Archive for the ‘British Columbia’ Category

Sweet Violets – Viola odorata – Flowers and Leaves

Flowers and leaves of Sweet Violets (Viola odorata) in a backyard garden.

sweet violets viola odorata flowers

Sweet Violets (Viola odorata) Flowering (Purchase)

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   While I enjoy photographing winter scenes I don’t often get up into the mountains in the winter so I tend to shoot a bit less during that time of year. So when the spring flowers begin to emerge I usually wind up in the backyard photographing the first ones I can find. The flowers here are called Sweet Violets, and are aptly named. Even 50 feet away you can still smell the sweet scent coming off the flowers, especially on a warmer, sunny day. I photographed these flowers and leaves in the last days of winter, but it certainly felt like spring. V. odorata (you can tell where that scientific name came from!) goes by a few other names such as English Violet, Garden Violet, Sweet Violet, and Florist’s Violet.

sweet violets viola odorata leaves and flowers

Sweet Violets (Viola odorata) – Leaves and Flowers (Purchase)

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   Due to their powerful scent it is not surprising that Sweet Violets have been used in many fragrances and perfumes. The flowers are also made into Violet Syrup which is then used in such products as scones and marshmallows. The leaves can also be eaten and are also used in perfumes.

You can see more garden photographs in my Garden Photos Gallery.

Autumn Scenes at Buntzen Lake

The boat house at Buntzen Lake just north of Port Moody and the Village of Anmore – British Columbia, Canada.

boat house at buntzen lake

The Boat House at Buntzen Lake (Purchase)

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   I was quite busy photographing last fall, and am only now catching up on some remaining blog post about those photographs. These photos were made at Buntzen Lake which is a BC Hydro recreation area situated just north of the Village of Anmore in Port Moody, BC. This was a great day of photography, with good results from my stops at Sasamat Lake, Rocky Point Park, Barnet Marine Park, and here at Buntzen Lake. The first photograph above shows about as “iconic” view of this lake as you can have – a shot of the boat house near the main beach. I had not been to Buntzen in many years so I don’t remember all the views from the loop trail around the lake, but I think the boat house is one of the more distinctly identifiable scenes.

fall foliage reflections at buntzen lake

Fall Foliage Reflections at Buntzen Lake (Purchase)

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   I did find some more interesting scenes at the south end of Buntzen Lake at the floating bridge that crosses the marshy area there. I always love good fall foliage reflections in lakes, and this was another opportunity to photograph that kind of scene. There is a variety of tree species in this photo but the colorful yellow leaves are most likely a Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera).

   As with the photographs I had made earlier in the afternoon at Sasamat Lake, there was some mist/fog around the south end of Buntzen Lake. This seemed to move around and change shape a lot, so I waited until it was in an orientation I liked the best and photographed this and a few other panoramas in order to try to get the nicest look to the scene I could. I shot a number of individual frames here but in the end I think the panorama (14 frames stitched together) show the area best.

mist over the marsh at the south end of buntzen lake

Mist at the South End of Buntzen Lake

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You can see more photographs like these in the Lakes & Rivers Gallery in my Image Library .

Barnet Marine Park in the Evening

A small lighthouse at Barnet Marine Park on Burrard Inlet in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.

barnet marine park in burnaby

View from Barnet Marine Park in Burnaby (Purchase)

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    Barnet Marine Park is situated along Burrard Inlet along the north end of Burnaby Mountain in Burnaby, BC. This was my final stop of the day back in October, where I’d previously visited Sasamat Lake and Rocky Point Park hunting fall foliage. The cement structure between the lighthouse and the shore is the remains of an old scrap burner that was used for a lumber mill that was on this site until 1958. This spot is one I have visited for over 20 years, and I always enjoy the walk along the shoreline even if the light isn’t photo worthy. This is a great place to view wildlife (seals, crabs, herons etc.) as well as a wide variety of passing boats.

lighthouse at barnet marine park in burnaby

Lighthouse at Barnet Marine Park in Burnaby (Purchase)

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You can view more of my photography from this area in my City of Burnaby Gallery.

My Top 10 Photos of 2017

   It is once again time to post my 10 favourite photographs – this time from 2017. I do this every year as it is a very good exercise (and not always easy) but also so I can participate in Jim Goldstein’s annual Your Best Photos project. His collection of these posts is a great place to find new photographers you may have been unfamiliar with before.

