Storm Clouds Over South Surrey

Storm clouds from an incoming thunderstorm darken the sky over farmland in South Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.

dark thunderstorm clouds over south surrey farmland nicomekl river

Thunderstorm Clouds Darken the Sky Over South Surrey Farmland (Purchase)

A few weeks ago I had a few hours to spend at Elgin Heritage Park in Surrey. I was mostly interested in photographing birds, and was not expecting a storm. Previously I’ve found a lot of birds on the marsh areas as well as along the shoreline of the Nicomekl River. At lot of the marsh plants seemed to be flatted by previous high water, so there aren’t as many old stems for the birds to perch in at the moment, but that will change as the foliage grows this spring. After looking for Red-winged Blackbirds and other birds along the shore, the darkening sky to the north and west was of some concern. I could see rain falling not too far across the river at times, so I was wary as to when I might have to head back to the car due to heavy precipitation or lightning. I made the first photograph here from the bank of the Nicomekl and from then on the sky received more of my attention than the birds. Although, I did photograph a Greater Yellowlegs which seemed to occasionally get bogged down in the mud while foraging. The Yellowlegs seemed pretty unconcerned about the potential for rain.

storm clouds over nicomekl river south surrey farmland

Storm Clouds and Rainfall over South Surrey Farmland (Purchase)

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The wide panorama below shows the amount of precipitation that was falling from these clouds at times. At one point the rain was just across the river, and I was pretty sure I could hear it. Only a few drops on the side of Elgin Heritage Park though, which I did not mind. My gear is weather sealed but I generally don’t want to test that!

bands of rain fall from storm clouds south surrey elgin

Wide Panorama of the Bands of rain falling from the storm clouds (Purchase)

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In my most recent post I wrote about not really wanting to photograph Herons anymore and then not only photographed a number of Herons, I posted 4 to that blog post alone. I should point out that while there is a Great Blue Heron in the photo below, it is not a “Heron photo”. It is a stormy cloud photograph that merely happens to have a Heron in it, in my defense. 🙂 There seemed to be some territorial jostling going on with the Herons at the river on that day – they were chasing each other off quite often. Lots of squawking and honking sounds (these are not songbirds) with some physical intimidation can help when attempting to convince a rival to move down the river, apparently.

storm clouds and the nicomekl river with heron

Nicomekl River, Storm Clouds and a Heron (Purchase)

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For more photographs from the City of Surrey visit my Surrey 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

Cameron Lake Storm Clouds

A storm rolls in at sunset over Cameron Lake near Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada

a storm rolls in over cameron lake at sunset - near port alberni bc

Cameron Lake near Port Alberni, BC (Purchase)

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   A few months ago during my trip to Vancouver Island I had a lot of perfectly clear, sunny skies that were not always photogenic. I was lucky on one of my last days there to get a cloudy evening to photograph Cathedral Grove and a few other areas near Port Alberni. I quite enjoyed this scene as a storm rolled in over Cameron Lake near Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada. Not that colourful, but it was a nice spot to sit by the lake and photograph back in early June. The wind on the lake helped create some interesting images of the waves and branches on the nearby trees as well.

More of my images from Vancouver Island can be found in my Vancouver Island Gallery.

Mount Cheam in the Clouds

ridge on mount cheam shows through the clouds near popkum in british columbia canada

Ridge on Mount Cheam (Purchase)

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   On the way home from my photography trip through the Okanagan Valley and Manning Park in British Columbia I passed through the Hope area into Chilliwack. I avoided stopping in some of my favourite places near Hope as this was a Friday evening just before a long weekend. Traffic was very busy near anything resembling a campground or recreational area. In face, there was a pretty good stream of cars from Langley through to Princeton if not beyond! From the highway just outside of Chilliwack I looked up towards Mount Cheam and saw this lower part of the peak still visible through the clouds. I took the next exit, a few back roads and lined up this photo. This is not all there is to Mount Cheam – the mountain itself is much larger, but I liked this small part that was poking through the clouds.

Hope Mountain at Silver Lake Provincial Park

Clouds clear from Hope Mountain after a storm in Silver Lake Provincial Park near Hope, British Columbia, Canada

hope mountain above silver lake in silver lake provincial park

Silver Lake and Hope Mountain (Purchase)

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   Sometimes there can be a lot of benefit in going through your photo archives. With the passage of time comes the benefit of new technology, processing techniques, and changes in your photographic vision that can increase the appeal of older, overlooked images. I have been finding a lot of images in my archive lately that I have been adding to my website. Some due to simply missing them the first time and some because I know how to process them in a much stronger way now. When I learn new processing techniques in Photoshop I am often reminded of older images that could benefit from my new knowledge. This can become a lot of work!

   This is Hope Mountain in Silver Lake Provincial Park near Hope, British Columbia, Canada. I have posted a similar image before but I also like this horizontal perspective, even if less of the reflection is revealed.

Sunset behind Burke Mountain

sunset behind burke mountain

Sometimes the shots you think you will like from a trip fall to the bottom of the pile pretty quickly. A few weeks ago I was out near Pitt Lake hoping for some good sunset alpenglow on Mt. Blandshard (aka the ‘Golden Ears’). Burke Mountain ate up a lot of the direct light when the sun went low in the sky, and clouds obscured the top of the Mt. Blandshard peaks. What resulted was a rather bland panorama. Two years ago I would have been happy with it, but now I know it is a throwaway more or less – not bad but nothing special about it.

This was one of those times when suddenly the light just goes away. Turning around I saw the scene above – dark clouds with nice orange colours underneath. Thankfully I have just enough zoom in the 70-200 to show the detail of the treetops which I think adds extra dimension to the shot.

After the Storm in Manning Provincial Park

mt mcconnell storm clouds manning provincial park

Soon after a heavy rainstorm in Manning Provincial Park I shot these photos of the clouds swirling around the mountains and ridges just off the Crowsnest Highway (Hwy 3). In the shot above Mt. McConnell emerges from the clouds. Below, the clouds swirl around a ridge on Silverdaisy Mountain. I would have loved to be able to do a time lapse at this point – the clouds were moving really fast.

clouds swirl near ridge on silverdaisy mountain in manning provincial park clouds swirl near ridge on silverdaisy mountain in manning provincial park