Posts Tagged ‘forests’

Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) Flowers

   The Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) is the official flower of the province of British Columbia. Growing only in the southwest corner of British Columbia, the Dogwood is not yet endangered, but is nearing that distinction. A fungus (Dogwood anthracnose) infects Dogwood trees and has helped diminish their numbers along with deforestation and the 2002 removal of protections against destroying Dogwoods (and other species) by the Provincial government. Dogwood flowers are a familiar sight in British Columbia as they are used on many company logos and even the Provincial Coat of Arms. The High School certificate of graduation issued by the Province is called the Dogwood Diploma (I have two of them – figure that one out).

pacific dogwood flowers - cornus nuttallii - in british columbia

Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) flowers (Purchase)

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   The photograph above shows the native species of Pacific Dogwood here in British Columbia, but there is another common Dogwood tree as well. “Eddie’s White Wonder” Dogwood is a hybrid between the Pacific Dogwood (C. nuttallii) and the Flowering Dogwood (C. florida). This hybrid was developed by British Columbia’s Henry Matheson Eddie (1881-1953) in 1945. The hybrid was created from the Pacific Dogwood and the Flowering Dogwood partly to avoid the fungus that damages the Pacific Dogwood.

hybrid dogwood flowers - pacific dogwood cornus nuttallii x cornus florida in british columbia

Eddie’s White Wonder hybrid Dogwood flowers (Purchase)

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   The hybrid has shown to be only partially resistant to the Anthracnose fungus, however. The hybrid Dogwood is shown in the photographs below, and tends to have larger, broader overlapping bracts and a much higher density of flowers. Some also have a slight pink hue to the flowers, as some of the original dogwood crosses were with pink varieties of C. florida.

hybrid dogwood flowers - cornus nuttallii x cornus florida in british columbia

Eddie’s White Wonder hybrid Dogwood flowers (Purchase)

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   The last photograph here shows another individual of the hybrid Dogwoods with a much higher density of flowers.

hybrid dogwood flowers - cornus nuttallii x cornus florida in british columbia

Eddie’s White Wonder hybrid Dogwood – note high density of flowers (Purchase)

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For more photographs of the flora of the forests of British Columbia (and Washington) take a look at my Forest Photos Gallery in my Image Library.

Ohanapecosh River Fall Foliage

Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) fall foliage colors along the Ohanapecosh River at the Grove of the Patriarchs – Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA.

ohanapecosh river fall foliage colors in mount rainier national park

Fall Foliage at the Ohanapecosh River in Mount Rainier National Park

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   I first photographed this scene at the Ohanapecosh River in Mount Rainier National Park in the fall of 2009. This spot is right next to the small suspension bridge that crosses the Ohanapecosh River on the trail to the Grove of the Patriarchs. I liked the fall foliage colors of these Vine Maple (Acer circinatum trees along the blue waters of the river. I have visited this spot a few times since during the fall and have either been there when the leaves are still green, or after they have turned brown and begun to fall off – but it is always a nice spot to eat lunch. I’d love to photograph this scene again with a fuller extent of oranges and reds in the foliage, but that will be a matter of getting my timing right. Now that I’ve discovered what the park is like when the wildflowers are in full bloom which is usually in August, exploring Rainier for fall foliage colours may have to wait a few more years.

For more photographs of this area including other versions of this scene please visit my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery in the Image Library.

Fall at Rolley Lake Provincial Park

   Rolley Lake Provincial Park in Misson, British Columbia is a place I started exploring again last fall having visited it many times as a kid. Last year I was able to find some fall colours in individual trees and went back again last week to hopefully find the same.

vine maples on the rolley lake trail in rolley lake provincial park

Vine Maples on the Rolley Lake Trail

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   This is not Eastern Canada, so we don’t have the large deciduous forests that provide great fall foliage displays. Usually we have to rely on Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophylum) and Vine Maples (Acer circinatum) for our fall colours in the Fraser Valley, and they don’t always show very well. This year appears to be one of those years where environmental conditions dictated a turn from green to orange/brown rather than a wide array of reds, oranges and yellows. Still, even in a bad year for fall foliage all you need is to find one tree in a photogenic place. The Vine Maple trees were hanging over this spot along the Rolley Lake Trail on the north side of the lake. You can see one is a nice yellow colour, while just a few feet away its cohort is still perfectly green.

fallen tree becomes a nurse log over a creek

A fallen tree becomes a nurse log

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   Further along the trail you run into a small bridge crossing a creek (that I believe is unnamed) running into the north west side of the lake. Just upstream from the bridge (I did some exploring) I found this tree that had fallen over the creek and was now home to a lot of mosses and some fern species. A textbook definition of a nurse log if you remember that from science class.

boardwalk on the rolley lake trail

Boardwalk on the Rolley Lake Trail

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   On the western side of the lake there is a marshy area filled with a lot of low shrubs (especially Spirea) and this bridge spanning one of the small streams that drain through into the lake. While these shrubs were not exactly showing off a nice fall colour display, I did like their reflection on the lake with the background forest and mist higher up the hillside.

unnamed creek flowing into rolley lake

Unnamed Creek Running into Rolley Lake

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   This is one of the two main creeks (also unnamed I believe) that run into Rolley Lake along the north side. I followed this one up the hill for a ways and found this spot that had a few nice, mini waterfalls and mosses and ferns. You can tell in times of higher water that this creek can carry some power – as shown by all the boulders, stumps and other debris in the creek. Not a neat and tidy area, but I thought I’d show the randomness of nature with this one.

