2018 Nature Calendar Now Available!

cover for 2018 nature calendar - mount cheam fraser river fall

2018 Nature Calendar Cover – The Fraser River and Mount Cheam on a fall day in Agassiz


   My 2018 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.

10% OFF! Use the code BOOKCALSAVE (case sensitive) for 10% OFF at checkout through December 4, 2017.

You can view a full preview and purchase this calendar through the button below:

Mount Cheam and the Fraser River in Agassiz

Mount Cheam, fall foliage, and the Fraser River in Agassiz, British Columbia, Canada.

mount cheam and the fraser river from agassiz bc

Mount Cheam and the Fraser River in Agassiz (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   Mount Cheam is a familiar sight to anyone who drives through almost any part of the Fraser Valley and looks towards the east. Once you reach the eastern sections of Chilliwack Cheam really starts to command your attention in the sky. I’ve photographed Mount Cheam and the Cheam Range from a number of locations but I always thought there just had to be some way to get the Fraser River, or any river really, in the foreground. During one of my trips deeper into the valley this fall I decided to turn onto a side road I’d passed on many occasions heading towards Agassiz. Turns out, this was pretty much the sort of location I was looking for. The photograph above (also the cover photo of my 2018 Calendar) has all the elements I was looking for: Mount Cheam, the Fraser River, and some good fall foliage colors! Most of the trees providing fall foliage along the banks of the Fraser River here are Black Cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa). The colorful trees on the hill in the middle of the photo are predominantly Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum).

mount cheam agassiz farmland

Mount Cheam and Agassiz Farmland (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   The area I found with new (to me) views of Mount Cheam in Agassiz is mostly farmland. I’m sure on a return visit there are some good views with a barn in the foreground, though the more southern part of Chilliwack has many of those opportunities as well. I had been heading to Harrison Hot Springs after photographing the first location, but saw the fall foliage provided by these two Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) trees and had to pull over again for a few more photographs. I am looking forward to visiting this spot in other seasons to see what it has to offer in different conditions.

mount cheam peak with fresh fall snowfall

Mount Cheam Peak with Fresh Snowfall (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

Visit my Fraser Valley gallery for more photographs from this area and more.

Maple Leaves in Full Fall Foliage Colors

Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) leaves showing fall foliage colours on a white background.

red orange and yellow maple leaves on a white background

Sugar Maple Leaves in Full Fall Colors (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   Fall is one of my favourite times of the year, and certainly my favourite to photograph. I know I’ve previously expressed dismay at having a year where the fall foliage was dull or almost nonexistent. I’d say that 1/5 years is a good fall foliage year here, at least for native species. Mostly that is Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) and Vine Maples (Acer circinatum) in the Vancouver area and Fraser valley. The leaves above are from a backyard Sugar Maple – a tree that can be counted on for decent leaf color almost every year (even in the rain). In mid-October I started to think about the fall foliage – a point in the season where one doesn’t know if it will be good color at all. Even if it is, often rain will fall constantly until the leaves are on the ground. As I’ve had experience with this before – I photographed these leaves on a white background one rainy day just so that I could say for sure that I’d photographed some decent color.

red maple leaf on a white background

Red Maple Leaf Fall Foliage (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   Luckily for me and everyone else around here who enjoys such things, this was a rather good year for fall foliage. I was able to photograph much of it without any interference from the rain (see a number of my recent posts) which was an added bonus.

For more photos of fall foliage visit my Fall Gallery.

Sasamat Lake on a Fall Day

Two hikers walking over the floating bridge at Sasamat Lake in Belcarra Regional Park – Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada.

two hikers on the sasamat lake floating bridge

Two Hikers on the Sasamat Lake Floating Bridge (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   One of my destinations for fall foliage this year was the Buntzen Lake and Belcarra Regional Park areas of Port Moody, BC. I hadn’t originally intended to stop at Sasamat Lake, but when I saw the sign at the turnoff I headed that way as it wasn’t very far to drive. Sasamat Lake has had a few names over the years, but was renamed Sasamat in 1941 as it was rumored to be the local aboriginal word for the nearby North Arm of Burrard Inlet. I stopped by the roadside at one end of the floating bridge and walked down to the water to see if there was any fall leaves to photograph. Most of the color was in this one large Bigleaf Maple tree, but there were some other smaller ones around as well. This first photograph shows the view from the boardwalk (along the Sasamat Lake Loop Trail) on the east side of the lake looking towards the floating bridge. There was a lot of mist and moisture in the air and this created some interesting views looking into the sun. I made this photograph with one of my longer lenses of two hikers crossing the floating bridge with their small dog. I am not sure if the lines formed by the sunlight are from the tree tops or the power lines above, but I enjoyed the effect regardless.

two hikers view fall maple leaves at sasamat lake

Viewing Fall Maple Foliage at Sasamat Lake (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   The second photograph here was shot from the west side of the floating bridge. The fall foliage colour on this particular Bigleaf Maple was so bright you could watch almost every person walking by stop and enjoy it. This couple stood there for probably 5 minutes, which made it easy to get a photo I liked of them viewing the leaves.