   If you click on a photo you’ll be taken to a larger version in my Image Archive. I’ve also linked to corresponding blog posts that contain these images if you want more information about the location or to see other photos from that area. These photos aren’t in any specific order though I am still enjoying the first one a lot as I probably wouldn’t have attempted to make it in previous years. Sorting images for my calendar often gives me a head start on this list. While it did help this year for some reason the images I chose as my favourites are fairly different this time around. This is partly due to the variety I want to show in my calendar as well as I try not to include any human made elements in those photos.

I hope you enjoy this years selections and am curious to hear if you have any particular favourites.

My Favourite Photos of 2017:

walking over the floating bridge at sasamat lake
1. Sasamat Lake

(Port Moody, British Columbia)
Blog post: Sasamat Lake on a Fall Day

fall foliage and mount shuksan from huntoon point in the north cascades
2. Mount Shuksan from Huntoon Point

(North Cascades, Washington State)

adult barred owl strix varia perched
3. Barred Owl (Strix varia

(Langley, British Columbia)
Blog post: Adult Barred Owl (Strix varia)

mount cheam fraser river fall leaves agassiz
4. Mount Cheam and the Fraser River

(Agassiz, British Columbia)
Blog post: Mount Cheam and the Fraser River in Agassiz

fall foliage reflection in rolley lake
5. Fall Reflections at Rolley Lake

(Mission, British Columbia)
Blog post: Fall Reflections at Rolley Lake Provincial Park

sailboat in burgoyne bay saltspring island
6. Sailboat in Burgoyne Bay

(Saltspring Island, British Columbia)
Blog post: Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park Farm Buildings

dogwood tree flowers eddies white wonder
7. Dogwood Flowers

(Langley, British Columbia)
Blog post: Dogwood Flowers – Eddie’s White Wonder

vancouver trade and convention center and coal harbour
8. Vancouver Convention Center & Vancouver’s Coal Harbour

(Vancouver, British Columbia)
Blog post: Vancouver Convention Centre

sunshine on mount webb in chilliwack lake provincial park
9. Spotlight on Mount Webb

(Chilliwack, British Columbia)
Blog post: Rainbow at Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park

sunset at the white rock pier
10. Sunset at the White Rock Pier

(White Rock, British Columbia)
Blog post: An Evening at the White Rock Pier

   Ooops – there is an eleventh photo below! I included this one as an extra photograph because I like it and it also represents something new. I haven’t tried to photograph an airshow since I had a rangefinder camera with film in it in the 80’s – so it was time to try again! Thanks, in part, to the autofocus on my Canon 5D Mark IV, this experiment turned out quite well.

Canadian forces snowbirds in formation over white rock
Canadian Forces Snowbirds

(White Rock, British Columbia)
Blog post: Canadian Forces Snowbirds Over White Rock

My top 10 photos from last year can be found here: My Top 10 Photos of 2016.

Fall Reflections at Rolley Lake Provincial Park

Fall foliage reflecting on Rolley Lake at Rolley Lake Provincial Park, Mission, British Columbia, Canada.

fall foliage reflected in rolley lake

Fall foliage at Rolley Lake Provincial Park (Purchase)

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   I enjoy walking around Rolley Lake in Rolley Lake Provincial Park at any time of year. Fall is my favourite time though, and this is one of my favourite lake views from the loop trail around the lake. I have photographed this view before, but this year the fall foliage was a big nicer and the reflection on the lake was a bit clearer. The light from the sky was a bit dimmer as well, as this was not long before the sunset. Some of you will recognize this first photograph from my 2018 Calendar but you’ll have to wait to see if it appears in my “top 10” of 2017.

red vine maple in forest at rolley lake

Lone Red Vine Maple (Purchase)

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   I also liked this view of a lone, red, Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) in the forest along the lake. I watched for good Vine Maple colours during my walk around the loop and noticed this tree, but it was surrounded by shrubs and trees and off the trail. The lake also wouldn’t have provided a decent background to photograph it anyway. From this perspective though (from the beach), the red leaves show up nicely against the darker colours of the surrounding forest. A bit of a reflection is always nice too.

Visit my Rolley Lake Provincial Park gallery in my Image Library for more photos from this park.

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)

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   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)

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   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)

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

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)

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   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)

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   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)

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   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)

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

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.

15% OFF! Use the code LULU15 (case sensitive) for 15% OFF at checkout through December 18, 2017.

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