Salt Spring Island Miscellaneous

There was great leaf foliage colour this past fall and I was able to take advantage of a lull in the Covid situation to visit some friends on Salt Spring Island. Before my trip I looked through the photographs I had already made on Salt Spring and tried to think of the kind of photographs that represented the area. That question is probably better answered by someone who lives there but from my perspective, farms, ocean scenes, boats, beaches, and nature in areas like the provincial parks came to mind. At least from within the range of photographs I usually make – I’m sure there are interesting street scenes and photos with people in them to be made around the market but that isn’t usually my thing. My fall trip was like most of my Salt Spring trips – I tend to bring the rain with me. I did visit two provincial parks while there, and even spent about 20 minutes at Ruckle Provincial Park which is the only visit I’ve made there without rain falling. I hope to visit that park again on my next visit.

Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park

Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park is an area I visit on every trip to Salt Spring Island. It is easy to access and it is a favourite of mine as it has a view of Mount Maxwell as well. I’ve already shared one photograph I made of Mount Maxwell in my Top 10 Photographs of 2021 (#3) post late last year and have included it again below.

I’ve developed an affinity for photographing old barns and buildings and these two old farm structures are ones I enjoy at Burgoyne. This time I was able to improve on older photographs as the fall leaves on the Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) in the area were nearly at peak colour. This barrel-roof shed in the photo below was built by Richard Maxwell between 1900 and 1910 on his farm near Burgoyne Bay. The Maxwell Farm, later becoming the Larsen Farm, is now part of Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park. The shed was built for storage of large farm equipment and has two access doors on the Burgoyne Bay Road side of the building.

historic farm building at burgoyne bay on salt spring island

Barrel-Roof Shed built my Richard Maxwell between 1900 and 1910 at Burgoyne Bay (Purchase)

The Root Cellar is also right next to Burgoyne Bay Road and was built by Maxwell in 1901. The Root Cellar was used for storage of crops such as such as apples, carrots, turnips, potatoes, and squash. I always stop to take a look, and much prefer this photograph with the nice fall leaves versus an older one with no leaves on the trees. Maybe some day I’ll get a photograph of this building in the snow.

historic root cellar at burgoyne bay on salt spring island

Root Cellar (built 1901) at Burgoyne Bay on Salt Spring Island (Purchase)

I photographed this houseboat anchored in Burgoyne Bay while the rain poured down. There were not many boats anchored in the bay when I visited in October, likely owing to the season. Living there you would wake up to beautiful views. Being the fall season I was mostly drawn to the backdrop of Bigleaf Maple trees and the houseboat made a good main subject in front of them.

historic root cellar at burgoyne bay on salt spring island

Houseboat in the rain at Burgoyne Bay on Salt Spring Island (Purchase)

One of the many reasons to enjoy Burgoyne Bay are are views of Mount Maxwell (Hwmet’atsum). The clouds cleared around the mountain when I was walking a trail to the bay, and were rather dynamic which required some patience. Of the many exposures I made of various cloud positions I like this one the best as the character of the peak shows through with a border of clouds around it.

clouds around mount maxwell on salt spring island

Mount Maxwell in the Clouds (Purchase)

Fernwood Dock

When visiting Salt Spring Island I often drive North Beach Road and Walkers Hook Road along the northeast side of the island. It is a nice drive with many ocean views of the Houston Passage and Wallace Island as well as Galiano Island in the Trincomali Channel. At Fernwood Point there is the 122m (400 ft) long Fernwood Dock which extends 400 feet from the shore. The rocky beach on either side of the dock is a great spot to see anenomes and other intertidal species in the tide pools.

fernwood dock on salt spring island

Fernwood Dock on Salt Spring Island (Purchase)

Cranberry Valley

Cranberry Valley is an area of Salt Spring Island with a lot of small farms and acreages. I photographed these sheep taking shelter from some heavy rain with a nice backdrop of Bigleaf Maples behind them.

sheep on a small farm at cranberry valley on salt spring island

Cranberry Valley Sheep on Salt Spring Island (Purchase)

You can view more photographs of the island in my Salt Spring Island Gallery.

