Langley Bog from the new viewing platform at Derby Reach Regional Park (Houston Trail) in Langley, British Columbia, Canada.
Langley Bog from Derby Reach Park Viewing Platform (Purchase)
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A few weeks ago I went to the Langley Bog for the first time as there was a new viewing platform off of the Houston Trail in Derby Reach Regional Park. I had never walked on the Houston Trail but was aware of it and the bog (which is generally closed to the public) on my many drives past the trailhead. While the Langley Bog is a very interesting place biologically, I didn’t find all that much insight into that via the viewing platform (built by the Derby Reach Brae Island Parks Association). Granted, everything was frozen solid at the time and spring/summer may yield more wildlife viewing and other interesting things. This may be a good spot for birding in the future. I also hope that this is not the end of construction. Burns Bog has a lot of trails and boardwalks (via the Delta Nature Reserve) where you can walk, with relatively low disturbance of the bog itself. It would be nice if this kind of thing could be incorporated into Langley Bog in the future.
I have visited Mill Pond on Dewdney Trunk Road in Mission, BC a number of times, but not usually for photographs. Fall is one of my favourite times of year to photograph and so I try to get out as much as possible during the fleeting time fall foliage is available. Last year had nearly constant fall rain (600 mm/23.6 in during October/November) and was dubbed the “dreariest on record” by Environment Canada’s weather forecasters. 2016 had relatively poor fall foliage colours too, so I didn’t always find what I was looking for in spots I’d targeted. I was heading back from a “failed” trip one afternoon and stopped at Mill Pond to see if there were any interesting reflections on its surface. I was not disappointed – there were a few trees and shrubs that had some decent foliage colors and the lack of wind made for some good reflections. The first photograph here of the pond is actually the last one I put together from 4 separate exposures. These had to be a bit longer in duration (15 seconds) than those earlier as it was almost dark when I made this photograph. I am not sure what species make up most of the colours in the first photo but the second is primarily from Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) leaves.
In late April I was mowing the grass growing between the raised vegetable garden beds and discovered this Dark-eyed Junco nest, complete with eggs, on the ground underneath a small overhang. This is a common place for Juncos to place their nests, I’ve come across a few others on the ground in tall grass in previous years. I try not to disturb these junco nests when mowing, but I did flush out the female that was sitting on the it at the time. She did sit on the nest again about 5 minutes later, however. A week later I did take a look at the nest (from afar, at first) and the eggs were gone. We have a lot of Black Squirrels (invasive species) that love to snack on bird eggs, so that might have been the fate of this particular clutch. Crows are another likely candidate, though they are not the only other bird species that would look at these as lunch.
For more photographs of birds visit my Bird Photos Gallery.
Once again it is time to post my 10 favourite photographs from the past year. I do this yearly as it is a worthwhile exercise, and to take part in Jim Goldstein’s annual Your Best Photos project. His collection of these posts is a great place to view photographs and find some new photographers to follow.
I hope you enjoy my selections here and am curious to hear if you have a favourite. If you click on each photograph you’ll be taken to my Image Archive. Many of these photographs have corresponding blog posts that I’ve linked to underneath the thumbnails here. These aren’t in any specific order, but I did place the photograph “Rainbow over Hatzic Lake” at the beginning as I think this is the first time I’ve photographed a rainbow (successfully at least) outside of my backyard. I was also shielding the camera from a rainstorm with my body, so the photo deserves extra points for that. 😉
2017 Calendar Cover – Rainbow over Hatzic Lake and Hatzic Island
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My 2017 Nature Calendars are now available! I have put together some of my favourite recent photographs into a 11″x17″ (28cm x 43cm) calendar. Included are 12 photographs of landscape and nature scenes from British Columbia and Washington State. Most of these photographs were made in 2016, though a few are from earlier years but previously unpublished in my calendars.
30% OFF! Use the code 10THDAY20 (case sensitive) for 30% OFF at checkout through Dec 16, 2016.
You can view a full preview and purchase this calendar through the button below:
The Coquihalla River and the Othello Tunnels at Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park in Hope, British Columbia, Canada.
Bridge over the Coquihalla River at Othello Tunnels (Purchase)
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Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park sits in the Coquihalla Gorge very near to Hope, British Columbia, Canada. I hadn’t visited this park since 2012, which might have been the most recent year of truly great fall colour in this part of BC. During that visit I didn’t walk all the way to the Othello Tunnels and instead headed to Silver Lake (which, considering the fall foliage there was a good choice). In early October I was at Coquihalla Canyon again and decided to photograph the tunnels, bridges and the river. There wasn’t much in the way of fall foliage this time around, but many of the compositions available for the river, bridges and tunnels don’t have much fall foliage potential anyway.