   During my university days at SFU I went on an optional field trip in my Limnology class to this floating bridge. We were taking various temperature readings, Secchi depths and other measurements. I had ventured down the bridge a distance from the main group when a bus load of Japanese tourists walked onto the eastern side of the bridge. Once it was discovered that I was engaged in some scientific activity they all insisted on taking individual photos with me. Selfies – long before they were called such a thing (and with film cameras). This puzzled the rest of my biology group but it would probably allow me to put “internationally famous scientist” into my bio if I were into that sort of thing.

   Sasamat Lake’s main attraction is White Pine Beach, which is situated at the northeast end of the lake. Sasamat is one of the Metro Vancouver areas warmest lakes, so that probably explains some of this beaches popularity. The nearby Buntzen Lake is very cold even on a hot summer day! I didn’t walk all the way to the beach along the Sasamat Lake Loop Trail, but did go as far as this wooden boardwalk next to that one Bigleaf Maple tree.

fall maple leaves at sasamat lake

Fall Maple Leaves at Sasamat Lake (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   This day was relatively calm and this gave the opportunity for this reflection photo of the floating bridge over Sasamat. One of the few times that afternoon there were no people walking across it.

floating bridge at sasamat lake

Floating Bridge at Sasamat Lake (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

For more photographs of the Port Moody area visit my City of Port Moody Gallery.

Bagley Lakes and Trails Through Heather Meadows

Two hikers make their way up the Chain Lakes Trail to the Heather Meadows parking lot in the Bagley Lakes/Heather Meadows area of Washington State, USA.

two hikers on the chain lakes trail at bagley lakes heather meadows

Two Hikers on the Chain Lakes Trail by Bagley Lakes (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   Almost every year I make a trip to the Mount Baker area to photograph during the fall season. At this time of year almost all of the snow has melted, the summer heat is gone as have the bugs that often come with it. Heather Meadows is one of the areas I always walk through and photograph. I stop and look at the wonderful view from Picture Lake, but I rarely photograph there. In recent years the behaviour of other photographers has helped me move on quickly

   The first photograph above shows two hikers heading up to the parking lot on the Chain Lakes Trail. The section of the Chain Lakes Trail by Bagley Lakes is one of the trails I frequent with many great views of the lakes and surrounding mountains. One of the difficulties of completing the Chain Lakes Trail in its entirety is where to park your vehicle. If you part at Artist Point, when you get the the area photographed here you still have a 250 meter (820 feet) elevation climb to the parking lot. If you park here at Heather Meadows, you start with that climb. Wishing to avoid that, many park at Artist Point but ask for a ride from those visiting the lower parking lot. I gave the first gentleman in this photograph a ride to his truck so he could drive back down and pick up his hiking companion at Heather Meadows. There was a small lineup of families and individual hikers wanting the same. I’m sure some were out of luck and had to make the climb back to the car.

mount herman and bagley lakes at heather meadows

Mount Herman and Bagley Lakes (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   The second photo was made from the Fire and Ice Trail which has a nice lookout over Bagley Lakes. This was the spot I made one of my favourite panorama photographs and this time made a few photographs of the colour in the water, fall foliage on the side of Mount Herman, and the peak near Herman Saddle. I’ve made the hike to the saddle before, and hope to do it again in the coming years when I have time. The view from up there is pretty awesome!

blooming subalpine aster eurybia merita at heather meadows

Late blooming Subalpine Aster (Eurybia merita) (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   One of the things I was not expecting along the various trails were some late blooming Subalpine Aster (Eurybia merita) flowers. This was fairly late in the fall season (at this elevation) and I had figured that any wildflowers would have been long gone. Perhaps this spot had much more snow to melt during the summer and consequently the flowers here were a bit behind the others in the area. I had planned on heading back to Artist Point and Heather Meadows the next week. Seasons change quickly in the mountains and this area had so much snow just a few days after my visit they closed to road to Artist point. I’m lucky I made it up there when I did, but I guess other opportunities for hiking there will have to wait until next July/August at the earliest.

For more of my photography from Heather Meadows visit my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.