Maple Bay Day Use Area at Cultus Lake

Black Cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) trees provide some bright autumn leaf color at Maple Bay Day Use Area in Cultus Lake Provincial Park in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.

beautiful fall foliage at cultus lake

Fall Foliage at Cultus Lake’s Maple Bay (Purchase)

Cultus Lake Provincial Park is an area I enjoy visiting in spring and fall. I tend to avoid the area in the summer as it is one of the more popular Fraser Valley provincial parks and can be very crowded. I was at Cultus in late October of 2021 which was the perfect time to visit for a few reasons. First, there was some great fall foliage from the Black Cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) trees around the lake. Second, this was just about 16 days before a massive atmospheric river dumped roughly 200-300mm of rain in about 36 hours. There were some dramatic outcomes of this storm including large scale destruction of parts of the Trans Canada Highway in the Fraser Canyon (1), the Coquihalla Highway (5), Highway 8, Highway 7 near Hope, and the flooding of Sumas Prairie farms and farmland. Less publicized damage from this and the atmospheric rivers we had in the following weeks were impacts on parks such as Cultus Lake and Coquihalla Canyon (Othello Tunnels) Provincial Parks. There is so much damage around the Othello Tunnels I have to wonder if it will ever reopen.

The Cultus Lake area will probably look a little different when I am able to visit again this winter or spring. Maple Bay specifically had a lot of damage. When I drove on the eastern side of the lake heading towards the Lindell Beach area on the southern end, I noticed the very bright fall leaves on the Cottonwoods at Maple Bay Beach. So I parked on the other side of the campground and walked through to the Maple Bay beach. On the way I followed the creek bed for Watt Creek from the campground to the beach. This was a wide creek bed that was maybe about 2.4 meters (8 feet) deep in some spots, the edges lined with small rocks a bit larger than gravel. At this point in late October there was almost no water flowing in the creek. The photograph below shows the beach area at Maple Bay with some fall leaves lining the Cultus Lake shoreline. These are the rocks I’m referring to, and they make up much of the beach area. You can also see the area where Watt Creek drains into Cultus Lake and has carved a small channel into the beach rocks. The first photograph here shows this view from the opposite direction, and you can see the raised edges of the Watt Creek bed in the green trees behind the colourful Cottonwoods.

fall leaves at maple bay beach on cultus lake

Fall Leaves along Maple Bay Beach on Cultus Lake (Purchase)

All this description of rock is relevant in terms of the damage suffered here after my visit. Apparently so much new rock came down the creek with the rush of water from the mountains above that it filled the creek bed entirely. Watt Creek then had to choose a new path and decided flowing down the path through the picnic area offered the least resistance. After this and subsequent storms there was a lot of damage to the picnic area from erosion by the creek as well as the deposit of roughly 1-1.5m (3-5 ft) of new rocks which in some places covered the picnic tables. I don’t know if they’ll dig it all out or just raise the picnic tables on top of that new rock but either way there is a lot of work to get that part of the park open for visitors again! I feel fortunate to have visited and photographed this area (and quite a few others) just before they were altered by these storms.

I found this video of the damage that shows what the area looks like after the storms. Categorizing this as a slide seems incorrect but it does show the area well. It looks like some excavation has occurred on the Watt Creek bed as I presume they aim to send the creek back into its old path.

fall leaves cottonwood trees

Fall Foliage on Black Cottonwood (Purchase)

These very large Black Cottonwood trees are what drew me to the area from the main road. I don’t think many recent years have had this kind of fall leaf color in the Cottonwoods – but it was great this year. After walking through the campground to Maple Bay beach I made the photograph above of the vibrant color of the Cottonwood leaves. While the fall leaves draw more attention, the trunks of these Cottonwoods were very large and interesting as well. I was trying to show how imposing they are in this particular spot (there are 6-7 large trees growing together if I recall correctly) by looking through the gap between two of them to the picnic tables just beyond.

