Whatcom Falls Fall Foliage Colors

Whatcom Falls in Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham, Washington State, USA

whatcom falls at whatcom falls park in bellingham washington usa

Fall Foliage at Whatcom Falls (Purchase)

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 Whatcom Falls park in Bellingham is one of the few US based places I remember going to as a kid from British Columbia. I remember going down and spending the afternoon fishing and having lunch or dinner on one of the park benches. When I visited it again probably 20 years later I remembered the name, but not the waterfalls or what I was about to find to photograph. I made this image way back in 2009, but it remains one of my favourites of the main falls in Whatcom Falls Park. I occasionally “complain” about the fall foliage colours in this part of the world, but it looks like 2009 was a great year! Most of the fall foliage we get around here are from the Bigleaf Maple trees (Acer macrophyllum), or sometimes from the smaller Vine Maples (Acer circinatum). When they get the right conditions they can really give some great colors. The above photograph is the view at Whatcom Falls park of the main waterfall from the Limestone Bridge that crosses Whatcom Creek. Most of the fall foliage colours in this first photograph are from Bigleaf Maple trees.

whatcom falls at whatcom falls park in bellingham washington usa

Fall Foliage along Whatcom Creek (Purchase)

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 This second photograph is the view looking downstream on the other side of that same Limestone Bridge. There are a few larger Bigleaf Maple leaves in this photo but most of the colour here comes from the smaller leaved Vine Maples.

For my other photographs of Whatcom Falls Park please visit my Washington State Misc. Photos Gallery in my Image Library.

My Top 10 Photos of 2015

   I consider these lists more of a top 10 favourite photographs of that year than the “best”. Which of my photographs are “the best” is probably better left for others to decide. 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. His project is 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 if they exist. While these are in no specific order that first panorama of Bagley Lakes might be my favourite overall. Here are my top 10 photos of 2015:

top 10 photos - bagley lakes panorama fall
Panorama of the Bagley Lakes at the bottom of Table Mountain and Mount Herman

(Mount-Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington State)
Blog post: Bagley Lakes Panorama

fall foliage colours reflecting on deer lake
Fall foliage colours reflect on the surface of Deer Lake

(Sasquatch Provincial Park, British Columbia)

Read moreMy Top 10 Photos of 2015

Bagley Lakes Panorama

Panorama of the Bagley lakes in the Mount-Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington State, USA.

bagley lakes fall panorama

Panorama of Bagley Lake (Purchase)

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   You can see this view of Bagley Lakes from the Fire and Ice Trail in the Heather Meadows area of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. This lake lies between Table Mountain (left) and Mount Herman – the Chain Lakes Trail runs right past it on the way up to Herman Saddle. I still have a lot more in this area to explore with my camera, but I was quite happy to find the lake with these sorts of colours and water levels. On the right you can see where the Chain Lakes Trail goes over a rocky slope that extends right down to the water. Now that my new computer doesn’t choke on larger resolution files, I was able to make this image with two rows of vertical images (35 of them) for the extra resolution which is how I try to shoot all my panoramas now. This worked very well, and I hope to see this one printed in the future.

   The talus slope in the middle of the frame is where I photographed an American Pika a few years back. I could hear a few cheeping their warning calls while I was shooting this panorama but I wasn’t able to spot any of them.

You can view more of my photography from Heather Meadows in my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.

Mount Larrabee in the North Cascades Range

A lone fir tree stands in front of Mount Larrabee in the North Cascades of Washington State, USA.

mount larrabee and lone fir tree

Mount Larrabee in the North Cascades (Purchase)

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   After I photographed the Heather Meadows area in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest last year, I vowed to spend a bit more time there during my next visit. So a few weeks ago I photographed several compositions I had my eye on last year, but which conditions were not right for at the time. This is one of those scenes – a large fir tree standing out against the sky with a backdrop of Mount Larrabee in the North Cascades Range. I photographed this view from the short Fire and Ice Trail in the Heather Meadows area which shows great views of the Bagley Lakes, some of the North Cascade peaks, and Table Mountain.

For more photography from this location visit my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.

Mountain Goat in the Mount Baker Wilderness

A Mountain Goat (Oreamnos americanus) climbing the southern side of Table Mountain at the Mount Baker Wilderness in Washington State, USA.

mountain goat below table mountain in the mount baker wilderness

Mountain Goat Below Table Mountain (Purchase)

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   In my last post I mentioned walking a few kilometers out on the Chain Lakes trail from Artist Point in the Mount Baker Wilderness. I made several landscape photographs at sunset while out there, including my previous post showing the panorama of Mount Shuksan. When first heading out on the trail I stopped and was going to wait for a hiker (wearing a lot of white) further out on the trail to pass though one of my compositions. As it turned out, this was a Mountain Goat (Oreamnos americanus) which I had forgotten were even a species I might discover here. Apparently they are fairly common in the Ptarmigan Ridge area but there are only about 2 800 in Washington State overall. Last year in a nearby location on the Table Mountain Trail I photographed a small flock of Sooty Grouse which I had also happened upon by chance. I was quite happy to find wildlife there two years in a row – especially in the case of the Mount Goat as I had never seen this species before. I don’t have any super telephoto lenses, so I made do with my 70-200mm lens and the 1.4x extender I keep in my bag for occurrences just like this one. Animal portraits are nice, but sometimes I prefer photographs of wildlife in the context of their environment. Headshots don’t show the environment animals live in. Perhaps I have partly formed this opinion because I lack the long telephoto lenses that most wildlife photographers carry with them. I bought a car instead!

