After 10 years of wrangling the old theme I’ve had on here it is time for something new. The old one did well, and then when it didn’t I put in my own responsive code so it would work on tablets and mobile as well as desktops. However, a lot has changed with WordPress in 10 years, and how themes work in general, so it is time to move on. The new is mostly new behind the scenes, but is much much faster than the old one.
If you see something broken here in the next day or so I am probably working on it. There will be a few small things I need to change as they don’t elegantly collapse when the window is resized, but this may not actually affect any visitors here. Something I’ll change after this theme is implemented. After that I’ll begin working on the front page of the website and edit that to match the new style of the blog.
There are a few nice waterfalls in Québec’s Gatineau Park and Dunlop Falls is probably the easiest to access. After just a short walk up from the parking lot the trail heads along Fortune Creek (Ruisseau Fortune in French) which leads you up to the main falls. Fortune Creek has a few nice scenic spots itself even before you reach the falls, such as this stretch where a bridge on the Dunlop Trail crosses the creek. You can just see Dunlop Falls through the trees above the bridge in the photo below.
After just a few minutes we reached Dunlop Falls itself. As can often be the case in popular locations such as this, I had to wait for a while for another photographer to clear the bridge above the falls. After maybe 5 minutes they were satisfied and moved on, which had given me time to work out a composition I liked. While the fall foliage here was not spectacular, there is a bit of colour, and the fallen leaves covering the rocks do convey an autumn feel even without a lot of colourful leaves in the trees. I made a few different compositions from that location before heading up the brief, steep, climb to the bridge above the falls.
The best view of these falls is from just below the bridge, but there is a view looking upstream along Fortune Creek as well, though that area is probably better to photograph with more water in the river. After photographing from the bridge briefly, we headed down the other side of the river to go back to the parking lot.
Before visiting here I looked at a lot of park maps and tried to get a good handle on what points of interest were around. This last photograph shows a bit of a surprise. The creek here on is on the map, but is not named, and there is no indication of the waterfall itself either in the maps. After my trip I went through about every topographical map I could find in the hopes of discovering the name of the creek and or the falls. I came up with nothing. In a last ditch effort to name these I phoned the Gatineau Park Visitors Center. They were well aware of this waterfall and the creek, but indicated they had no names for them. So I decided that I’d just name it anyway, and chose “Fortune Falls” as Camp Fortune is nearby and the Fortune Parkway is just above the falls in this last photograph.
Photographing this spot was a bit of a challenge. As with many nature scenes, there is a lot of chaos, with branches and twigs sticking out of the water and all over the bank. A nice, neat, composition was not really going to be had here. Other than the waterfall itself, the yellow/gold reflection in the water attracted me to this scene. The difficult part was including the brightly lit foliage above (along the Fortune Parkway) that was providing the color in order to give the reflection some context. Without it one might be tempted to ask why the water there is yellow and the rest of the scene is not. There was bright sunshine on much of this foliage, however, so I included just a bit of it for context. Hopefully the image above and the other shot of Fortune Falls in my image library convey where the coloration is coming from!
For more photographs from this area visit my Gatineau Park gallery in my Image Library.
2019 Nature Calendar Cover – Lower Falls in British Columbia’s Golden Ears Provincial Park
My 2019 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, Québec, Ontario, and Washington State.
West Vancouver and the Ambleside Pier in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Evening at the Ambleside Pier in West Vancouver (Purchase)
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A few weeks ago I headed into Vancouver to see what fall foliage I could find. This was not a stellar year for foliage around Vancouver or in the Fraser Valley, at least not in the areas where I ventured. I found some good colour in Queen Elizabeth Park, but I have photographed there a lot before. I decided to go to areas that I hadn’t really visited often after that. After going through downtown I went to Ambleside Park in West Vancouver. I had only photographed this location once, and there were promises of a decent sunset and a few subjects I wanted to photograph again with my newer, higher resolution, camera.
