Sasamat Lake on a Fall Day

Two hikers walking over the floating bridge at Sasamat Lake in Belcarra Regional Park – Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada.

two hikers on the sasamat lake floating bridge

Two Hikers on the Sasamat Lake Floating Bridge (Purchase)

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   One of my destinations for fall foliage this year was the Buntzen Lake and Belcarra Regional Park areas of Port Moody, BC. I hadn’t originally intended to stop at Sasamat Lake, but when I saw the sign at the turnoff I headed that way as it wasn’t very far to drive. Sasamat Lake has had a few names over the years, but was renamed Sasamat in 1941 as it was rumored to be the local aboriginal word for the nearby North Arm of Burrard Inlet. I stopped by the roadside at one end of the floating bridge and walked down to the water to see if there was any fall leaves to photograph. Most of the color was in this one large Bigleaf Maple tree, but there were some other smaller ones around as well. This first photograph shows the view from the boardwalk (along the Sasamat Lake Loop Trail) on the east side of the lake looking towards the floating bridge. There was a lot of mist and moisture in the air and this created some interesting views looking into the sun. I made this photograph with one of my longer lenses of two hikers crossing the floating bridge with their small dog. I am not sure if the lines formed by the sunlight are from the tree tops or the power lines above, but I enjoyed the effect regardless.

two hikers view fall maple leaves at sasamat lake

Viewing Fall Maple Foliage at Sasamat Lake (Purchase)

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   The second photograph here was shot from the west side of the floating bridge. The fall foliage colour on this particular Bigleaf Maple was so bright you could watch almost every person walking by stop and enjoy it. This couple stood there for probably 5 minutes, which made it easy to get a photo I liked of them viewing the leaves.

   During my university days at SFU I went on an optional field trip in my Limnology class to this floating bridge. We were taking various temperature readings, Secchi depths and other measurements. I had ventured down the bridge a distance from the main group when a bus load of Japanese tourists walked onto the eastern side of the bridge. Once it was discovered that I was engaged in some scientific activity they all insisted on taking individual photos with me. Selfies – long before they were called such a thing (and with film cameras). This puzzled the rest of my biology group but it would probably allow me to put “internationally famous scientist” into my bio if I were into that sort of thing.

   Sasamat Lake’s main attraction is White Pine Beach, which is situated at the northeast end of the lake. Sasamat is one of the Metro Vancouver areas warmest lakes, so that probably explains some of this beaches popularity. The nearby Buntzen Lake is very cold even on a hot summer day! I didn’t walk all the way to the beach along the Sasamat Lake Loop Trail, but did go as far as this wooden boardwalk next to that one Bigleaf Maple tree.

fall maple leaves at sasamat lake

Fall Maple Leaves at Sasamat Lake (Purchase)

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   This day was relatively calm and this gave the opportunity for this reflection photo of the floating bridge over Sasamat. One of the few times that afternoon there were no people walking across it.

floating bridge at sasamat lake

Floating Bridge at Sasamat Lake (Purchase)

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For more photographs of the Port Moody area visit my City of Port Moody Gallery.

My Top 10 Photos of 2016

   Once again it is time to post my 10 favourite photographs from the past year. I do this yearly as it is a worthwhile exercise, and to take part in Jim Goldstein’s annual Your Best Photos project. His collection of these posts is a great place to view photographs and find some new photographers to follow.

   I hope you enjoy my selections here and am curious to hear if you have a favourite. If you click on each photograph you’ll be taken to my Image Archive. Many of these photographs have corresponding blog posts that I’ve linked to underneath the thumbnails here. These aren’t in any specific order, but I did place the photograph “Rainbow over Hatzic Lake” at the beginning as I think this is the first time I’ve photographed a rainbow (successfully at least) outside of my backyard. I was also shielding the camera from a rainstorm with my body, so the photo deserves extra points for that. 😉

Here are my top 10 photos of 2016:

rainbow over hatzic lake in the fall
Rainbow over Hatzic Lake

(Mission, British Columbia)
Blog post: Rainbow over Hatzic Lake

top 10 photos - sailboat in the salish sea in british columbia
Sailboat in the Salish Sea

(Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver, British Columbia)
Blog post: Sunset at Juniper Point in Lighthouse Park

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Hope Mountain Sunset from Silver Lake Park

The last direct sunset light reflects off of Hope Mountain at Silver Lake Provincial Park in Hope, British Columbia, Canada.

hope mountain from silver lake at sunset

Sunset on Hope Mountain from Silver Lake (Purchase)

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   Silver Lake Provincial Park is one of my favourite provincial parks in British Columbia. Whenever I drive through Hope, BC I usually stop here even if I don’t plan to photograph anything. A few weeks ago I was checking out some other locations near Hope and ended the day at Silver Lake. I have photographed Silver Lake quite often, so much so that “new” takes on the subjects there are somewhat hard to come by.

   The first idea I had for something different was to explore the view looking west towards the lake from Silver Skagit Road. From that perspective, Mount Stoneman and Silver Peak both make a nice backdrop to the lake. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of logging between the borders of Silver Lake Provincial Park and Mount Stoneman, and that angle is no longer all that photogenic. The view towards Silver Peak is clear of logging, but the light conditions I had at the time were not conducive to photography. This was still useful information though, I know what conditions I’ll want before I drive up that side of the lake again. So that option for “new” photography exhausted I headed toward the day use area parking lot at Silver Lake, but hoped to hike down a new trail to get a new angle on things.

   The photograph above shows the view of Hope Mountain from the south end of Silver Lake. There were near perfect reflections on the lake (as usual) but I opted for this composition as I wanted to show some of the foliage around the shoreline. Many of the trees at this end of the lake are Red Alder (Alnus rubra) but these foreground horsetails are more interesting. There are many patches of these Swamp (aka Water) Horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile) in Silver Lake – especially near the boat launch and the south end of the lake. While most of my previous photographs have been made between the day use area and the boat launch, this area is about 500 meters (1640 feet) south of there along the lakeside trail. The trail continues off into the bush from there, but I was running out of light and had no idea where the trail ended up so I will have to explore that another day.

large rock and forest reflected in silver lake

Forest Reflections in Silver Lake (Purchase)

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   The second photograph here shows the usual reflections you can see at Silver Lake. This time it isn’t Hope Mountain I’ve chosen, but the forest at the northern end of the lake and a large boulder on the shoreline. I photographed this from the Silver Skagit Road near the outflow of Silverhope creek from Silver Lake. You can see some more of that Swamp Horsetail at the right of the boulder.

For more photos from this location please visit my Silver Lake Provincial Park gallery.

Liberty Bell Mountain from Blue Lake

Liberty Bell Mountain and Early Winter Spires at Blue Lake in the North Cascades of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in Washington State, USA.

liberty bell mountain from blue lake in the north cascades

Liberty Bell Mountain and Early Winter Spires at Blue Lake in the North Cascades (Purchase)

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   A few years ago I hiked up to Blue Lake in the Washington Pass area of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest – an area I had always thought of as part of North Cascades National Park. While Washington Pass is very close to the National Park, and some of area is in part maintained by the National Parks Service (especially the Washington Pass Overlook), it is part of the National Forest not the National Park. The parking lot and trail head can be found along Highway 20 (North Cascades Highway) 1.26km/4128 feet west of the Washington Pass Overlook turnoff. The short hike to Blue Lake is only 3.2km/2 mile and gains 350m/1050 feet of elevation to a total of 1906m/6254 feet. This photo is made a few hundred feet higher than that, along (and up) a trail to the west of the lake.

   As you can see from the above photograph, Blue Lake is aptly named. I was fortunate on this trip to arrive when the Subalpine Larch (Larix lyallii) were turning colour. Subalpine and other species of Larch are one of the few conifer species that are deciduous – they lose their needles each fall. This can be a beautiful display but is only found in higher elevations in this part of the world. Blue Lake is situated immediately below the iconic Liberty Bell Mountain. Liberty Bell is the spire on the left hand side of this photograph next to Concord Tower, Lexington Tower, and the Early Either Spires (North and South). Another view of Liberty Bell can be seen in my older post with some photographs from Washington Pass.

