Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park Part 2 – Ceperley House and Century Gardens

Century Gardens, Ceperley House and the Burnaby Art Gallery at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.

burnaby art gallery ceperley house deer lake park

Burnaby Art Gallery (Cepereley House – built in 1911) at Deer Lake Park (Purchase)

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In my previous post “Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park Part 1” I showed some photographs I made while walking around Deer Lake Park. On some of my repeated visits this fall I photographed the area on the northern edge of the park around the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and the Burnaby Art Gallery. Ceperley House is the name of the mansion that has been home to the Burnaby Art Gallery since the late 1960’s. It is also often called Fairacres Mansion and has been a part of the Canadian Register of Historic Places since 1992. Ceperley House/Fairacres Mansion is a two and a half storey house in the British Arts and Crafts style. The building was built by Grace E. Dixon Ceperley (1863-1917) and Henry Tracy Ceperley (1850- 1929) in 1911. The City of Burnaby purchased the mansion 1966 and converted it into their first art gallery to celebrate Canada’s Centennial of Confederation.

arbor in century gardens at deer lake park and burnaby art gallery

An Arbor and Ceperley House at the Century Gardens in Deer Lake Park (Purchase)

In 1967 Burnaby planted an extensive garden around the gallery called Century Gardens also in celebration of Canada’s Centennial. The photo above shows some of the gardens in late fall, with the plants in fall decline but with the Rhododendrons looking good year round. The Rhododendron is the city of Burnaby’s official flower, and there are a lot of them planted in Century Gardens as a result.

flowering annuals at century gardens with the burnaby art gallery at deer lake park

Burnaby Art Gallery with Begonias and other flowers at the Century Gardens at Deer Lake Park (Purchase)

Century Gardens also is home to a lot of annuals that flower for just one season and are then removed. The first photograph and the one above show a large number of Begonias in the flower beds alongside the more permenant plants. On my second visit to the gardens this fall all of these had been removed by city crews. There are also a lot of Hydrangeas and Japanese Maples in the area.

fall foliage maple leaves century gardens burnaby

Fall foliage colour from various Japanese Maple Trees (Acer japonica) in the Century Gardens at Deer Lake Park (Purchase)

You can view more of my photos from the City of Burnaby in my Burnaby gallery.

My Top 10 Photographs from 2020

It is time once again to post my favourite images from the past year. 2020 has not been a typical year by any means, but I can’t really complain overall. I stayed closer to home this year, and photographed more wildlife than usual. Part of this was the limited locations I had at times, avoiding crowds/people, and due to owning a longer lens now. As usual, I started working on this list when I collected images for my 2021 Nature Calendar, though the criteria for that is a bit more limited than a top 10 list (I generally avoid human elements). I let this selection of images sit for a while like I did last year, but only wound up rotating one image in/out this time.

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. These photos aren’t in any specific order though I think the first photograph of the fledgling Barred Owls is my favourite. The blog post below the photo outlines some of my luck involved in making the owl image. That was a photo opportunity I never imagined having and can’t really expect to again! I didn’t anticipate photographing a comet this year either, so there are always surprises.

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

My Favourite Photos of 2020:

barred owl babies snuggling on a branch
1. Barred Owl (Strix varia) Owlets Snuggling
(Langley, British Columbia)
Blog post: Barred Owl (Strix varia) Fledglings in Campbell Valley Park

waterfall on sumas mountain in abbotsford british columbia
2. Waterfall along Poignant Creek on Sumas Mountain

(Abbotsford, British Columbia)

comet neowise in the evening sky above Burnaby
3. Comet NEOWISE in the evening sky above Burnaby Mountain
(Burnaby, British Columbia)
Blog post: Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) And My First Astrophotography

juvenile bald eagle sitting on driftwood with mount baker
4. A juvenile Bald Eagle next to Boundary Bay with Mount Baker (Washington) in the background.
(Delta, British Columbia)
Blog post: Viewing Bald Eagles at Boundary Bay

devon falls in abbotsford british columbia
5. Devon Falls
(Abbotsford, British Columbia)
Blog post: Devon Falls at Bassani Park in Abbotsford British Columbia

greater yellowlegs looking for food at blackie spit
6. Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) foraging at Blackie Spit
(Surrey, British Columbia)
Blog post: Birds at the Boundary Bay Wildlife Management Area

golden ears mountains sunset at derby reach park
7. Golden Ears and sunset light at Derby Reach Regional Park

