (Purchase)

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   The second photograph here shows the Boathouse Restaurant at Kitsilano Beach Park during the night’s sunset. It had not yet become chilly at this point in the evening, so there were still quite a few tourists and locals on the beach. On a typical summer day (I shot this in March) I doubt you’d be able to see any sand around the beach goers from this vantage point – Kits is a rather popular beach during the summer.

For more photographs of Cities and Buildings (mostly Vancouver) visit my Cities & Buildings Gallery.

PCT Renard 58 under the Lions Gate Bridge

PCT Renard 58 is an Orca class steel-hulled Royal Canadian Navy training and surveillance craft shown here passing under the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver.

pct renard 58 passing under the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver

PCT Renard 58 passing under the Lions Gate Bridge (Purchase)

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   I had been walking along the Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver’s Stanley Park to photograph the view of the snow on the Northshore Mountains with the Lions Gate Bridge. All sorts of interesting vessels pass under this bridge, from rowboats to giant cruise ships. This particular ship is the PCT Renard 58 which is an Orca class steel-hulled Royal Canadian Navy training vessel. PCT stands for “Patrol Craft Training” and the 8 Orca class PCT ships are based in CFB Esquimalt on Vancouver Island. I did make a photograph consisting of just the Northshore Mountains and the Lions Gate Bridge but I thought I would share this photograph as it has a bit more of a story. The peaks you see in the background are Beauty Peak, Crown Mountain, and Grouse Mountain (L to R).

For more photographs made in Stanley Park visit my Stanley Park Gallery.

Harrison Lake Sunset

A vivid Harrison Lake sunset near Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada. The distant mountains are Sasin Peak and Deroche Mountain.

harrison lake sunset near harrison hot springs

A vivid Harrison Lake sunset near Harrison Hot Springs (Purchase)

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   A few days before I made these photos of a sunset at Harrison Lake I talked online about not making very many sunset photographs and generally avoiding them. Most often at sunset I am photographing what that light is reflecting off of, not the sky itself. I find the majority of sunset photos out there to be rather banal unless they have an actual subject of interest other than the sunset itself. That said, I had to pull over to the side of Rockwell Drive on the shore of Harrison Lake when I saw this light starting to develop (somewhere between Sasquatch Park’s Green Point and Harrison Hot Springs). The challenge then was to find something to do with it, and there was no time to get in position somewhere I knew to be favourable. The first photo here shows Sasin Peak, Deroche Mountain, and some fortuitous rocks and old dock pilings in Harrison Lake. I also made a square version of this Harrison Sunset.

   Before the colours to the west really exploded, I made this exposure looking north towards Mount Breakenridge. The colour here is much more subtle, but it works regardless. When the sky to the west became really vibrant this last scene here had very little color, even less than when I made this photo. Strange how that sometimes works out.

harrison lake sunset

Harrison Lake and Mount Breakenridge after Sunset (Purchase)

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   As you know I occasionally work with black and white for some of my photos, and so here is one last photo of the same scene with a different composition.

black and white photo harrison lake sunset

Harrison Lake and Mount Breakenridge in B&W (Purchase)

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For more photographs of Harrison and other lakes visit my Lakes & Rivers Gallery.

Twin Otter Seaplane and North Vancouver

A West Coast Air Twin Otter (De Havilland Canada DHC-6-100 Twin Otter C-FGQH) at the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre (CXH).

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West Coast Air Twin Otter at Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre (Purchase)

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   The float plane in the foreground is a De Havilland Canada DHC-6-100 Twin Otter (C-FGQH) built in 1968 which had its first flight on February 23, 1968. Currently the Twin Otter flies for West Coast Air (now part of Harbour Air Seaplanes) and carries 18 passengers. Behind the seaplane docked at Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre (formerly Vancouver Harbour Water Airport) is North Vancouver and the Northshore Mountains (a subset of the Pacific Ranges). I photographed this scene from the Vancouver Trade and Convention Center (Vancouver Convention Center West Building) in downtown Vancouver.

For more of my Vancouver area photographs visit my Vancouver Coast & Mountains gallery in my Image Library.

Video of Dunlin (Calidris alpina) at Crescent Beach

Video of Dunlin (Calidris alpina) foraging in the sand at Crescent Beach in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.

