18 Roses in a Backyard Rose Garden

   This spring I decided to document as many rose varieties I could find in my parent’s rose gardens. I’ve made a few photographs of them in the past, but I figured documenting them by name and variety (accurately) would be a good idea. Most of these roses fall into the categories of Rambler, Climbing, Old Garden, Shrub, Species, and David Austin’s English Roses. This is a sampling of those photographs – you can find all that I’ve made so far in my Roses Gallery.

rosa new dawn

New Dawn (Climbing Roses)

rosa glauca

Rosa glauca – Red Leaved Rose (Species Rose)

eglantine rose

Rosa rubiginosa Eglantine (Species Rose) was said to be Shakespeare’s favourite rose

fimbriata rose

Rosa rugosa – Fimbriata (Old Garden Roses)

celestial roses

Celestial (Old Garden Roses)

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Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)

Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) on the shore of Hicks Lake in Sasquatch Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada

common garter snake at hicks lake in british columbia

Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)

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   Last week I spend a day exploring Sasquatch Provincial Park near Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada. I did some hiking, and while at one of the beaches on Hicks Lake I found several Garter Snakes basking in the sand along the shore. Not my intended subjects, but as a wildlife photography opportunist, I was happy to take advantage of the chance. I used my longest lens with a 1.4x extender so I wouldn’t have to get close enough to these snakes to disturb them. The ants on the beach, however, seemed disturbed enough to crawl up my legs and all over my camera bag. Not sure how beach oriented people would fare at this location…

Steelhead Falls in Mission, BC

Steelhead Falls near the Hayward Reservoir Trail in Mission, British Columbia, Canada

steelhead falls in mission bc

Steelhead Falls in Mission, British Columbia

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   Yesterday I headed to Steelhead Falls in Mission, British Columbia. I had previously attempted to find this waterfall but the main parking lot was closed, and when accessing the trail I went the wrong way (there were no signs) and was disappointed. Starting from the parking lot yesterday the falls were pretty easy to find after a short hike (in the correct direction) to Steelhead Creek. This is a great falls to photograph – there are many tiers and cascades that have a wide variety of angles of approach so the options are plentiful for photography. I was lucky to have the cloud cover hold as the forecast was for afternoon clearing. Photographing waterfalls in the sunshine is usually a nightmare so I prefer to head out on overcast days for even lighting and cooler temperatures for hiking.

steelhead falls in mission bc

Side view of Steelhead Falls in Mission, British Columbia

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   While loading up in the parking lot on the way in, there was a lot of strange vocalizations by the Ravens (Corvus corax) in the trees overhead. I had initially thought some of the noises may have been an owl, but later saw a Raven making the same noises that sort of sounded like blowing on the open end of a bottle. Either way, it was a really creepy (though interesting) way to start a solo hike with nobody else around.

Silver Lake Reflections Redux

Wells Peak and Hope Mountain are reflected in Silver Lake after a storm – Silver Lake Provincial Park near Hope, British Columbia, Canada

hope mountain reflected in silver lake

Hope Mountain/Wells Peak Reflecting in Silver Lake

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   I posted an earlier version of this photograph almost 4 years ago. Since then my perspective and skills with post processing (and making photographs) has changed quite a bit. With most of my older images I look at them and see potential that alternate processing may release. In the case of this one, my reaction was more along the lines of “what was I thinking!?”. So I’ve reprocessed this photograph of Hope Mountain/Wells Peak reflected in the waters of Silver Lake and I think it is a much improved representation of this scene than my original processing.

For more images from this location please visit my Silver Lake Provincial Park gallery.

A Rosa glauca (Red Leaved Rose) Flower

   I’ve been trying to document the extensive amount of rose flowers in my parent’s backyard this year – and have photographed all that have bloomed so far. This flower is a Rosa glauca species of rose (common name: Redleaf Rose or Red leaved Rose) in the backyard rose garden. This species is an ornamental here in North America but is native to central and southern Europe. Some of our own wild rose species aren’t quite as colourful, though the flowers look quite similar.

rosa glauca red leaved rose flower in the spring

Red-leaved Rose (Rosa glauca) flowering in the spring

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Bigleaf Maple in Macmillan Provincial Park

Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) along the riverbed of the Cameron River at Macmillan Provincial Park in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada

bigleaf maple near cameron river in macmillan provincial park

Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) along the Cameron River

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    The Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) in this photograph (left) is a good example of an ecological “edge effect”. In ecology the edge effect refers to the phenomenon that species (and diversity) you would normally see within an area change along the boundary with a different area. This can be the edge of a trail or road, a clear cut, grassland/forest transitions and in this case, the edge of the Cameron River in Macmillan Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. In this particular type of forest, you’ll get Bigleaf Maples, Vine Maples, Red Alder (successional species) and a number of other tree species growing on a newly formed or existing edge. Just inside the edge the majority of the trees are conifers such as Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir. This was one of the better specimens of mature Bigleaf Maple in Macmillan Provincial Park that I found. The tree on the right hand side of the image is a Red Alder (Alnus rubra) and is also a frequent edge resident.

