Posts Tagged ‘deer lake’

Fall at Deer Lake in Sasquatch Provincial Park

Fall Maple leaves (Acer Macrophyllum) on the slopes of Sasquatch Peak in Sasquatch Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada.

fall foliage at deer lake in sasquatch provincial park

Fall foliage on Sasquatch Peak at Deer Lake (Purchase)

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   This year was not a great one for fall leaf colors in the Fraser Valley, probably in part due to the 4 month drought we had this summer. I am used to not having area-wide color and having to hunt a little for it though. Much like wildflowers, sometimes you only need one good spot to make a good photograph. One of the areas I checked for fall foliage this year was Deer Lake in Sasquatch Provincial Park. Just a short drive up the side of Harrison Lake near Harrison Hot Springs, Sasquatch Provincial Park is a nice recreation spot with 3 lakes, campgrounds, and hiking trails.

   In the spring of 2013 I photographed a nice reflection at Deer Lake and noted it might be a good place to come back for fall foliage. The first photograph here is the result – though it did come with some problems. I had set up to somewhat recreate the photo linked above but a man showed up and was about to wade out into my reflection area to fish. I pointed out I would like to make two quick photos and I’d be finished. He doesn’t say anything but proceeds to wade into the water right in front of me and began fly fishing. After briefly wondering how my tripod would work as a cudgel I decided to simply photograph over his head and forgo the reflection shot for this year. I like the results – the top photograph here and its alternates in my library have a nice mix of green conifers, fall maple leaf colors, and various snags and other light colored tree trunks. About 10 minutes after making these photos I heard him yelling and swearing. I looked around the corner and I guess his casting had gone awry and he had hooked himself in the back. I still do not feel bad about this.

fishing for trout at deer lake in sasquatch provincial park

Fishing for Rainbow Trout at Deer Lake (Purchase)

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   I briefly chatted with the older man and woman in the above photo as they were fishing for Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) off the end of the dock at Deer Lake. As with many other lakes in BC, Deer Lake is stocked with fish by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. For some of the reflection photographs I made at Deer Lake I had to wait until the ripples from rising fish dissipated – so it would appear this lake has a decent fish population. The fall foliage in the background of this photo is growing on the slopes of Sasquatch Peak, which is taller than the nearby Mount Hicks.

kayaking at deer lake in sasquatch provincial park

Kayaking on Deer Lake (Purchase)

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   The trails at Deer Lake don’t allow one to walk around the entire lake. These kayaks look like a great way to explore the shoreline.

fall foliage at deer lake in sasquatch provincial park

Fall foliage at Deer Lake (Purchase)

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   I included the above photograph in my 2016 Nature Calendar and the Top 10 Photographs of 2015 blog post. I think this might have been the best fall foliage scene I found this year, and the lack of wind (or fish ripples) at the time made for a very nice reflection. I may try to visit Sasquatch Provincial Park in the winter and see what scenes I can find when the trees have no leaves at all.

boardwalk at deer lake in sasquatch provincial park

Boardwalk over a marsh on the Deer Lake Trail (Purchase)

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   This is the Deer Lake Trail between the parking lot and “The Point” – just below the Bench Campground. I liked the colours around the boardwalk here, and the light colored trunks of the Red Alder (Alnus rubra).

For more photographs from Deer Lake visit my Sasquatch Provincial Park Gallery.

Sasquatch Provincial Park

   A few weeks ago I drove out to Harrison Hot Springs, BC to explore Sasquatch Provincial Park. On the past two occasions I had attempted to visit the Hicks Lake area of the park during the off season I had been turned away due to construction. This time everything was open and I was able to explore around the area around Green Point, Trout Lake, Hicks Lake, and Deer Lake.

Trout Lake Creek

   At the entrance to Sasquatch Park there is a small parking lot at the park sign. I’d seen a small creek on the map flowing through this area from Trout Lake down to Harrison Lake. Most creeks I find look like all the others, but this one had enough character and dense foliage surrounding it to make things interesting.

trout lake creek

Trout Lake Creek near the entrance to Sasquatch Provincial Park

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   I this this may be one of the spots I visit in the fall just in case there are some interesting colours here.

common garter snake at hicks lake in british columbia

Trout Lake Creek Panorama

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Hicks Lake

   Once at Hicks Lake I parked at the day use area and hiked part of the Hicks Lake Trail. My aim was to photograph some of the streams and potential waterfalls flowing into Hicks Lake (I’d picked a cloudy day for just this reason). Near the group campground area I found a trail down to a beach on the north side of the lake. The cloudy day I had planned for transformed into a mostly sunny one, so at this point there were not photographs of the lake itself that I wished to make. However, this did give me the opportunity to photograph a few Common Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) that were basking on the sandy beach. I posted another photograph of one of these Garter Snakes in an earlier post.

common garter snake at hicks lake in british columbia

Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) at Hicks Lake

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   Near the group campground area a small creek runs down the mountain into Hicks Lake. I spent a few minutes photographing these really small cascades flowing through the ferns and other understory foliage. Sometimes photographing in the forest can be rather challenging as there are so many plants growing in various directions complicating the search for a simple composition. Around a creek or a waterfall I think this can work well as a frame for the scene, providing there isn’t as much chaos in the middle of the photograph.

common garter snake at hicks lake in british columbia

Small waterfalls near Hicks Lake

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   From the lakeside creek I walked back to the day use area and then to the perimeter trail around the campground. I remembered quite a few of these spots from many years ago when I camped here with my parents. It was good to see all sorts of kids fishing along the shore like I used to. I hiked a bit more of the the Hicks Lake Trail south towards the end of the lake. There didn’t seem to be many streams on this side of the lake, so I headed back just before reaching the south end beach (Sandy Beach). I did hear some rushing water while at the south end, so perhaps on another trip I’ll investigate this. Walking back through the campground I checked out the final few streams on my list, didn’t find much photographically interesting – so I headed to Deer Lake.

Deer Lake

   Deer Lake is just up the road from Hicks Lake, and is the last of the 3 easily accessible lakes in Sasquatch Provincial Park. As I was there late on a Friday evening, traffic through the campground was fairly heavy with last minute campers trying to find a spot. I parked in a day use area and had enough time to explore around the south edge of the lake near the Bench Campground. I spent a few minutes making this photograph of the surrounding forest and some snags reflecting in the lake. The blue tinge at the top of the photograph is the result of campfire smoke from the Bench Campground nearby. This may be a better scene to photograph when there are fewer campers making dinner! It also looks like a great spot in the years we have decent fall foliage colours.

deer lake forest

The forest and snags reflecting in Deer Lake

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   On the north side of “The Point” I photographed campfire smoke lingering over the Lakeside Campground and one of the picnic areas at Deer Lake. With the light fading, I got in the car and drove back to Harrison Hot Springs hoping to catch some sunset light on Mount Cheam and Harrison Lake. Those photographs will have to wait for another blog post coming soon.

common garter snake at hicks lake in british columbia

Campfire smoke over the campgrounds at Deer Lake

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