(Langley, British Columbia)

short-eared owl asio flammeus at boundary bay
8. Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) flying at Boundary Bay Regional Park
(Delta, British Columbia)
Blog post: Birds at the Boundary Bay Wildlife Management Area

lummi peak on lummi island from boundary bay
9. Lummi Peak on Lummi Island (in Washington State) – photographed from Boundary Bay

(Delta, British Columbia)

male wood duck on a tree branch
10. Male Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) on a tree branch

(Burnaby, British Columbia)

You can view my favourite photographs from 2019 here: My Top 10 Photos of 2019.

Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park Part 1

Burnaby’s skyline of apartment, commercial, and condo towers above Deer Lake Park on an early fall day.

burnaby skyline above deer lake park

Burnaby’s Skyline above Deer Lake Park (Purchase)

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A few months ago I came across an online photograph of Deer Lake Park and realized it looked like a good destination for photographs. Despite living in Burnaby (north Burnaby) years ago I’d not visited there recreationally. I did visit on a cold fall Saturday morning when I was in University for a field trip of sorts learning to use various underwater instruments from canoes. I mostly remember that day for the moment where I threatened the grad student TA with an oar if he wasn’t going to keep his butt in the center of our canoe after multiple suggestions/warnings. He complied.

On three occasions this past October I visited Deer Lake Park in Burnaby to see what photographs I could make. I planned out a few things on the various maps of the many trails in the area, but ultimately Covid-19 restrictions chose my route for me – the majority of the trails are now one way. So I started at the boat launch area parking lot, and walked clockwise around the lake, with one added loop at the west end. The trail starts along a small street passing a few lakeside houses (including the Baldwin House shown below) before moving to a smaller gravel trail heading west. This was a nice walk, and ultimately I completed about 7km of trails including the main loop. I enjoyed exploring around the lake and eventually stopped at the area where Deer Lake Brook flows out of the northeast corner of Deer Lake where it continues on into Burnaby Lake. The area I photographed below is fenced off as it is a recovering ecological area – I’m sure people trample the stream bank otherwise.

deer lake brook in deer lake park burnaby

Deer Lake Brook in Deer Lake Park (Purchase)

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The photograph below shows the “Baldwin House” on the south shore of the lake. The Baldwin House was built in 1965 for Dr. William and Ruth Baldwin and was designed by renowned architect Arthur Erickson. Most around Vancouver will know Arthur Erickson as the designer (along with Geoff Massey) of Simon Fraser University. The Baldwin House is valued as an example of Burnaby’s post WWII modern heritage, progressive architectural style, and was added to the Canadian Register of Historic Places in 2005.

Arthur Ericksons Baldwin house on the shore of deer lake park

Baldwin House (designed by Arthur Erickson) on the shore of Deer Lake in Burnaby (Purchase)

On my third October visit to the park I photographed this scene looking down towards Deer Lake. I was photographing the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts (photo below), the Burnaby Art Gallery (Ceperly House) and the Century Gardens – and liked the sunny and colourful view down the path towards the lake. When the surrounding Maples really light up in a good year for fall foliage I’ll hopefully be visiting and be able to make more photographs of the area.

autumn leaves over a path down to the lake at deer lake park

Fall Leaves over a path down to Deer Lake (Purchase)

The last photograph here shows the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts at Deer Lake Park. The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts is a popular venue for live performances, art programs, community events, and festivals.

shadbolt centre for the arts at burnabys deer lake park

The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby (Purchase)

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Part II of my blog posts from Deer Lake can be found here: Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park Part 2 – Ceperley House and Century Gardens.

