Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) along the riverbed of the Cameron River at Macmillan Provincial Park in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada
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.
My trip to Vancouver Island was successful in many ways. I not only discovered some great Provincial Parks to explore, I managed some photos of these places that I quite like. I was also pretty lucky with the weather. The 3 photos here are all from Englishman River Falls Provincial Park. I should point out this park differs quite a bit from Englishman River Regional Park if someone uhm, confused the signs on the way in. Not that I would do this of course.
Lower Englishman River Falls
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The first photo here shows the main Englishman River Falls. This is a much different sort of waterfall from what I am used to seeing. The drop from top to bottom is approximately 100 feet (31 meters) but this is pretty hard to tell from the bridge vantage point. The Falls flows into the side of a slot canyon (only about 10 feet wide), not directly in the end of it. The sideways slant to this falls makes it a bit difficult to photograph as well as determine exactly how deep the canyon is.
The second photo here shows the Lower Englishman River Falls. Not quite what I was expecting, but there were some nice fall leaves above the falls and some interesting swirling patterns made by the bubbles in the water. During higher water levels the lower falls flows over top of the rock you see here which probably makes it a big more exciting, and look a bit more like a waterfall from this perspective.
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The last photo here is one just outside of the parking lot. I would be surprised if these were a natural occurrence, but I still liked the symmetry of these tree trunks. Not sure what species of tree this is, however.
I hope to go back to photograph this park in the Spring!
In late September I went to Silver Lake Provincial Park in the Skagit Valley near Hope, British Columbia. The Fall colours had just started to appear. A few weeks later, however, they were almost in full swing. The above panorama was made about 3 weeks after my previous shot – how quickly things change! Again I was very lucky to have a near perfect reflection on Silver Lake – I’ve been there a few times when there were almost waves due to the wind. The majority of the Fall colours here are provided by Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) and Vine Maples (Acer circinatum).
Last night I was in the Eastern Fraser Valley near Hope, British Columbia. My destination was Silver Lake Provincial Park. Years ago I stopped here after a storm had rolled through and managed to photograph a great reflection on the lake. Last night I was hoping that conditions would let me try this again, with a bit more exploration of the area. I was not disappointed, though there weren’t many clouds to make the sky a bit more interesting. The reflections were great, though the amount of fish jumping occasionally messed up the stillness of the water! The trees reflected in Silver Lake are Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) and Vine Maples (Acer circinatum). It is a bit early for such Fall colours, but with the amount of dry weather this area has had for the last few months, it seems some of the trees are packing it in early.
View of Harrison Lake’s Green Point looking back on the beach I was standing on in a previous panorama from 2009. This was an area I had hoped to revisit in the fall of 2010 for the color of the maple leaves, but this year had terrible leaf color and it was not to be. I feel somewhat better about that now that I am going through the 2009 fall shots I had not yet processed. Maybe 2011 will be better.
I would not complain if I had the view from this house every morning!
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.