cottonwood tree trunks and picnic tables

Black Cottonwood Trunks and Picnic Tables (Purchase)

One of the views I was not expecting at Maple Bay on Cultus Lake was Mount Cheam (Lhílheqey) – and with some fresh snow on it as an added bonus. If the park reopens I’ll be back here this winter or spring to try to take in this view again, maybe with some better weather. That said, the clouds had the courtesy to not block Cheam while I was photographing that day. The building in the foreground is at the Honeymoon Bay Group Campground which is also part of Cultus Lake Provincial Park.

mount cheam and cultus lake

Mount Cheam and Cultus Lake (Purchase)

While the clouds did not block Mt. Cheam they did bring an interesting rain storm over the Chilliwack area that I viewed from Maple Bay just before I left. The patterns in the clouds were quite interesting and I was fortunate they were not just south of their location or I’d have been quite wet. When I drove back through the area to Chilliwack the rainfall was quite heavy and that is always better to run into after a 20 minute walk back to the car rather than before!

storm clouds over cultus lake

Storm Clouds north of Cultus Lake (Purchase)

For more photographs of Cultus visit my Cultus Lake Provincial Park gallery.

Port Moody’s Shoreline Trail

The Shoreline Trail boardwalk during low tide at the Port Moody Arm of Burrard Inlet in Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada.

shoreline trail in port moody

Shoreline Trail Boardwalk in Port Moody (Purchase)

Another location I visited in search of some fall foliage in 2021 was the Shoreline Trail area of Port Moody. I’d previously visited Port Moody and photographed some nice color in Rocky Point Park to the west. The Shoreline Trail itself runs from Rocky Point Park around the Port Moody Arm of Burrard Inlet all the way to Old Orchard Park on the north side of the inlet. In the first photograph you can see the somewhat iconic view of a park bench on the boardwalk of the Shoreline Trail with some nice fall foliage provided by Black Cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) trees in the background (with fresh snow on Mount Seymour). I’ve mentioned finding fall foliage during moments of sunshine before, as that is sometimes elusive here at that time of year. This particular afternoon yielded exactly one sunny break which lasted just a few minutes but luckily I was in place already and made the first photograph above. Compared to the photograph below, the colours really light up in the sunshine!

fall leaves at shoreline trail lookout in port moody

Fall at the Shoreline Trail Lookout in Port Moody (Purchase)

The second photograph here shows the wooden viewing area near Old Millsite Park across Burrard Inlet. The pilings in the mudflats are from an old mill site that burned down in 1949. Much like the nearby Barnet Marine Park, this area shows some relics of a more industrial past here and there along the trail. Noons Creek empties into Burrard Inlet near the right side of this photograph and many shorebirds feed on the old bits of salmon and other nutritional items deposited into the inlet by the creek. Consequently, one of the exposures I made of this composition had a bit more of a Seagull element than I’d anticipated!

apartment towers in port moody

Apartment/Condo Towers in Port Moody (Purchase)

After photographing from the south side of Burrard Inlet I headed along the trail to the same viewpoint as above. The apartment/condo tower photo above shows one of the views from that lookout.

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

Cloud Shapes in the Summer Sky

Cloud Formations in the Summer Sky.

cloud formations in the summer sky

Does this cloud look like a Baby Chick Begging for Food to you? (Purchase)

Summer is not always a time for a high level of photography activity for me. These past two summers the parks and public areas have been crowded as people limited travel due to Covid. Summer of 2021 was exceptionally hot and started with a record breaking heat dome which many will not forget anytime soon. So I didn’t get out and photograph all that this summer, but I did do some in the backyard. In the evening after working in the garden I occasionally noticed some flowers that needed some camera attention, and during one of those evenings I happened to look up and see a lot of great cloud shapes and formations in the evening sky.

cloud striations in the summer sky

Cloud Striations in the Sky (Purchase)

