Horses in Hedley, British Columbia

Horses begging for apples and other treats (which are often provided by tourists) near the town of Hedley, British Columbia, Canada

hope mountain reflected in silver lake

Horses along the Crowsnest Highway in Hedley, BC

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As with my earlier cruise ship panorama post I thought I’d share an image I’ve come across in my archive while catching up on some editing and keywording. This is a small herd of horses that quickly ran over to the fence when I pulled off Hwy 3 near Hedley, British Columbia, Canada. I had been looking for an angle to photograph the highway and Nickelplate Mountain together but when this group came running over and lined up against the fence, I couldn’t resist. I believe they were begging for apples and other treats and had determined I was a likely source of goodies. Unfortunately for them, I had nothing to offer (not that I would have fed someone else’s animals without permission anyway). A few minutes of hopeful expectation turned to disappointment and they wandered away.

Cruise Ship Docked in Vancouver

The Princess Cruises ship Golden Princess docked at Canada Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

princess cruise ship docked in vancouver

Cruise ship docked at Canada Place in Vancouver, BC

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   Recently I have been going through my archive of photographs and editing a few I missed, and re-editing a few that showed promise but I didn’t do a good enough job of processing years ago. This is a photograph I shot in 2007 but I simply didn’t know how to stitch a panorama at the time. I liked it enough when I came across it the other day to process it now. This is the cruise ship terminal in Vancouver next to Canada Place. The ship is the Princess Cruises Golden Princess which at this time was about to head back to Seattle. If you look at the larger version you can see the Helijet flying past near the stern of the ship.

Mount Seymour’s Flower Lake

   A few weeks ago I headed to Mount Seymour Provincial Park in North Vancouver. Mount Seymour was one of the nearby locations I had not visited in quite some time and thought I should check out again. I hadn’t been to Mystery Lake in 12 years, and didn’t really remember much of my last trip, so this was my first stop. As it turns out, even during a summer weekday Mystery Lake is a swimming destination. So rather than finding a quiet mountain lake I found boom boxes, beer and the scantily clad (or not). I did enjoy the view all the way up the Fraser Valley from up there, but with the relatively thick haze this was not all that photogenic either.

   The other destination I had in mind at Mount Seymour was Flower Lake. I didn’t quite have enough time remaining in the day to go all the way to Goldie Lakes, so that will have to be on my next trip (along with Dog Mountain). The Flower Lake Loop Trail was quite easy compared to the Mystery Lake Trail and actually offered more photography opportunities. The first of these was this near mature Corn Lily or False Hellebore (Veratrum viride). I haven’t photographed all that many of these, but I can see why they are a popular subject with the patterns and textures in the leaves.

corn lily leaves

Corn Lily/ False Hellebore (Veratrum viride)

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   Flower Lake itself is not very large, and is really a rather large pond full of various species of aquatic plants including Yellow Pond Lily (Nuphar polysepalum) and Floating Leaved Pond Weed (Potamogeton natans) and many others. I didn’t see any frogs or tadpoles, but I’m sure there are plenty there. While the lake itself is a bit like any other lake in the forest, there was some interesting characteristics to the shoreline. I made this photograph of a fallen and dead tree along the shore of the lake along with the aquatic plants.

flower lake shoreline

A fallen tree along the shore of Flower Lake

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   One of the features along both the Mystery Lake Trail and the Flower Lake Loop Trail was the ever present Oval-Leaved Blueberry (Vaccinium ovalifolium) bushes. Most of the bushes had a lot of berries on them, except in the areas near the parking lot where people (presumably) had been picking them. I found this particular bush full of berries right next to Flower Lake. maybe I am too used to the cultivated Blueberries in my own backyard, but these wild ones weren’t nearly as sweet. Perhaps it was just a bit too early in the season.

oval leaved blueberries vaccinium ovalifolium

Wild Oval-Leaved Blueberries (Vaccinium ovalifolium)

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   From the Flower Lake Loop Trail I headed back to the parking lot and went to Ambleside Beach Park in West Vancouver to photograph the Lions Gate Bridge.

For more images from this part of British Columbia please visit my Vancouver Coast & Mountains Gallery.