Fall at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody BC

Sunset lights up a Bigleaf Maple Tree (Acer macrophyllum) on a fall day at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada.

rocky point park port moody fall foliage

Sunset at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   One of my many stops this year to photograph the fall colours was Rocky Point Park (map) in Port Moody. I was very happy that Vancouver and the Fraser Valley had a great year for fall foliage! I had not visited Rocky Point Park (other than looking at it from the Murray/Moody Street overpass) since approximately 2001 when I walked from the main parking area over to Ioco Road. That is a walk I need to do again, but last week I mainly visited the area around the pier and walked up the trail a short distance. The first photograph above shows the pier as well as a Bigleaf Maple that was brilliantly lit by the setting sun.

rocky point park pier port moody

The Pier at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   The second photograph here shows the pier in more detail, along with the houses and mountains in the background. It really is a nice view from Rocky Point. The main peaks in this photo are Mount Seymour and Mount Bishop. I walked to the end of the pier and there was a photographer there doing portraits. Twice last month I ran into photographers who were yelling encouraging (and over the top) words at their subjects. “OMG you are the most photogenic family I’ve ever seen!” etc. I don’t know if this is a normal thing for a portrait photographer to do publicly, but I know it decreases the enjoyment for others using the area. I’ve always thought those who think their photography is an excuse to unduly disturb others using a park are good candidates to ask about their photograph permit.

old mill site park in port moody

View of Old Mill Site Park (from Rocky Point) in Port Moody (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   The above photograph here is the view of Old Mill Site Park across Burrard Inlet from Rocky Point. I’ve been there before, but it looks interesting from afar so I should photograph it soon (and walk from Rocky Point). You can see what I presume is a platform for viewing Burrard Inlet, and the fall foliage surrounding it is probably just past it’s peak for the year.

rocky point park pier port moody

The Seawall at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   This last photograph is from the pier looking back at that same Bigleaf Maple from the first photograph. Our fall foliage can be spectacular (mostly due to a few Maple species) but it only reaches that level maybe once every 4-5 years. This year was very good, and this one maple tree is an example of why. The leaves have turned a bright yellow/orange, and very few of them have gone from green to a yellow/brown as occurs in poor fall foliage years.

For more of my photographs from this and other nearby areas visit my Vancouver Coast & Mountains Gallery.

North Vancouver Industry and Buildings

View of the buildings and industrial areas of North Vancouver, Burrard Inlet, and Mount Seymour from downtown Vancouver.

view of north vancouver and mount seymour from downtown vancouver

View of North Vancouver and Mount Seymour from downtown Vancouver (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   I tend to associate North Vancouver with wilderness, mountains, waterfalls, and skiing. My usual destinations in North Van are usually areas such as Mount Seymour and Lynn Canyon Park. Looking at North Vancouver from Vancouver you can see the mountains and the forests, but there is a lot of industrial land along the waterfront as well. The first panorama shows cargo ships picking up grain from various grain terminals on the North Shore. Mount Seymour, as with many photographs of North Vancouver, makes for a good background and is home to one of 3 ski hills on the North Shore. North Shore industries such as shipyards, lumber and coal export, are also present along the edge of Burrard Inlet.

north vancouver sulphur mountains

View of North Vancouver Industrial Shoreline from Vancouver (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   The second panorama here shows the industrial waterfront a bit further west than the first. One of the more familiar industrial uses that people recognize are the large sulphur piles at the North Vancouver Sulphur Works. Here the “La Bamba” which is registered in the Marshall Islands is docked and loading Sulphur. There are also large piles of coal for export further east in North Vancouver. Crown and Grouse Mountains (which is home to Grouse Mountain Resort) form the background here.

For more photographs of North Vancouver visit my Vancouver Coast & Mountains Gallery.

Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park in Chilliwack BC

Bridal Veil Falls at Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada

bridal veil falls provincial park

View of Bridal Veil Falls (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   A few weeks ago I went back to Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park (in the Popkum area of Chilliwack, BC) for the first time in many years. I had last visited the falls in 2011 and it was time to go back and see how things had changed and make a few new photographs. Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park is one of those spots I avoid all summer as it is often very busy with tourists as many tour buses stop there. I prefer to walk/hike/photograph without crowds so my last trip there in mid September was good timing as there were only two cars there when I arrived. I always laugh a bit at the sign on the way up there that suggests the “hike” to the top takes about 15 minutes when 5 minutes is more accurate. I guess it depends on your fitness level, but I don’t exactly run up that hill. I was also wondering if there would be enough water in the falls to get a good photograph as we’d had many months of almost no precipitation this summer. It turned out the water level was just about perfect.

waterfall on bridal creek in bridal veil falls provincial park

Small Waterfall on Bridal Creek (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   There are several small waterfalls on Bridal Creek just downstream from Bridal Veil Falls – and this one (second photo, above) was my favourite with lots of foliage around it to make it interesting. The breeze was quite strong at this point and you can see the trees and shrubs in the forest were blowing around while I made this photo.

bridal veil falls and small waterfalls downstream

Small Waterfalls and Bridal Veil Falls (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   Just downstream from the main falls there is a rocky area with lots of fallen trees. I wanted to get a photo from this spot as the creek flows through this area in a random sort of way with small falls forming over tree trunks, rocks, and other temporary topography. Downstream from this point Bridal Creek does form back into a more organized creek before heading down towards the parking lot.

You can view more of my photographs of the falls and Bridal Creek in my Bridal Falls Provincial Park Gallery.