There isn’t a lot one can say about these sorts of photographs, but I included this first one at the top because it is my favourite. The main shape here reminds me of a baby chick in a nest with its wings stretched out and its mouth wide open hoping for dinner from Mom or Dad. Hopefully I’m not the only one that can see this! The others I photographed that evening were either shapes or striations in the sky that I found interesting.

cloud formations in the summer sky

Cloud Formations in the Sky (Purchase)

For more photos of clouds visit my Fog and Clouds gallery

A Fall Day at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby

Reflections in Deer Lake on a fall day at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.

deer lake fall reflections burnaby

Reflections at Deer Lake In Burnaby (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

Last year was a great year for fall foliage and there was still some remaining when I visited Deer Lake Park in Burnaby during mid November. This was after the first damaging atmospheric river this part of British Columbia dealt with. Deer Lake itself didn’t suffer much in the way of damage though some trails were initially flooded due to the influx of water. Not much of this was visible when I was there 4 days later although some trees had fallen. I parked at a new (to me) starting point on the west side of the park and walked around the lake. While the sun made on a few short appearances wind stayed quiet so there were some great reflections much of the afternoon. The photograph above shows hints of fading fall leaves in the larger trees such as the Maples and some good foliage in the Willows near the shore of the lake. The building in the background is the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts which sits above the “festival lawn” that is used for festivals and concerts.

two people enjoying the view at deer lake in burnaby

Enjoying the view at Deer Lake Park (Purchase)

I photographed various people enjoying the view on the newly replaced dock/viewing area on the north side of Deer Lake, but I prefer this wider view of two seniors in this spot flanked by the nice foliage of the Willow trees. All those dark shapes you see on the festival lawn in the background are a rather large flock of Canada Goose manure spreaders roaming the area and occasionally making a racket.

hart house at deer lake park in burnaby

Hart House (1921) vs. New “City of Lougheed” Towers (Purchase)

The Lougheed Mall area in Burnaby is undergoing a huge transition due to increased transit and with that comes a lot of new development and condo towers. It has certainly changed a lot since I lived nearby in the late 1990’s. Every time I visit Deer Lake or Burnaby Lake it bugs me a bit I didn’t visit at all when I lived fairly close! I liked the contrast in this scene between the historic Hart House (built in 1912 in the Tudor Revival style) and the “City of Lougheed” towers in the background. There are going to be many more towers there in the future but personally I’d rather look at Hart House and the other historic buildings around the edges of Deer Lake Park. Hart House has been home to the Hart House restaurant since 1988.

deer lake reflections metrotown towers

Metrotown Towers and Deer Lake In Burnaby (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

The last time I photographed this scene at Deer Lake was the previous autumn, and many of these towers were still being finished an some still had cranes erecting them. A lot of the skyline around Deer Lake Park seems to be changing and I imagine the next time I’m looking at this scene there may very well be another crane in sight.

In September of 2021 I was at Deer Lake for a quick visit while on my way back from Richmond and photographed a few scenes in the gardens and along the shore of Deer Lake. While I was near the dock pictured in the second photograph above, a young couple came down with a dingy and launched into the water near that location. You can see from the photograph above there are a lot of weeds in the water near the shore, and were much thicker during that point in the season. The progress was very very slow getting through that thick weed layer with the dingy. The young lady involved seemed increasingly less impressed with the frequent off colour exclamations and oars flailing about that never yielded the joy of open water. When I left they were still about 15 feet from the edge, it was getting dark, and the audible bickering was ramping up. Hopefully they did not require rescue of any kind, though I did find it rather amusing as did others passing by on the shoreline trails.

More photographs of Deer Lake and other parks in the City of Burnaby can be found in my Burnaby gallery.

