Last week I went on a photography trip to Vernon, British Columbia. I headed up the Crowsnest Highway 3 through Manning Provincial Park, through Princeton, and then on to Keremeos, Penticton, Kelowna and then Vernon. On a previous trip to the area I stayed in Lake Country which is between Kelowna and Vernon but found that most of the areas that attracted me, namely Kalamalka Lake, were near Vernon and not Kelowna.
Staying in Vernon put me within easy reach of 4 places I wanted to photograph on this trip – Kekuli Bay Provincial Park, Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, the Coldstream Valley, and Ellison Provincial Park.
On the second day of my trip I visited Ellison Provincial Park. I didn’t really know anything about Ellison except it was close to Vernon and is on the shores of Okanagan Lake, not Kalamalka Lake. I parked in the day use area parking and walked down the short trail to Otter Bay beach. The first photograph here is of Otter Bay beach – the shallow water warm enough to exhibit some of the green minerals in the water. I made a few photographs of this area and then moved onto the adjacent rocky hill and photographed this Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) along the shoreline. If you look closely at this second photograph from Ellison you can see the small, purple wildflowers of the Shrubby Penstemon (Penstemon fruticosus). These flowers were everywhere between the rocks, as well as some sporadic Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata). Photos of those will be coming soon!
Later in the day I had waited through a brief but interesting storm in the parking lot at Kekuli Bay, but since the storm had somewhat cleared I was searching for a place to view a potential sunset. The night before there was a good sunset – but I was too unfamiliar with the area to find a good place to photograph it. I was stuck on the wrong side of some hills and ran out of light before finding a way around them. Earlier in the day at Ellison I had figured this would be a good place to go for sunset, if I didn’t find anything else better in the rest of the days exploration. The sunset light never really materialized, but in preparation for it I had found myself back near at Ellison just in case. I didn’t go down to the water as the light just wasn’t there but just as I was leaving I had the opportunity to photograph some Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and in an adjacent field, a larger group of Columbian Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus). While making the photographs of the Black-tailed Deer, I tried to not just get “closeups” of the animals with my 70-200mm lens (plus a 1.4x TC for good measure!) but also zoom out a bit to get the animals in context with their environment. Sometimes a photograph showing the animal in their habitat can be stronger than one showing just the animal. I’ve started to do this with wildflowers as well.
Many more photographs of this trip are to come. I think my favourites are from Kalamalka Provincial Park – a place that will definitely be on my list to visit when I travel back here in the Fall!
Tags: beaches, black tailed deer, british columbia, columbian black tailed deer, deer, ellison provincial park, lakes, odocoileus hemionus columbianus, okanagan, okanagan lake, otter bay, penstemon, penstemon fruticosus, pines, pinus ponderosa, ponderosa pine, shoreline, shrubby penstemon, trees, vernon, wildflowers, wildlife