You can see more of my Rolley Lake photography in the Rolley Lake Provincial Park Gallery in my Image Archive.

Rolley Falls in Rolley Lake Provincial Park

Rolley Creek Falls in Rolley Lake Provincial Park near Mission, British Columbia, Canada

rolley creek falls

Rolley Falls on Rolley Creek

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   Last Fall I visited Rolley Lake Provincial Park. I parked in the day use area and hiked around part of the lake to photograph Rolley Creek and Rolley Falls. This was an easy (mostly flat) hike that was only about 2 kilometers. A few weeks ago I hiked there again from a different starting point – Burma Street near Stave Lake. On the map, if you ignore one obvious aspect, this seems like it should be a 500-600 meter hike. As all I was interested in was a spring photograph of the waterfall, this looked like a good idea, and I would also be able to check out the lower falls which is right next to the road. It was, but I wasn’t able to get close enough to it without wading across the creek, which I wasn’t prepared to do. My “shortcut” was indeed short. I believe the distance actually wound up being as expected – about 600 meters. This did involve about 200m (650 feet) in elevation gain, however. Seems I overlooked my usual step of checking a topographical map before I decide which way is the “easy” way. I completed the climb anyway, and made the above photograph – this time with lush spring foliage surrounding the falls.

For more images from the Fraser Valley please visit my Fraser Valley Gallery.

Bigleaf Maple in Macmillan Provincial Park

Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) along the riverbed of the Cameron River at Macmillan Provincial Park in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada

bigleaf maple near cameron river in macmillan provincial park

Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) along the Cameron River

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    The Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) in this photograph (left) is a good example of an ecological “edge effect”. In ecology the edge effect refers to the phenomenon that species (and diversity) you would normally see within an area change along the boundary with a different area. This can be the edge of a trail or road, a clear cut, grassland/forest transitions and in this case, the edge of the Cameron River in Macmillan Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. In this particular type of forest, you’ll get Bigleaf Maples, Vine Maples, Red Alder (successional species) and a number of other tree species growing on a newly formed or existing edge. Just inside the edge the majority of the trees are conifers such as Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir. This was one of the better specimens of mature Bigleaf Maple in Macmillan Provincial Park that I found. The tree on the right hand side of the image is a Red Alder (Alnus rubra) and is also a frequent edge resident.

You can see more of my photos of this area in my Vancouver Island Gallery.

Campbell Valley Regional Park Photos

A Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) with a bed of Pacific Bleeding Heart flowers (Dicentra formosa) – at Campbell Valley Park in Langley, British Columbia, Canada.

vine maple and pacific bleeding hearts in campbell valley park, langley, british columbia

Vine Maple and Pacific Bleeding Heart in Campbell Valley Park (Purchase)

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   Today I have two photos from Campbell Valley Regional Park in Langley, British Columbia. One of the things I have been working on with my photography is to improve the photos I make of scenes inside the forest. There can often be so many competing elements all heading in different directions that a pleasing, non cluttered composition can be difficult. So I decided to work on that, and am getting results that I think are an improvement and more compelling than previous efforts. This photo (left) of a Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) with a bed of Pacific Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa) growing below it is one example.

walking path in campbell valley park in langley - british columbia

Walking path in Campbell Valley Regional Park (Purchase)

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   I’ve recently been editing and key wording all the photos I’ve made in this park over the last few years. Many were already processed, but there was still a lot of work to be done. I’ll place them all in their own gallery on my website soon – right now they are scattered over a few different categories. Campbell Valley Park is only about a 15 minute drive for me, so I will likely be spending even more time there as a lot of the park I have yet to explore.

For all my photographs of this park visit my Campbell Valley Regional Park Gallery.

Panoramas from Baker Lake

1. 8 exposures stitched, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro USM

Panoramas of the forest and mountains around Baker Lake. Mt. Baker from the east near Baker Lake.

mt. baker baker lake

1. 8 exposures stitched, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro USM

Mt. Shuksan from the south (usually photographing it from the west) near Baker Lake.

mt. shuksan baker lake

Mt. Baker & Mt. Shuksan Panorama

14 exposures stitched, Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 USM.

Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan from Baker Lake.

baker lake mt. baker mt. shuksan