You can see more of my photos of this area in my Vancouver Island Gallery.

A Few Images From Paradise At Mount Rainier

The Tatoosh Range just after sunset – from Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA

sunset over the tatoosh range in mount rainier national park

Sunset over the Tatoosh Range from Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park

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   I recently caught up on a bit of my photo editing backlog and have now added just over 50 new photographs to my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery in my image library. I have published a few of those images in previous blog posts, but I thought I would share a few more from the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park here.

   It’s not easy being a Marmot! While I was relaxing on a rock waiting for better light along the Golden Gate Trail in Mount Rainier National Park, I saw this Hoary Marmot (Marmota caligata) doing the same. Well, it probably wasn’t waiting for better light, but relaxing after a hard afternoon munching on lupine foliage and gathering nesting material. It clearly knew I was there, but didn’t seem to care at all. Probably was used to people along a relatively busy trail in the Paradise area of Mount Rainier.

hoary marmot in mount rainier national park

A Hoary Marmot (Marmota caligata) relaxes on a rock along the Golden Gate Trail in the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State, USA

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   You can spot the deer, you can get in position to photograph them as they move through the wildflower field, but you can’t make them look at you! A pair of Black-tailed Deer (Odocileus hemionus columbianus) were nice enough to amble right past me in the wildflower fields on the Golden Gate Trail above Paradise, but never once glanced in my direction. I even scuffed my feet in the gravel trail once… nothing. At least I know I wasn’t disturbing them.

black tailed deer foraging in wildflower field

A Black-tailed Deer (Odocileus hemionus columbianus) foraging in the meadows near Edith Creek at Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA

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   There is something I always enjoy about the combination of lush wildflowers (in this case mostly Broadleaf Lupines and some Pink Mountain Heather) and a waterfall. The mosquitoes thought so too!

wildflowers and an edith creek waterfall in mount rainier national park

Wildflowers surround a small waterfall on Edith Creek at Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA

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   I have always found this angle of view on the Nisqually Glacier to be interesting from Ricksecker Point and other areas near Paradise. This time I photographed it from the Nisqually Vista Trail for an even better view. In this photograph you can see the icefall of the glacier and the terminus at the bottom, as well as the very beginnings of the Nisqually River from the melting ice.

terminus of the nisqually glacier and icefall on mount rainier

Terminus of the Nisqually Glacier on Mount Rainier

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You can see even more photographs from the Paradise area in my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery.

Spring in Campbell Valley Park

In Campbell Valley Park, a pair of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) escort their goslings across McLean Pond.

canada goose family on mclean pond campbell valley park

Canada Geese pair with goslings

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   As warmer, spring weather is finally here – I headed to Campbell Valley Park last week to photograph whatever I could find around McLean pond. Turns out the Dandelion flowers of the week before (see below) were spent, so I used most of my time photographing this Canada Goose family. Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) are pretty ubiquitous around here, but I hadn’t before had the opportunity to photograph a family such as this, and not as close as this. While I most often use it for landscapes, my 1.4x extender was purchased for wildlife encounters such as this one, and it performs well on my 70-200mm lens. This allowed me to sit on the bank and let them swim by whenever they wanted – I didn’t disturb them much at all. What did bother this pair was another pair of adults that seemed to take a run at them every 10 minutes or so. The male (I presume) would swim over, get really close to the mother and goslings, and the parental male would chase him away, then chase the female away. There was a lot of squawking, splashing and flapping of wings. I don’t know if this was about territory or what exactly, but they were persistent the entire time I was there (about an hour).

   In the Metro Vancouver/Fraser Valley area we don’t have big fields of wildflowers in any form other than that of the Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). While these are considered a weed in lawns and gardens – I do think they make a credible wildflower display in fields such as this one in Campbell Valley Park. Not quite as impactful as some of the alpine and subalpine fields with multiple species such as those found at Mount Rainier, but still worthy of some attention.

sunset at jack point in biggs park nanaimo

A field of Dandelions blooming in Campbell Valley Park

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See more of my photos from Campbell Valley Park.