Dunlin (Calidris alpina) foraging at Crescent Beach

 

   I photographed these Dunlin (Calidris alpina), or at least I think that is the right species ID, back on New Years Day at Crescent Beach, Surrey, BC. I don’t shoot a lot of video, but in this case I thought it would show the frenetic activity on the beach as they foraged. The Dunlin here are most likely feeding on the biofilm and small invertebrates in the intertidal zone. These birds just almost never sit still – seemingly always moving, running, or flying as a group. The video looks like it might be sped up (it isn’t) but watch the Seagull, who hasn’t had the stimulants the Dunlin appear to have consumed. This species only stays here in estuary during the winter, and has usually moved on to breeding grounds by spring. I have thought about purchasing a small microphone to record audio along with the video as the internal microphone on my Canon 7D isn’t that great and likes to pick up all sorts of extra noise. That probably wouldn’t have helped me in this case, as someone behind me on the path was loudly complaining about their coffee maker. This video has no sound as a result, and is better off for it.

Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) Flowers

   The Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) is the official flower of the province of British Columbia. Growing only in the southwest corner of British Columbia, the Dogwood is not yet endangered, but is nearing that distinction. A fungus (Dogwood anthracnose) infects Dogwood trees and has helped diminish their numbers along with deforestation and the 2002 removal of protections against destroying Dogwoods (and other species) by the Provincial government. Dogwood flowers are a familiar sight in British Columbia as they are used on many company logos and even the Provincial Coat of Arms. The High School certificate of graduation issued by the Province is called the Dogwood Diploma (I have two of them – figure that one out).

pacific dogwood flowers - cornus nuttallii - in british columbia

Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) flowers (Purchase)

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   The photograph above shows the native species of Pacific Dogwood here in British Columbia, but there is another common Dogwood tree as well. “Eddie’s White Wonder” Dogwood is a hybrid between the Pacific Dogwood (C. nuttallii) and the Flowering Dogwood (C. florida). This hybrid was developed by British Columbia’s Henry Matheson Eddie (1881-1953) in 1945. The hybrid was created from the Pacific Dogwood and the Flowering Dogwood partly to avoid the fungus that damages the Pacific Dogwood.

hybrid dogwood flowers - pacific dogwood cornus nuttallii x cornus florida in british columbia

Eddie’s White Wonder hybrid Dogwood flowers (Purchase)

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   The hybrid has shown to be only partially resistant to the Anthracnose fungus, however. The hybrid Dogwood is shown in the photographs below, and tends to have larger, broader overlapping bracts and a much higher density of flowers. Some also have a slight pink hue to the flowers, as some of the original dogwood crosses were with pink varieties of C. florida.

hybrid dogwood flowers - cornus nuttallii x cornus florida in british columbia

Eddie’s White Wonder hybrid Dogwood flowers (Purchase)

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   The last photograph here shows another individual of the hybrid Dogwoods with a much higher density of flowers.

hybrid dogwood flowers - cornus nuttallii x cornus florida in british columbia

Eddie’s White Wonder hybrid Dogwood – note high density of flowers (Purchase)

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For more photographs of the flora of the forests of British Columbia (and Washington) take a look at my Forest Photos Gallery in my Image Library.

Great Blue Heron at English Bay in Kitsilano

A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) sits on the rocks next to English Bay in Kitsilano. Photographed from Kits Beach Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

great blue heron ardea herodas in english bay vancouver

A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) at English Bay in Kitsilano (Purchase)

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   I believe I have indicated my affinity for photographing Great Blue Herons in the past – they tend to stand relatively still while hunting for food and therefore make great photo subjects. I have a few photographs of herons at night, and this wouldn’t be possible for me with many other species. Not only do the herons stand still while waiting for prey, they often hunt on shorelines where I can use reflected lights to illuminate them during a longer exposure. This particular Great Blue Heron was hunting along English Bay at Kitsilano Beach Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I was busy making blue hour cityscapes of downtown Vancouver and happened to have my longer 70-200mm lens on my camera. This was the perfect lens for my panoramas, and luckily was also the perfect lens for photographing this Heron when I noticed him silhouetted against the lights reflecting off English Bay from Kitsilano. With the naked eye this Blue Heron was barely visible, but with a longer camera exposure (6 seconds in this case) the details of both the bird and the surrounding area were revealed.

For more wildlife photographs take a look at my Animals and Wildlife Gallery in my Image Library.