I had seen photographs of the pier before, but didn’t realize how close it was to Ambleside Park – probably less than a 10 minute walk from where I’d parked. On the way to the pier I photographed a few things along the beach, ships in English Bay, and the Lions Gate Bridge. When arriving at the Ambleside Fishing Pier, much of the sunset was gone but it was perfect timing for a blue hour photograph of the pier and parts of West Vancouver to the north. I had to compose around a construction crane but otherwise things went as planned. Ambleside Pier itself is a nice spot to view the surrounding area, and is set up with a table and hose to cut bait for fishing or crab traps, and to clean one’s catch.
This second photograph of Ambleside Pier is from Ambleside Beach looking west. When I visited the pier there were several groups there fishing and crabbing. One of the crabbers was waiting to pull up their trap as there was a seal hanging out in the area and apparently it is adept at raiding the traps as they come to the surface!
For more photographs of this area visit my Gallery.
Meech Creek Valley covered bridge (1932) in Chelsea, Québec, Canada (Gatineau Park).
Meech Creek Covered Bridge in Gatineau Park (Purchase)
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In my last post I showed some fall foliage I’d seen at Gatineau Park in Québec. Those images were from the southern part of Gatineau Park, so I thought with this post I’d show some of the scenes I found in the northeastern parts of the park. The fall foliage color wasn’t quite as pronounced here, but was still nice and as always adds a bit of color to a photograph that wouldn’t be quite the same with green leaves. This first photograph is the Meech Creek covered bridge in Chelsea, Québec, just within the eastern border of the park. Unlike a lot of the other covered bridges I photographed during my week in the east, this bridge doesn’t appear to have an official name and doesn’t have the year it was built posted on it. There is an information sign further up the road which indicated this bridge was built in 1932 as a Depression era make work project, but while it calls it the “Meech Creek Covered Bridge” it doesn’t appear to be as official a name as that given to some other covered bridges.
This old gravel road (Chemin Cafferty) is near the eastern edge of the park (near Autoroute 5) and eventually joins up with a trail called Cross Loop which heads to Lac Carman in Gatineau Park. I may have been standing in the exact same spot for this photo as the one below with the hay bales and the fall colours on the Gatineau hills behind. Either way, I think this photograph of the fall foliage and the gravel road disappearing into the forest – is one of my favourites of the whole trip. At least so far. The photo makes me want to walk through the trees and see what is around the corner.
Hay Bales and Fall Leaves in Chelsea, Québec (Purchase)
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On a hill just above Meech Creek and the covered bridge I saw these two men painting the bridge. An internet search reveals a lot of paintings of this bridge and the surrounding fields, so this appears to be a popular spot for painting (and photography). I’ve also seen several drone videos from the area. When I was photographing the bridge and the scenes around it there was a man flying a drone over the bridge and fields. I don’t know if it is legal to do so there, but it certainly seemed to annoy the painters! Drones seem like a lot of fun to fly and photograph with – but they certainly destroy the ambience of a nice quiet place like this one.
Painting the Meech Creek Covered Bridge
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For more of my photographs from Quebec visit my Québec Photos Collection.
Fall foliage color at the Beaver Pond during Fall Rhapsody Festival at Gatineau Park in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada.
Fall Color at the Beaver Pond in Gatineau Park (Purchase)
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A few weeks ago I was in Ottawa, Ontario visiting family and we did a lot of driving around looking for fall foliage colors and other scenery. I was there a week before peak color, but I still saw a lot of foliage that was well beyond what I’d normally see even during a great fall color year in and around Vancouver. Much of the great color was in Gatineau Park, which is just across the Ottawa river in Quebec. I’d been following Gatineau Park happenings in social media for a few weeks, and while the peak of color was the following week, we also avoided all the closed roads and crowds!
I have many photos yet to come from my trip to Ottawa, but I thought I’d start here with a few that show some of the best color I saw, but also from locations that don’t really merit their own blog post in the future. The first photograph here is from the “Beaver Pond” along the Gatineau Parkway. I couldn’t find a more official name for it, but the “Beaver Pond” is what most people seem to call it. This photograph, and the wider angle of it, show some of the reds and oranges that we rarely get (from native species) here in British Columbia.