Pitt Polder Dike Walk Part 3 – Katzie Marsh Plants

Cloudy skies make a bright background for these water plant reflections at Katzie Marsh in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Canada.

aquatic plants in katzie marsh

Katzie Marsh Plant Reflections (Purchase)

I split my writings here about my long walk along the Dikes near Pitt River and Pitt Lake into 3 parts – the first being the walk along the Pitt Polder Dike Trail, the second of Pitt Lake Dike Trail, and this is the third in that series. Earlier in the day I’d started my walk just expecting to quickly take a look my favourite view from the Pitt Polder Dike, but wound up walking a number of kilometers all the way to Pitt Lake. I’d been trying to outrun the onset of some clouds from the south, clear days being a tough situation to find this fall, and this location straight north of where I live turned out quite well. I initially used the sunshine to brighten the fall foliage, then the cloud cover to give some flatter light but without glare, still with some blue sky available. The remainder of my plan after I arrived at Pitt Lake was to again photograph the aquatic plants in Katzie Marsh. I had enough of them that I thought I’d give them their own post.

It seems clear I will have to to photograph these plant species in the spring or summer sometime so I can actually identify them. In the meantime, I’m left seeing how many variations on “aquatic wetland marsh plants” I can use as descriptions. It does pain me to not know a plant’s species name, but not knowing what these are at all is particularly vexing. The first photograph above shows the onset of cloud cover to the south. The reflection is very bright, and I used it to make a near white background to these aquatic leaves. It is a bit disorienting as to where the leaves themselves end and the reflections begin, but this was all meant to be somewhat abstract so I think it works.

wetland plants in katzie marsh

Wetland Plants in Katzie Marsh (Purchase)

The photograph above is a twin of sorts to one I made at Katzie Marsh (link) a few years ago. In a similar way to the image I linked to, I liked the appearance of two rows of plants in this area. From there I worked on other ideas, and using my 100-400mm lens for all of the photographs I made in all 3 of these posts, I was able to zoom in 400mm and make the photograph below. Just a few plants by themselves, but also a bit of subtle colour from the leaves of other plants now underwater.

marsh plants in katzie marsh

Wetland Plant Reflections in Katzie Marsh (Purchase)

The photograph below is from along the Pitt Lake Dike looking southeast towards Gwendoline Peak. The dike you can see running through the background here is the Swan Dike, which is the next dike one uses to complete the Katzie Marsh Loop. Some Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera were nice enough to provide some fall leaf foliage in the background as well.

fall at katzie marsh

Fall Foliage at Katzie Marsh (Purchase)

After I’d tried various compositions in the marsh I noticed from the clouds to the south it was about to rain. This was an interesting realization in light of my having left that rain jacket I mentioned in part one in the trunk of my car during my poorly planned departure. The car now sitting roughly a 3.5km (2.4 miles) walk away. I did not make any photographs on the way back to the car, and I stowed all of my equipment so I could walk with purpose back to the car. When I arrived, I could hear the rain coming, and was lucky to make it just as the rain started.

fall appearance of wetland plants in katzie marsh

Katzie Marsh in the Fall (Purchase)

For more photographs of the Pitt River/Pitt Lake area including the 28 images I published from this day please visit my Pitt Meadows gallery in the Image Library.

My Top 10 Photographs from 2021

December brings the time of year where we look back on the previous year and reflect on what occurred. I was hoping 2021 would be less eventful than the situation in 2020. While it was different, and much improved in many ways, the weather decided to be a big force where I live and not in a fun way. On the plus side, I did get out a lot more this year (locally) for photography, and I think I improved on some things from the previous year, which is all one can ask for really. 2021 also brought some really good fall foliage which I was able to both enjoy and photograph.

As usual, I started working on this list when I collected images for my 2022 Nature Calendar. I’ve published new images since then, and had many others to consider as well. If you click on a photo you’ll be taken to my Image Archive. I’ve also linked to corresponding blog posts that contain these images (if available) to provide more information about the location or to see other photos from that area. As usual, choosing 10 images is rather difficult, even though these should be considered my favourites and not the “best” necessarily. These aren’t in any order really as that would be just too hard!

I hope you enjoy this years selections and am curious to hear if you have any particular favourites. What do you see in photo #5?