For more photographs from the Washington Pass area of the North Cascades visit my Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Gallery in the Image Library.

Harrison Lake Sunset

A vivid Harrison Lake sunset near Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada. The distant mountains are Sasin Peak and Deroche Mountain.

harrison lake sunset near harrison hot springs

A vivid Harrison Lake sunset near Harrison Hot Springs (Purchase)

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   A few days before I made these photos of a sunset at Harrison Lake I talked online about not making very many sunset photographs and generally avoiding them. Most often at sunset I am photographing what that light is reflecting off of, not the sky itself. I find the majority of sunset photos out there to be rather banal unless they have an actual subject of interest other than the sunset itself. That said, I had to pull over to the side of Rockwell Drive on the shore of Harrison Lake when I saw this light starting to develop (somewhere between Sasquatch Park’s Green Point and Harrison Hot Springs). The challenge then was to find something to do with it, and there was no time to get in position somewhere I knew to be favourable. The first photo here shows Sasin Peak, Deroche Mountain, and some fortuitous rocks and old dock pilings in Harrison Lake. I also made a square version of this Harrison Sunset.

   Before the colours to the west really exploded, I made this exposure looking north towards Mount Breakenridge. The colour here is much more subtle, but it works regardless. When the sky to the west became really vibrant this last scene here had very little color, even less than when I made this photo. Strange how that sometimes works out.

harrison lake sunset

Harrison Lake and Mount Breakenridge after Sunset (Purchase)

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   As you know I occasionally work with black and white for some of my photos, and so here is one last photo of the same scene with a different composition.

black and white photo harrison lake sunset

Harrison Lake and Mount Breakenridge in B&W (Purchase)

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For more photographs of Harrison and other lakes visit my Lakes & Rivers Gallery.

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.

Bagley Lakes Panorama

Panorama of the Bagley lakes in the Mount-Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington State, USA.

bagley lakes view fall panorama

Panorama of Bagley Lake (Purchase)

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You can see this view of Bagley Lakes from the Fire and Ice Trail in the Heather Meadows area of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. This lake lies between Table Mountain (left) and Mount Herman – the Chain Lakes Trail runs right past it on the way up to Herman Saddle. I still have a lot more in this area to explore with my camera, but I was quite happy to find the lake with these sorts of colours and water levels. On the right you can see where the Chain Lakes Trail goes over a rocky slope that extends right down to the water. Now that my new computer doesn’t choke on larger resolution files, I was able to make this image with two rows of vertical images (35 of them) for the extra resolution which is how I try to shoot all my panoramas now. This worked very well, and I hope to see this one printed in the future.

The talus slope in the middle of the frame is where I photographed an American Pika a few years back. I could hear a few cheeping their warning calls while I was shooting this panorama but I wasn’t able to spot any of them.

You can view more of my photography from Heather Meadows in my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.

Kalamalka Lake Viewpoint in Vernon

Evening view of Vernon and Coldstream looking over Kalamalka Lake in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

view of vernon coldstream and kalamalka lake at night

Kalamalka Lake Viewpoint near Hwy 97 (Purchase)

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   Kalamalka Lake and other areas around Vernon are among my favorite places in British Columbia’s Thompson Okanagan region. The above view of Kalamalka Lake, Vernon, and Coldstream was made on the same evening as another photograph of mine: a Panorama of Kalamalka Lake. Unless I am in a hurry, I always seem to stop at this lookout to stretch my legs and look at the view. On this day I was coming back from Kelowna at just the right time for some blue hour photographs.

lakeside property in vernon british columbia

View of Kalamalka Lake from Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park (Purchase)

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   This second view is from Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park along the Corral Trail. In the larger version of this photo you can just see the viewpoint from the first photograph above on the hill in the upper left hand corner.

For more photographs of Vernon, Coldstream and the surrounding areas please visit my Thompson Okanagan Gallery.