The second photograph here was made at Lac Bourgeouis but from the side of the Champlain Parkway. I’d been to Lac Bourgeouis the day before, but these colors had improved a lot from the day before, and probably show the most interesting foliage I saw on the trip. Clearly the Maple leaves have not turned to the extent one would see at “peak” foliage color, but there are lot of reds and oranges, as well as yellow and the summer greens. I like that this photo shows the whole spectrum from summer to fall foliage.
This panorama shows off the lighter colors of the maple tree trunks with their brighter foliage above. This is another unnamed marsh/pond in Gatineau Park, but is near the “Shilly Shally Shelter” and the junction of the Lac Fortune Parkway and the Champlain Parkway. I have several (to be published later) photos of this location that show a wider perspective but I think this one shows the most interesting elements of the scene. There are some smaller conifers in this area which further contrasts it from British Columbia where they would be the dominant type of tree in a mature forest.
Fall Leaves along Dunlop Road during Fall Rhapsody at Gatineau Park (Purchase)
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Sometimes a good patch of color is just along the side of the road!
For more photos of fall foliage visit my Fall Photos Gallery.
I have photographed the scenes I’ve found along the Lower Falls Trail on many occasions. The trail winds through the rainforest in Maple Ridge’s Golden Ears Provincial Park on the way to Lower Falls which I have also photographed many times. Lower Falls is the most popular photography spot along the Lower Falls Trail, but I think the view of the Golden Ears and Gold Creek near a bend in the creek is a close second. This first photograph here might show the third most popular spot – the “Dragon” log next to the trail. This log looks a bit like a dragon’s head, and I’ve heard many people refer to it as such. Normally there are also various rocks (like the pointed on in this photo on the end of the nose) that add to this look. There was a rock in the log for its eye when I passed the first time but it was gone when I came back and photographed it.
Vine Maples (Acer circinatum) along the Lower Falls Trail (Purchase)
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These overhanging Vine Maple trees (Acer circinatum) are a nice photography opportunity as well, and are the same Vine Maples you see in the first photo above of the dragon log. I did prefer the Lower Falls Trail more in the past when there was a natural trail here, and not crushed gravel, but at least the bears/cougars can hear you coming with the constant crunch crunch sound that walking makes!
Red Alders (Alnus rubra) along Gold Creek (Purchase)
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These last two scenes – Red Alders (Alnus rubra) and a view of Gold Creek with Mount Nutt in the background, are near the bend in the trail/creek I mentioned earlier. When I see scenes like this one with the Alder trees I do wish they would turn a nice color in the fall. Alder leaves, sadly, just sort of go brown and fall to the ground which doesn’t really lend itself to nice fall foliage photographs. I photographed these trees at the unnamed beach that is quite popular in the summer for swimming in (the probably cold) Gold Creek.
Gold Creek and Mount Nutt along Lower Falls Trail (Purchase)
The treehouse at Redwood Park in Surrey, BC was one of the spots I liked to visit with my parents when I was a kid. After a short walk through the woods the treehouse would appear and I always found it interesting to look at. The original treehouse (built in 1878) was constructed by Peter and David Brown, twin brothers who were given the land by their father. They planted many trees on the property instead of farming on it, and lived in the treehouse until their deaths in 1949 and 1958.
This, unfortunately, is not the same treehouse. The Surrey Parks page says this is a replica of the original treehouse that once stood here, but the sign next to it says it is a different design. Why they would erect a new treehouse that didn’t match the old one, if the old one was too rotten to repair, is not a decision I understand. However, this is still a nice park to walk through, and I still like the new treehouse. I’m sure that kids who are as old now as I was back when I first saw this are just as interested.
While the treehouse is the main attraction, there is also a grove of mature Sierra Redwoods (Sequoiadendron giganteum which is also known as the Giant sequoia) at Redwood Park. The Brown brothers filled the area with their favourite trees from around the world. Many of the trees here are labelled with signs bearing their common and latin names. There are a few of these species I plan on photographing this fall as well as many native Maples that look like they’ll be spectacular if the weather is right.
You can view more of my photos from the City of Surrey in my Surrey Gallery.