Posts Tagged ‘fraser valley’

Rainbow over Hatzic Lake

A rainbow over Hatzic Lake and Hatzic Island near Mission, British Columbia, Canada. Photographed from Neilson Regional Park in Mission.

rainbow over hatzic lake in the fraser valley of british columbia

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.

Silverhope Creek Fall Colors

Fall foliage colours along Silverhope Creek near Hope, British Columbia, Canada.

silverhope creek fall foliage colours

Silverhope Creek (Purchase)

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   Having just written a post about great fall colour at Whatcom Falls, here is one trip where colour was a bit more of a challenge to find. Fall is one of my favourite times to photograph but finding good fall colour in the Fraser Valley can be difficult depending on the year. In the fall of 2015 colour was hard to find, as it was when these photographs were made – back in 2011. However, as I’ve probably said here before in terms of fall colours (and wildflowers) you often just need one to make a scene work. These photographs show just one Vine Maple (Acer circinatum along Silverhope Creek in Hope, BC. This is one of several good spots for photography along Silverhope Creek on the way to Silver Lake Provincial Park.

silverhope creek fall foliage colours from a vine maple tree

Vine Maple along Silverhope Creek (Purchase)

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For more photographs of this region please visit my Fraser Valley Gallery.

My Top 10 Photos of 2014

   I tend to consider this list more of a top 10 favourite photographs of 2014 than the “best”. Choosing the images for my Nature Calendars always helps me narrow these things down a bit ahead of making my final list below. Once again, I am making this post so I can be a part of Jim Goldstein’s annual Your Best Photos project. Look for his post early in the new year with all the entries from a wide variety of photographers. Always a great place to find new photographers and their work.

   I hope you enjoy the following photographs and I am curious if you have a favourite. Clicking on each photograph takes you to my Image Archive but below you’ll also find links to corresponding blog posts. In no specific order here are my top 10 photographs of 2014:

trout lake creek moss and rocks
Trout Lake Creek flows through the rainforest in Sasquatch Provincial Park

(Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia)
Blog post: Sasquatch Provincial Park

lions gate bridge and downtown vancouver from ambleside beach
The Lions Gate Bridge and downtown Vancouver

(West Vancouver, British Columbia)
Blog post: Lions Gate Bridge from Ambleside Park

(more…)

Fall at Rolley Lake Provincial Park

   Rolley Lake Provincial Park in Misson, British Columbia is a place I started exploring again last fall having visited it many times as a kid. Last year I was able to find some fall colours in individual trees and went back again last week to hopefully find the same.

vine maples on the rolley lake trail in rolley lake provincial park

Vine Maples on the Rolley Lake Trail

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   This is not Eastern Canada, so we don’t have the large deciduous forests that provide great fall foliage displays. Usually we have to rely on Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophylum) and Vine Maples (Acer circinatum) for our fall colours in the Fraser Valley, and they don’t always show very well. This year appears to be one of those years where environmental conditions dictated a turn from green to orange/brown rather than a wide array of reds, oranges and yellows. Still, even in a bad year for fall foliage all you need is to find one tree in a photogenic place. The Vine Maple trees were hanging over this spot along the Rolley Lake Trail on the north side of the lake. You can see one is a nice yellow colour, while just a few feet away its cohort is still perfectly green.

fallen tree becomes a nurse log over a creek

A fallen tree becomes a nurse log

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   Further along the trail you run into a small bridge crossing a creek (that I believe is unnamed) running into the north west side of the lake. Just upstream from the bridge (I did some exploring) I found this tree that had fallen over the creek and was now home to a lot of mosses and some fern species. A textbook definition of a nurse log if you remember that from science class.

boardwalk on the rolley lake trail

Boardwalk on the Rolley Lake Trail

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   On the western side of the lake there is a marshy area filled with a lot of low shrubs (especially Spirea) and this bridge spanning one of the small streams that drain through into the lake. While these shrubs were not exactly showing off a nice fall colour display, I did like their reflection on the lake with the background forest and mist higher up the hillside.

unnamed creek flowing into rolley lake

Unnamed Creek Running into Rolley Lake

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   This is one of the two main creeks (also unnamed I believe) that run into Rolley Lake along the north side. I followed this one up the hill for a ways and found this spot that had a few nice, mini waterfalls and mosses and ferns. You can tell in times of higher water that this creek can carry some power – as shown by all the boulders, stumps and other debris in the creek. Not a neat and tidy area, but I thought I’d show the randomness of nature with this one.

You can see more of my Rolley Lake photography in the Rolley Lake Provincial Park Gallery in my Image Archive.

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.

Harrison Hot Springs and the Mount Cheam Range

Late evening light on the Mount Cheam Range and the beachfront condominiums at Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada

harrison hot springs beachfront condos with mount cheam in the background

Mount Cheam Range and the beachfront condominiums at Harrison Hot Springs

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   This past week I drove out to Harrison Hot Springs area to photograph sunset light on Mount Cheam. I had a number of locations in mind, did some hiking, but it turned out my favourite photo (so far) from the day was this one. Photographed from Harrison Lagoon, these are some beachfront condominiums with the Cheam Range behind. The peaks visible in this photo are (from left to right) Stewart, Baby Munday, Knight, Lady and Cheam Peaks. Mount Archibald is the peak on the far right, but is not part of the Cheam Range.

You can view more photographs from this area in my Fraser Valley Gallery.

Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival (2013)

A Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) roosting in a tree at Chehalis Flats during the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival in British Columbia, Canada

bald eagle roosting in a tree at chehalis flats during the fraser valley bald eagle festival in british columbia, canada

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) on the Chehalis Flats

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   Last weekend I headed out to the Harrison and Chehalis Flats area to photograph Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) with Seattle area photographer Steve Cole during the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival.

   The cold temperatures had frozen a lot of the shallow waters along the Chehalis Flats area. While the flowing water in some of the channels still had some spawning salmon, much of the water was frozen. I suspect many of the dead salmon that would normally be eagle food were frozen into the ice, and as a consequence there were not nearly as many eagles as usual along the roadside where I often photograph. One eagle did sit on the ice eating a salmon head for a few minutes before flying away. The adult pictured above perched in this tree and remained fairly still so I was able to make some photographs. Not the opportunities that we found last year but still my second most successful trip out there.

Mount Webb from Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park

Fresh snow on Mount Webb in Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park, Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada

mount webb black and white chilliwack lake british columbia

Fresh snow on Mount Webb at Chilliwack Lake in Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park

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   I mostly make my photographs in colour. I think that is just the way I am better able to see most landscape scenes. I am trying to see a bit better in black and white, and recognize which scenes and light may be appropriate for that type of conversion. Sometimes colour just isn’t the best option. During my trip to Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park back in October, I made this photograph of Mount Webb with black and white conversion in mind. The sun, if it showed up, was going to set behind this mountain, and from this angle I was not going to see any sort of nice alpenglow or sunset light anyway. I was early for any potential sunset display, so I photographed this mountain when I arrived as the light I had at that point was appropriate for my intentions.

   The reason I decided this scene would be better in black and white was due to the light at the time, and the textures on the mountain. I still tried to process it in colour, but the results were not satisfying. I like the textures in this photograph from the rocks and the fresh snow, and even the small glacier at the bottom of the rock face that I had never noticed before on previous trips to Chilliwack Lake. The textures just didn’t show themselves in colour as well as they did with black and white.

You can view other photos from the same day in my image library: Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park.