2021 Nature Calendar Now Available!

My 2021 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, wildlife, and nature scenes from British Columbia. As the purchase website no longer has a preview available, take a look at the index below for a small preview of the images contained in the calendar.

30% OFF! Use the code BFCM30 (case sensitive) for 30% OFF at checkout through November 30th.

cover for 2021 british columbia nature calendar

2021 Nature Calendar Cover – Juvenile Barred Owls

index for 2021 british columbia nature calendar

2021 Calendar Index

Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) And My First Astrophotography

Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) photographed in the skies above Burnaby, Abbotsford, and Langley, BC.

comet neowise in the evening sky above Burnaby Mountain

Comet NEOWISE in the evening sky above Burnaby Mountain (Purchase)

Comet NEOWISE was first discovered on March 27, 2020 and was visible in the night sky throughout much of July 2020. Since NEOWISE was going to be visible with the naked eye, and not long after sunset, I made a number of attempts to photograph it. I have never really done any photography of the sky at night, so I had do to some research as to how these sorts of photographs were accomplished. The first photograph above was made from the top of Burnaby Mountain at Simon Fraser University. I had thought that the nearby Burnaby Mountain Park would be a good location, but it was crowded. Not wanting to try to figure this all out while trying to socially distance from people, I moved up to SFU on the top of Burnaby Mountain. Seems this was a good call as the police showed up after sunset at the park to deal with some car rally people who were misbehaving in the parking lot. SFU was certainly a bit more serene – though it was weird being up there with every building closed (they are typically open 24/7). The photo above is a combination of 9 images made over a period of about 45 seconds. I thought the clouds that were rolling through would have been a big problem processing this one, but I rather like the outcome – it has a bit more going for it than just a comet in the sky. I had been trying to think of a good location where I could work something into the foreground for NEOWISE but never really came up with many promising ideas that weren’t likely around a lot of people. These clouds do make a foreground of sorts I guess!

Learning what sort of settings to make these photographs with, find a location, and get some decent weather was not my only obstacle in creating these images. I later had to learn how to “stack” the photographs using different software than I was used to. I tried several but by far had the best results from a program called Sequator. Stacking photographs like this together brightens up the dim stars (without creating the star trails of a long exposure) and also cancels out some of the noise that is created by the camera sensor.

comet neowise in the night sky above abbotsford

Comet NEOWISE in the night sky above Burnaby Mountain (Purchase)

For the next opportunity to photograph Comet NEOWISE I went to a viewpoint in Abbotsford that looks over Glen Valley and the Fraser River. While on Burnaby Mountain the comet wasn’t all that easy to see with the naked eye which was probably a combination of light pollution and where NEOWISE was positioned in relation to the sun. On this second attempt the tail was very easy to see. There is less light pollution out there and it is also likely that the comet and tail was simply brighter at that point in its journey. I could easily spot it just glancing out the car window! I picked up quite a few mosquito bites making the above photo, but this night turned out to be the best conditions I had photographing NEOWISE.

comet neowise in the night sky above langley

Comet NEOWISE above Langley

The last photograph of Comet NEOWISE here is not very good, but it is interesting in that the comet’s core appeared quite green. The tail was quite faint, and I was actually never able to see the comet with my eyes – even through the camera lens. The green color was nice though. I photographed this at Glen Valley in Langley, amid the blueberry and cranberry fields. What was probably the more interesting even that evening was when I saw a few Coyotes on the side of the road. One was clearly this years crop and was considerably smaller than the others. A few kilometers from where I saw the pup is where I photographed, and there was a pack of Coyotes rather close by howling and singing away while I made my photographs. I clapped my hands a few times just to make my presence known, but they weren’t overly concerned with this and never seemed to cease the celebration over a rabbit hunt or whatever they had going on. Perhaps they were enjoying the comet.