Organic Peas

   A few weeks ago this was the harvest from my organic vegetable garden. I had many bushels of peas out of the garden this year which is always nice. Nothing quite like fresh peas and considering how labour intensive they are compared to my other crops it is satisfying to get a lot of them.

organic peas

A bushel of organic peas (Lincoln Homesteader variety )

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Lions Gate Bridge from Ambleside Park

The Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park, and downtown Vancouver from Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

lions gate bridge stanley park and downtown vancouver

Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park, and Downtown Vancouver from Ambleside Park

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   After a bit of hiking last week around Mount Seymour, I headed to Ambleside Park in West Vancouver to see if that location would offer a favourable view of Stanley Park, downtown Vancouver and the Lions Gate Bridge. I have photographed the Lions Gate from Brockton Point and Prospect Points in Stanley Park before, and wanted a new view of the Bridge. As it turns out, I think Ambleside Park actually offers a better view of the bridge than from most of Stanley Park. Clear and unobstructed, and during dusk at least – with a nicer background that is more evenly lit. The only issues I had last week at Ambleside were the giant tankers coming into the port occasionally and the nearly full (and not super) moon just above the bridge.

Nanaimo Harbour on Vancouver Island

   Two de Havilland Harbour Air seaplanes (DHC-3 Turbine Single Otters) at the Nanaimo Harbour Water Airport in Nanaimo, British Columbia

seaplanes at nanaimo harbour water airport

Two Single Otters at the Nanaimo Harbour Water Airport

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   Last year I spent an evening at Maffeo Sutton Park in the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. I had spent a few previous sunsets at Jack point across Nanaimo Harbour from the downtown area, and was now looking for some more urban photography locations. I was lucky to get some good light (and weather) that evening, and had a decent sunset in the sky for many of my photographs. The first photo (above) shows two of the Harbour Air seaplanes floating at their dock at the Nanaimo Harbour Water Airport with some of the boardwalk and marinas in the background.

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The BC Ferry Quinsam entering Nanaimo Harbour

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   This is the BC Ferry ‘Quinsam’ entering Nanaimo Harbour from its Gabriola Island to Nanaimo run. Though a bit larger it reminds me of the Albion Ferry that used to run across the Fraser River between Fort Langley and Maple Ridge until a few years ago. Biggs Park/Jack Point is in the background (right).

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Sunset behind a sailboat in Nanaimo Harbour

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   Initially I was unable to read the name on the side of this sailboat at the time, but from the numbers on its sail I could determine its name: the Cu na Mara. Here it is sailing past some of the boats anchored at Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park during sunset.

panorama of nanaimo harbour

Panorama of Nanaimo Harbour

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   My other goal was to make some “blue hour” photographs of the boardwalk and buildings of downtown Nanaimo. This perspective can be found from the Swy-A-Lana Fishing Pier. You can view other photographs of my trip to Nanaimo and other Vancouver Island locations in the Vancouver Island Photos gallery.

Mazama Ridge in Mount Rainier National Park

   Sunset over the Cascade Range from the Skyline Trail on Mazama Ridge. The Paradise Inn, Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center and Paradise Valley Road are in the foreground – Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA.

sunset over mount rainier national park from mazama ridge

Sunset in Mount Rainier National Park from the Skyline Trail on Mazama Ridge

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   On the first day of my trip to Mount Rainier National Park last year I hiked up to Mazama Ridge. I’d seen a number of photographs from there before, and it looked like a good place to start exploring the area around Paradise – beyond the views available from the roadside. I parked at the small lot (elevation: 5250 feet or 1600 meters) near the Paradise River bridge in Paradise Valley, and hiked up the Fourth Crossing Trail. I’ve been part way up this trail in the past, and though parts of it feel a lot like climbing stairs much of this is right next to the Paradise River which makes it a bit more pleasant. The Fourth Crossing Trail eventually meets up with the Skyline Trail after a climb of around 250 feet (76 m) in elevation. If I had to do this again I would park near the Paradise Inn and walk the Skyline trail from there rather than heading back down to my car along the Fourth Crossing Trail in the dark.