My Favourite Photos of 2021:

katzie marsh fall leaves colors
1. Black Poplar (Populus trichocarpa) and Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) in Katzie Marsh
(Pitt Meadows, British Columbia)
Blog post: Pitt Polder Dike Walk Part 2 – Pitt Lake Dike Trail

western tiger swallowtail on lavender
2. Western Tiger Swallowtail ((Papilio rutulus))
(Langley, British Columbia)
Blog post: Lavender Flowers, Bees, and a Western Tiger Swallowtail

mount maxwell in clouds salt spring island
3. Mount Maxwell (Hwmet’atsum) In the Clouds

(Salt Spring Island, British Columbia)

pacific tree frog juvenile
4. Pacific Tree Frog (Pseudacris regilla)
(Langley, British Columbia)
Blog post: Juvenile Pacific Tree Frog (Pseudacris regilla)

cloud formations - baby bird
5. Cloud Formations

(Langley, British Columbia)

western white trillium flower
6. Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum) flower
(Langley, British Columbia)
Blog post: Western Trillium Flowers in the Fraser Valley Of BC

raven peak pitt marsh fall foliage
7. Raven Peak and Fall Foliage
(Pitt Meadows, British Columbia)
Blog post: Pitt Polder Dike Trail Walk Part 1

bracken fern frond
8. Backlit Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum)
(Langley, British Columbia)
Blog post: An Evening Walk in Campbell Valley Regional Park

water plants in katzie marsh
9. Water Plants in Katzie Marsh

(Pitt Meadows, British Columbia)

barrel-roof shed in burgoyne bay
10. Barrel-Roof Shed at Burgoyne Bay

(Salt Spring Island, British Columbia)

You can view my favourite photographs from 2020 here: My Top 10 Photos of 2020.

Pitt Polder Dike Walk Part 2 – Pitt Lake Dike Trail

Black Cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) and Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) provide fall colors in Katzie Marsh in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Canada.

fall foliage in katzie marsh

Fall Foliage in Katzie Marsh Provided by Black Cottonwood and Paper Birch (Purchase)

In my previous post about walking the Pitt Polder Dike Trail I covered the area along Rannie Road from the Heron Cove area of Smohk’wa Marsh through to the boat launch parking lot at Grant Narrows. Some of this area was formerly Grant Narrows Regional Park run by Metro Vancouver Parks but is now operated by the Katzie First Nation. From what I can tell the “official” name of the stretch between the start of Grant Narrows and Grant Narrows East (next to the mountains to the east) is the Pitt Lake Dike Trail. It is occasionally referred to as the Nature Dike Trail, though that looks to be the more common name for the trail heading south from the Pitt Lake boat launch parking lot which meets up with the Swan Dike Trail. To the north of the Pitt Lake Dike Trail are great views of Pitt Lake, Osprey Mountain, Raven Peak, with Edge Peak (of the Golden Ears) and Gwendoline Peak to the east. Katzie Marsh is to the south. I previously photographed a number of fall scenes along the Katzie Marsh Loop. In a way, that post could be considered part 4 of this series, though you’ll have to wait for part 3.

Regardless of your location along any of these dike trails, there are great views of the mountain landscapes as well as a lot of wildlife. When I first walked into the area near the boat launch at Grant Narrows, I stopped to consider if I wanted to continue up the dike trail or head back to my car, which was now several kilometers behind me. Considering there was still some blue sky, it wasn’t raining (yet) and the great fall foliage – I continued on of course. While I was contemplating my next move I watched a Common Raven (Corvus corax) do pretty much the same on a piece of driftwood along the shore. It shifted around on the wood, changing directions and occasionally making some noises. It seemed to be contemplating the choices in direction I was, with probably much less concern regarding the weather.

fishing boat docked at grant narrows pitt river pitt lake

Fishing Boat Docked at Grant Narrows on the Pitt River (Purchase)

While I was near the boat launch at Grant Narrows I photographed this fishing boat at the dock. There are a number of boats docked here at any given time, and many more can be seen zipping up and down the Pitt River and Grant Narrows traveling to and from Pitt Lake. Pitt Lake itself is one of the worlds largest tidal lakes and is popular with boaters. The north end of Pitt Lake is 25km (15.5 miles) north of the Pitt Lake Dike Trail and is where the Upper Pitt River enters the lake. The Upper Pitt is one of British Columbia’s best fly fishing and steelhead rivers. This likely accounts for some of the north bound boat traffic, along with the travel to and from the community of Alvin which is approximately 8km (5 miles) further up the Upper Pitt River.

Pitt Lake is notorious for being a windy location and consequently can have some rather large waves. Grant Narrows is a much more sheltered location than the lake itself, and these two kayakers ventured across the Pitt River towards and entrance to Widegon Creek. This is a relatively popular canoeing and kayaking location due to the great scenery and wildlife viewing. The two women in this kayak were not the only ones I saw venture up towards the Widgeon area while I was there.

two kayakers crossing the pitt river

Two Kayakers Crossing the Pitt River at Grant Narrows (Purchase)

Once I had decided to continue further east from the boat launch parking lot and along the Dike Trail, I photographed the scene in the first image above. I think this is one of my favourites from this fall, at least of what I’ve processed. As I said in my previous post, this year was simply great for fall foliage, and in this first photograph that color is provided mostly by Black Cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) and Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera). The photograph below was also made along the Pitt Lake Dike Trail but shows a viewing/lookout tower that is situated on the Swan Dike Trail which is on the east side of Katzie Marsh. This is part way through the Katzie Loop Trail and a tower I climbed last time I walked out that far (about 4.6km (2.8 miles) from the parking lot). As I recall there were several very vocal Kingfishers in the immediate area at the time and it was not a moment to enjoy any quiet!

lookout tower on the swan dike trail at katzie marsh

Lookout tower on the Swan Dike Trail on the east side of the Katzie Marsh Loop (Purchase)

The Pitt Lake Dike Trail also has a lookout tower which is about 500 meters (1600 feet) east of the parking lot. The image of a boat moving through Grant Narrows at low tide I linked to above was made from that tower (looking north), as was the photo below of two women guiding a toddler along the trail (looking west). This is a wide “trail” because it is not only the top of a dike, but also a road that cars and trucks take to the Grant Narrows East area (private) where there are a few buildings and many boats are launched from as well.

walking along the pitt lake dike trail at grant narrows pitt lake

Walking along the Pitt Lake Dike Trail at Grant Narrows on Pitt Lake (Purchase)

The last photograph here shows the view from the lookout tower on the Pitt Lake Dike Trail looking east. You can see a few buildings and the dock with boats at Grant Narrows East, as well as a number of vehicles parked there. This is a private area and not one the public can stroll into. Just before that building on the right is the beginning of the Swan Dike Trail which one should take south to continue on the Katzie Loop Trail. Looking east from the tower, or while walking the dike, one can also get a nice view of Edge Peak of the Golden Ears (Mount Blanshard) though the views are better further to the west.

people walking the pitt lake dike trail between pitt lake and katzie marsh

Walking the Pitt Lake Dike Trail between Pitt Lake and Katzie Marsh (Purchase)

Wait, can we go back to the very first image in this post? I spent a while editing this one, and it wasn’t until this evening I noticed something. What is that just above the left hand trees up on the mountain? It looks like a rock outcrop, which is what I assumed the entire time I was editing it. As part of my process to make the images for the blog, I zoomed in 100% at random, and centered on that area. Is that a GAZEBO? What the heck is a gazebo doing up the hill in that location? The hill goes straight down into a slough/creek (Eloise Creek?), and I can’t imagine where a trail could be to get to that location on the side of Gwendoline Peak unless it started at Grant Narrows East and followed a ridge to come down to that location. The last time I did the Katzie Loop I don’t think it was there, or I was distracted, which is entirely possible. I suppose it could be something to do with the UBC research forest over the peak above it, but that seems doubtful given its location.

If anyone can solve the great gazebo mystery let me know!

building on side of gwendoline peak above katzie marsh

Random Gazebo Building on the Hillside below Gwendoline Peak.

For more photographs from the city of Pitt Meadows visit my Pitt Meadows Gallery.