Walking Through Steveston and Imperial Landing

Fishing boats tied up at the docks at Scotch Pond near Steveston in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Photographed from the trails in Garry Point Park.

fishing boats scotch pond garry point park

Fishing boats docked in the Scotch Pond mooring at Garry Point Park (Purchase)

Last fall I made a short trip down to Richmond, BC to walk around the historic Steveston area. I started by walking the Garry Point Park trails which give good views of the fishing boats entering Steveston Harbour as well as the surrounding vistas to the north and west. On the north side of Garry Point Park I made several photographs, mostly at Scotch Pond, a small inlet where several fishing boats were moored. Scotch Pond is connected to the mouth of the Fraser River by a small channel allowing boats to come and go. The water was quite calm on the day I was there which lead to some nice reflections from the fishing boats in the photograph above.

This was my first trip to Steveston in many years, and I need to go back soon to photograph more of the historic nature of the area, including buildings like the Gulf of Georgia Cannery which is a National Historic Site. On this evening I walked through town and by the Cannery but didn’t make any photographs. I headed east along Steveston Harbour (part of the Fraser River) and made a number of photographs during some great sunset and later light in a section of town called Imperial Landing. The photograph below is the bridge along the main boardwalk trail at Imperial Landing Park.

bridge at imperial landing park in steveston

Bridge at Imperial Landing Park in Steveston (Purchase)

After sunset the sky had a nice purple tinge to it, and since I like reflections of almost anything, I photographed the above waterfront condos at Imperial Landing from the Imperial Landing Dock.

waterfront condos in steveston

Waterfront Condos at Imperial Landing in Steveston (Purchase)

The Imperial landing Docks are pictured below, with the last bit of sunset light reflecting off Steveston Harbour in the Fraser River. You can also see the fishing trawlers tied up along the Steveston Harbour docks on the right, and even the mountains of Vancouver Island in the distance.

sunset steveston harbour imperial landing docks

Sunset at the Imperial Landing Docks and Steveston Harbour (Purchase)

For more photographs from Richmond please visit my Richmond Gallery.

Birds at the Boundary Bay Wildlife Management Area

Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) foraging as the tide comes in at the Boundary Bay Wildlife Management Area in Crescent Beach, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.

greater yellowlegs foraging at blackie spit

Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) foraging at Blackie Spit (Purchase)

Earlier this year I visited two areas around Boundary Bay to try to photograph some wildlife. I made several landscape photographs as well, but I brought my 100-400 lens with me this time to try to see if I could photograph shorebirds, Bald Eagles, hawks and harriers, or any other subject I could find. When I visited Blackie Spit in Crescent Beach (Surrey) I found a small flock of Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) foraging in the wetlands of Blackie Spit as the tide came back in. I am not sure exactly what the tasty morsels they were finding were, but they did seem to find quite a bit to eat as they waded back and forth in the shallow water. They certainly don’t sit still and pose for a photograph!

short-eared owl asio flammeus flying at boundary bay

Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) flying at Boundary Bay Regional Park (Purchase)

Another species I’ve been trying to photograph for a while along Boundary Bay are the Short-eared Owls (Asio flammeus) which can often be found hunting in the grass between the dykes and the intertidal zone. They often follow the same looping hunting flight routes, and you can anticipate where they are going to be next. Chasing them up and down the dyke, as I’ve seen birding groups do, is something I’ll charitably label as “counterproductive”. Occasionally you will see them dive down into the grass and then fly away (a miss), but sometimes they disappear and you don’t see them again for a while (meal time).

This Short-eared Owl perched in a tree next to Boundary Bay after a few failed hunting attempts. Soon after it seemed to have a bit of a territorial spat with a passing Northern Harrier. The Harrier moved on and this owl seemed to have a successful hunt on its next lap of the area. While there are not many trees in this kind of habitat along Boundary Bay Regional Park, the scattered tree trunks and driftwood, along with the grass and shrubs in this photo are pretty typical of the habitat here.

short-eared owl Asio flammeus perched at boundary bay

Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) Perched in a Tree at Boundary Bay (Purchase)

A few areas along the dyke trail at Boundary Bay Regional Park have thickets of the invasive species Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus). They can be problematic in many ways but small birds such as this White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) can use it for cover, and many eat (and unfortunately distribute) the berries in the summer. This White-crowned Sparrow was with a flock of around 10-20 individuals, but they were quite active at that moment and group photos were a bit chaotic. They aren’t quite as exuberant and curious as Chickadees, but were not apparently bothered by my presence along the trail.

white-crowned sparrow at boundary bay regional park

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) at Boundary Bay (Purchase)

You can view more of my animal and bird photography in theAnimals and Wildlife Gallery.