   Usually when I am in an area where I expect to run into wildlife I review what one should do when you encounter it – so I am familiar with how to deal with Bears and Mountain Lions but not Goats. I stayed well back on the trail as it was walking along the trail towards me initially. I don’t believe Mountain Goats get agressive for no reason, but I stayed out of its just in case (and my bear spray was in the trunk of my car where it is not that useful). After it walked up the slope briefly I continued up the trail, got into a better position, and made this photograph. He or she was nice enough to pose for a few minutes (while watching me warily) while I made some images.

For more of my photographs of wildlife visit my Animals and Wildlife Gallery.

North Cascades Sunset from Chain Lakes Trail

   An early fall sunset in Washington State’s North Cascades featuring Mount Shuksan.

sunset in washingtons north cascades mountains with mount shuksan

Sunset in Washington State’s North Cascades Range Featuring Mount Shuksan (Purchase)

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   Mount Shuksan is one of the most photographed mountains in Washington State’s North Cascades Range. The majority of these photographs are likely made at the iconic Picture Lake view due to the great scenery and easy access (100 feet from your parked car). I have photographed that view quite a few times, and it is still one I love to look at. I went to the Mount Baker Wilderness last week and did stop at that iconic location, but I didn’t get my camera out of the bag even though the conditions were good – I simply took in the sights there while eating my soup for dinner. Shuksan is one of my favourite mountains, but I am looking to expand my library of more interesting photographs, not pad my already too large collection of pretty but creatively boring iconic images from Picture Lake.

   I had previously hiked the Chain Lakes Trail up to Herman Saddle on the north side of its loop but this time decided to try the south side as time permitted from the Artist Point parking lot. As was the case last year, I spent far more time than I’d anticipated photographing in the Heather Meadows and Bagley Lakes area and didn’t get as far on the Chain Lakes Trail as I had anticipated. Heather Meadows and a long lens seem to be a combination that unlocks a lot of compositions for me – which you will likely seen a post coming soon.

   Despite my slow pace at Heather Meadows I did time my walk up the Chain Lakes Trail from Artist Point correctly. I was in a good position to photograph the sunset light on the mountain, and was even lucky enough to get some decent colour in the sky behind Mount Shuksan. I enjoy the light in the evenings, but mostly the light itself, not the sunset. I prefer the colours found in the east at sunset than the west, though perhaps this is also because they are much less frequent and harder to find. Getting a good exposure is also a bit easier as the dynamic range of such scenes is much lower than a western direction during sunset.

For more of my photographs from the North Cascades visit my North Cascades Gallery.

Pyramid Peak in North Cascades National Park

Storm clouds over Pyramid Peak in North Cascades National Park, Washington State, USA.

storm clouds rolling over pyramid peak in north cascades national park

Pyramid Peak in the North Cascades (Buy Print/License)

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   I made this photograph of Pyramid Peak in the North Cascade Mountains just before the storm clouds rolled over top towards my vantage point on the Diablo Lake Overlook. As is common in the mountains, I had anticipated a mostly clear day but nature had other plans. I find the color version of this photograph appealing, but I do think the black and white one above has better impact. What do you think? Do you prefer color or black and white version for this photograph?

Visit my North Cascades National Park Gallery for more photographs from this area of Washington State.

Hiking in the Wildflowers at Mount Rainier National Park

Hiking in the wildflowers around Tipsoo Lake in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA.

hiking in the wildflowers at mount rainier national park

Hiking in the Wildflowers at Mount Rainier’s Tipsoo Lake

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Due to the very dry, hot spring/summer which has come after a winter with a lower than normal snowpack, I hear the wildflowers are nearing (or at) peak now at Mount Rainier (July 1, 2015).

   2012 was the first time I visited Mount Rainier National Park during the height of the wildflowers in the Paradise and Tipsoo Lake areas. I had been to Rainier a few times at that point, but once you see fields of wildflowers this dense it becomes harder to visit any other time of year. I made this image of 3 hikers near Tipsoo Lake on a foggy afternoon which made for perfect conditions to photograph this location.

For more wildflower photographs from this and other visits to the park please take a look at my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery.