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 (Purchase)

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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 (Purchase)

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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 (Purchase)

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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 (Purchase)

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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.

Mount Seymour’s Flower Lake

   A few weeks ago I headed to Mount Seymour Provincial Park in North Vancouver. Mount Seymour was one of the nearby locations I had not visited in quite some time and thought I should check out again. I hadn’t been to Mystery Lake in 12 years, and didn’t really remember much of my last trip, so this was my first stop. As it turns out, even during a summer weekday Mystery Lake is a swimming destination. So rather than finding a quiet mountain lake I found boom boxes, beer and the scantily clad (or not). I did enjoy the view all the way up the Fraser Valley from up there, but with the relatively thick haze this was not all that photogenic either.

   The other destination I had in mind at Mount Seymour was Flower Lake. I didn’t quite have enough time remaining in the day to go all the way to Goldie Lakes, so that will have to be on my next trip (along with Dog Mountain). The Flower Lake Loop Trail was quite easy compared to the Mystery Lake Trail and actually offered more photography opportunities. The first of these was this near mature Corn Lily or False Hellebore (Veratrum viride). I haven’t photographed all that many of these, but I can see why they are a popular subject with the patterns and textures in the leaves.

corn lily leaves

Corn Lily/ False Hellebore (Veratrum viride)

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   Flower Lake itself is not very large, and is really a rather large pond full of various species of aquatic plants including Yellow Pond Lily (Nuphar polysepalum) and Floating Leaved Pond Weed (Potamogeton natans) and many others. I didn’t see any frogs or tadpoles, but I’m sure there are plenty there. While the lake itself is a bit like any other lake in the forest, there was some interesting characteristics to the shoreline. I made this photograph of a fallen and dead tree along the shore of the lake along with the aquatic plants.

flower lake shoreline

A fallen tree along the shore of Flower Lake

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   One of the features along both the Mystery Lake Trail and the Flower Lake Loop Trail was the ever present Oval-Leaved Blueberry (Vaccinium ovalifolium) bushes. Most of the bushes had a lot of berries on them, except in the areas near the parking lot where people (presumably) had been picking them. I found this particular bush full of berries right next to Flower Lake. maybe I am too used to the cultivated Blueberries in my own backyard, but these wild ones weren’t nearly as sweet. Perhaps it was just a bit too early in the season.

oval leaved blueberries vaccinium ovalifolium

Wild Oval-Leaved Blueberries (Vaccinium ovalifolium)

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   From the Flower Lake Loop Trail I headed back to the parking lot and went to Ambleside Beach Park in West Vancouver to photograph the Lions Gate Bridge.

For more images from this part of British Columbia please visit my Vancouver Coast & Mountains 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 (Purchase)

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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 (Purchase)

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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 (Purchase)

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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 (Purchase)

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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.

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The forest and snags reflecting in Deer Lake (Purchase)

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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 (Purchase)

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You can find more photographs from this area in my Sasquatch Provincial Park Gallery.

Silver Lake Reflections Redux

Hope Mountain reflected in Silver Lake after a storm at Silver Lake Provincial Park near Hope, British Columbia, Canada

hope mountain reflected in silver lake

Hope Mountain/Wells Peak Reflecting in Silver Lake

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   I posted an earlier version of this photograph almost 4 years ago. Since then my perspective and skills with post processing (and making photographs) has changed quite a bit. With most of my older images I look at them and see potential that alternate processing may release. In the case of this one, my reaction was more along the lines of “what was I thinking!?”. So I’ve reprocessed this photograph of Hope Mountain/Wells Peak reflected in the waters of Silver Lake and I think it is a much improved representation of this scene than my original processing.

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

2014 Nature Calendar Now Available

2012 wall calendar on sale cover mount shuksan picture lake

2014 Nature Calendar Covers – Canadian/US Holidays (Calendars use the same interior images)

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30% OFF! Use the code 14CAL30 at checkout and get 30% off! Expires January 26th, 2014 at 11:59 PM.

   My 2014 wall calendars are now available! I have put together some of my favourite images made in the past year into a 11″x17″ (28cm x 43cm) calendar. Included are 12 photographs of landscape and nature scenes from British Columbia and Washington State. There are two versions of this calendar – one with Canadian holidays and one with US holidays. The Canadian Calendar’s cover photograph is from British Columbia, the US version has a photo from Washington state – but all the images within the calendar are the same.

You can view a full preview and purchase this calendar through the links below (be sure to choose the correct version!)

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.

Bubna Slough in Kelowna

Bubna Slough along Glenmore Road in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

bubna slough on glenmore road kelowna british columbia canada

Bubna Slough in Kelowna, British Columbia (Purchase)

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   I have passed this small lake (or pond) along Glenmore Road in Kelowna, British Columbia for a few years – never really knowing the story of the poles stuck in the ground there. Google has turned up a lot of information about what these actually are, but I don’t know which story is true. Depending on who you believe these are either:

  1. An emergency refueling station for water bombers (this doesn’t seem too plausible)
  2. The remains of an old irrigation flume
  3. Remains of an old bridge or pier

Personally I think it looks like an old fence or someone just stuck a bunch of sticks in the ground in order to start this kind of speculation!

I did enjoy the Kildeer running around in the grasses near the road though. Not a good photo opportunity, but cool to see.

 

Okanagan Beaches – Kal Lake Beach in Vernon

Okanagan Beaches: Kal Beach at the north end of Kalamalka Lake in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

kal beach in vernon british columbia on a spring morning

Kal Beach on the north shore of Kalamalka Lake (Purchase)

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   I am not much of a beach person. I prefer uncrowded natural places, I don’t swim, and I tend to avoid heat when possible. This made spring the perfect time for me to photograph some of the beaches in British Columbia’s Thompson Okanagan region – a summer destination for many people. Right now I presume Kal Beach in Vernon is packed elbow to elbow with people trying to cool off in the current heat wave.

kal beach in vernon british columbia on a spring morning

Kal Beach in Vernon, BC

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