A Few Spring and Summer Wildflowers

Spring and Summer Wildflowers – this Siberian Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia sibirica) was found blooming at Williams Park in Langley, British Columbia, Canada.

siberian miners lettuce claytonia sibirica flowers

Siberian Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia sibirica) Flowering (Purchase)

I’ve photographed a few species of wildflowers in parks near where I live this spring and summer, and I thought I’d put them all in one post. The above photograph is a Siberian Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia sibirica) plant I found blooming this spring at Williams Park in Langley, BC. I photographed the Miner’s Lettuce during one of my first tentative trips out to photograph after being mostly at home due to the pandemic. I’ve usually seen Siberian Miner’s Lettuce in closer proximity to each other, but this one was standing almost alone so I could isolate it in the photograph.

Smooth Hawksbeard (Crepis capillaris)

smooth hawksbeard crepis capillaris flowers

Smooth Hawksbeard (Crepis capillaris) Flowers (Purchase)

I photographed these Smooth Hawksbeard (Crepis capillaris) flowers this summer in a field at Campbell Valley Regional Park. I hadn’t explored this particular part of the park before, so I didn’t have any expectations. I had a close encounter with a very healthy looking Coyote while it was hunting in the field, but this came as I had a wide angle lens on my camera (of course). It stayed around long enough for me to switch to a 100-400 but when I slowly stood up again to see if it was there it ran off. However, I kept the 100-400 on for the remaining time I had in the field and photographed these Hawksbeard flowers using that lens. I stay on trails, so the longer focal length (318mm) I was able to use here came in handy. While I bought it for wildlife this lens can make a small subject like wildflowers feel pretty close even though I’m many feet away.

Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca)

tufted vetch vicia cracca with bumblebees

Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca) Flowers Visited by Bumblebees (Purchase)

I photographed this Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca) in the same Campbell Valley Park field this spring while it was being visited by a few bumblebees. This was from 2.45 meters (8 feet) away – so I was glad to have the longer lens. I made a few photographs of various Vetch plants in the field, but the bumblebees really seemed to love this one, so I stuck with it and was happy to get some photos with multiple bees at once.

Tiger Lilies (Lilium columbianum)

I have only seen Tiger Lilies (Lilium columbianum) blooming in the wild once before – and that was on Vancouver Island near Port Alberni (Stamp River Falls) in 2013. So when I found these flowers in the forest next to a trail early this summer in Aldergrove Regional Park I was glad I had my camera with me. Also known as the Columbia Lily or Oregon Lily – Tiger Lilies were eaten by the Coast Salish people usually as a flavouring or condiment. The very green maple leaves mixed in appear to belong to a young Vine Maple tree.

tiger lilies blooming flowers

Tiger Lilies (Lilium columbianum) in Aldergrove Regional Park (Purchase)

Large-leaved Avens (Geum macrophyllum)

I photographed these Large-leaved Avens (Geum macrophyllum) flowers and leaves on the forest floor at Campbell Valley Regional Park while photographing the Barred Owl owlets a few weeks ago. I usually notice Avens when the velcro like hooks on the seeds grab onto my clothing and come home for a ride. This method of seed distribution seems quite effective though I am probably not the target animal for that kind of distribution. This time, however, they were flowering right next to the trail where I was photographing the owls, so I took a break from recording owl screeching sounds to photograph a few flowers near the trail.

large leaved avens flowers geum macrophyllum

Large-leaved Avens (Geum macrophyllum) flowers and leaves (Purchase)

You can see these and more photographs of spring and summer wildflowers in my Wildflower Photos Gallery.