The Othello Tunnels in Coquihalla Canyon (Purchase)
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Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park’s main trail follows the old CPR Kettle Valley Railway route through the Coquihalla Gorge which earlier linked Hope to the Thompson Okanagan as far as Midway, BC. The 5 tunnels in the park are collectively known as the Othello Tunnels (or the Othello-Quintette Tunnels) and were constructed in 1914. It seems the engineer for these bridges and tunnels was a Shakespeare fan – other stations in the area had names such as Portia, Iago, and Romeo & Juliet.
I always bring a flashlight to navigate these tunnels. One especially is fairly long and has a point where you can’t see much light from either end. It is easy enough to navigate without one, but I prefer to avoid the water filled potholes that form from the groundwater dripping through the tunnel ceilings. Falling down with my camera equipment in the dark isn’t usually high on my todo list. This time I ticked off some other visitors as they thought a flashlight was rude. I guess they wanted to fall down in the dark?
The Othello/Quinette Tunnels in Coquihalla Canyon (Purchase)
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The bridges and tunnels aren’t the only attractions here, the Coquihalla River and the gorge walls are visible much of the time while walking through the park. There are interesting shapes in rocks worn smooth by the flow of the river and the canyon walls themselves are interesting. The panorama below shows one of these spots just before one of the tunnels. The canyon walls can be as much as 300 feet high, so there are always interesting rock formations to look at.
The Coquihalla River in Coquihalla Canyon (Purchase)
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For more of my photographs from British Columbia’s Provincial parks please visit my BC Provincial Parks Collection.
A rainbow over Hatzic Lake and Hatzic Island near Mission, British Columbia, Canada. Photographed from Neilson Regional Park in Mission.
Rainbow over Hatzic Lake and Hatzic Island (Purchase)
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This fall has been really wet. This October we’ve had 28 days with rain (26 was the old record) – the dreariest on record. While it is “only” the 12th wettest by volume, the frequency has made it difficult to photograph what fall foliage colours there are out there right now. This year doesn’t appear to have been an overall great year for color in the Fraser Valley anyway. Just as with photographing wildflowers, however, it just takes one good spot – you don’t need a whole forest. So even when the conditions aren’t great or the fall foliage is more of a rotten brown colour, it is always worth it to get out and look for individual trees/shrubs with a better display.
On Tuesday I drove through the farmland in the northern part of Abbotsford to see if I could find some new farm scenes with fall foliage. I found a few new locations, but one I had been planning to shoot was a movie set on that day. This blocked me from trying to shoot there – the movie set people don’t exactly like people hanging around with a camera and tripod! I eventually crossed over the Abbotsford-Mission Bridge and found my way to Neilson Regional Park in Mission. I haven’t been to this park in probably 25 years, so I was curious if anything would feel familiar about it. I recalled walking down to the shoreline with my parents and seeing schools of carp (or a similar species) near the shore. On Tuesday I found only a brief rainstorm (and no fish), but some direct sunlight gave me the opportunity to photograph this rainbow in rather scenic surroundings. Hatzic Lake is in the foreground here, and some of the fall foliage on Hatzic Island provided some nice colours. The mountain in the background is Mcnab Peak (I believe). I think this is the first rainbow I have photographed while not standing in my backyard. I’ve seen many, but often not in a photogenic location. Happy to have been at Hatzic Lake for the 10 or so minutes this one was in view!
For more of my photographs of this area visit my Fraser Valley Gallery.
While I consider myself a landscape and nature photographer I do enjoy photographing almost anything – including cityscapes. I have photographed several panoramas of downtown Vancouver in the past, though most of these have been from various vantage points in Stanley Park and some from Kits Beach. I have been wanting to do the same from North Vancouver’s perspective and had the opportunity to do so a few weeks ago.
I had spent the day photographing around North Vancouver in areas such as Maple Flats, Cates Park, and Deep Cove. When the light was running out at Deep Cove I determined that this would be a good chance to shoot the sunset and downtown Vancouver from somewhere in North Van. I had previously tried this at the dog park near the automall, but there always seems to be a large amount of barges and boats blocking the view from there. I’d heard that near Londsdale Quay would be a better spot, so I headed there from Deep Cove. There has been a lot of changes in that area since I was last there, so I had to find my way to various viewpoints in new ways. I wound up on the Burrard Dry Dock Pier (just east of Londsdale Quay) which offers a great view of downtown Vancouver. I was able to make some good photographs here including the one above. While I had to dodge the Seabus and a few other boats moving through the foreground (and their wakes) this turned out to be a great location to view Vancouver.
I have put together some of my favourite images made in the last year into this 11"x17" (28cm x 43cm) nature calendar. Included are 12 photographs of landscape and nature scenes from British Columbia and Washington State.
I am a landscape and nature photographer based in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. Most of my subjects are in Southwestern British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest's Washington State. My photography is available for licensing as stock, fine art prints, and giclée canvas wraps.