   From the junction of the Skyline and Fourth Crossing trails there is a series of switchbacks to get you up to Mazama Ridge (at an elevation of around 5800 feet (1770m)). The Skyline Trail then comes to a junction with the Lakes Trail (which Google refers to as the Mazama Ridge Trail). As I was still primarily scouting I headed down the Lakes Trail in search of wildflowers and places to photograph. This trail heads downhill gently at first, but if you wish it will take you all the way down to Reflection Lakes. The panorama below is a view of the Tatoosh Range before the trail gets down into the trees.

the tatoosh range from mazama ridge

Summer wildflowers and the Tatoosh Range

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   This stretch of the Lakes Trail is also where some of the iconic views of Mount Rainier with wildflowers are found. If you do hike this trail, or any of these trails in Mount Rainier National Park please don’t trample the wildflowers or other foliage along the trails. The “keep on the trail” signs are around for a reason as some visitors to these sensitive areas seem to see nothing wrong with wandering off the trail and crushing the wildflowers. It was at this point in the trail I was talking to one of the park volunteers and we noticed some moron about 50 feet off the trail behind us trampling through the wildflower field. If that wasn’t bad enough, he was dragging an aluminum stepladder around up there. After I’d left up the Skyline Trail I ran into the volunteer again – he’d given the stepladder guy a good lecture. This really shouldn’t be necessary…

   After making a few photographs along the Lakes Trail I headed back up to the junction with the Skyline Trail. I scouted the Skyline Trail up past the Stevens Van Trump Historic Monument at which point the light turned the sky a nice colour and the shadows disappeared from the foreground. At this elevation the Tatoosh Range comes into a better view compared to lower down on the Lakes Trail. I’ve said this before but often I prefer photographing the Tatoosh Range over Rainier itself – especially when in the Paradise area. I wrote a bit more about this in an earlier post featuring a panorama of the tatoosh range. Rainier takes up a lot of the sky and can be tough to photograph backlit by the sunset in the evenings. Dawn would probably be an ideal time, but I’m saving that for when I actually stay at the Paradise Inn or relatively nearby.

the tatoosh range from mazama ridge

Summer wildflowers on Mazama Ridge

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   I had seen a few photographs with the shadows of mountains at sunrise and sunset, but hadn’t give it much thought in terms of finding this phenomenon myself. It was on Mazama Ridge I saw this for the first time. The dark blue in the sky is the shadow of Mount Rainier cast down towards Stevens Valley and the Cascade mountains to the east.

the shadow of mount rainier from mazama ridge

The Shadow of Mount Rainier from Mazama Ridge

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   I’ve shown the following image before, but I think it remains my favourite of all the images I made that evening on Mazama Ridge. A lot of Magenta Paintbrush (Castilleja parviflora) in the foreground (as opposed to the usually dominant Lupines) and great sunset colours in the sky. This was near the intersection of the Skyline Trail and the Paradise Glacier Trail.

wildflowers and the tatoosh range from mazama ridges skyline trail in mount rainier national park

Rainier Wildflowers and the Tatoosh Range from Mazama Ridge.
Wildflower species include Broadleaf Lupine (Lupinus latifolius), Magenta Paintbrush (Castilleja parviflora) and Western Anenome seedheads (Anenome occidentalis)

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   You may also be interested in my report from the area north of the Paradise Inn – The Skyline Trail and the Golden Gate Trail and the Mount Rainier National Park gallery in my image archive.

Rolley Falls in Rolley Lake Provincial Park

Rolley Creek Falls in Rolley Lake Provincial Park near Mission, British Columbia, Canada

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Rolley Falls on Rolley Creek

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   Last Fall I visited Rolley Lake Provincial Park. I parked in the day use area and hiked around part of the lake to photograph Rolley Creek and Rolley Falls. This was an easy (mostly flat) hike that was only about 2 kilometers. A few weeks ago I hiked there again from a different starting point – Burma Street near Stave Lake. On the map, if you ignore one obvious aspect, this seems like it should be a 500-600 meter hike. As all I was interested in was a spring photograph of the waterfall, this looked like a good idea, and I would also be able to check out the lower falls which is right next to the road. It was, but I wasn’t able to get close enough to it without wading across the creek, which I wasn’t prepared to do. My “shortcut” was indeed short. I believe the distance actually wound up being as expected – about 600 meters. This did involve about 200m (650 feet) in elevation gain, however. Seems I overlooked my usual step of checking a topographical map before I decide which way is the “easy” way. I completed the climb anyway, and made the above photograph – this time with lush spring foliage surrounding the falls.

For more images from the Fraser Valley please visit my Fraser Valley Gallery.