Okanagan Beaches: Kal Beach at the north end of Kalamalka Lake in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
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.
After shooting some great sunset light near Vernon, British Columbia about a month ago I headed to this vantage point just off Hwy 97. The Monashee Mountains can be seen far in the distance behind the District of Coldstream. The houses and lights to the left are in Vernon, and the water in the foreground is of course, Kalamalka Lake.
Another photograph I made this Fall at Silver Lake Provincial Park in the Skagit Valley near Hope, British Columbia. I was fortunate on both of my trips here last Fall to have a near perfect reflection on the lake – I only wish I’d had even more hours of light to work with all the possibilities!
Last week I shared a reflection of some early Fall colours at Silver Lake Provincial Park in the Skagit Valley near Hope, British Columbia, Canada. I drove out to Silver Lake last Thursday hoping for a calm surface for a great reflection – and I was not disappointed. This is Hope Mountain and Wells Peak reflected in the calm waters of Silver Lake in the late evening. The tougher part of photographing this scene is that the mountains are so close to the lake. I often need to shoot with my widest lens (Canon 10-22) @ 10mm most of the time to get both the top of the mountain and the entire reflection in the frame. This caused a number of problems. One being a bit less possible variety in compositions that have the complete reflection, and some issues with stitching a few panorama attempts that I had made. After I had walked through the park a bit more, I was able to find this spot along the shore I had earlier not been able to get to due to higher water levels in the Spring. This gave me a bit more vertical room to show a little more sky and reflection than when I was closer to the mountains.
I don’t know if I have mentioned this on my photoblog before, but I host a photography theme called “Mountain Monday” on Google+. If you are a photographer that is not on Google Plus yet, I wrote a blog post outlining why I think it is a great place for photographers. This week marks the 1 Year Anniversary of Mountain Monday! I made my first #MountainMonday post on September 26th of 2011 with this photo of Silver Lake. It seemed appropriate that I share a new photo of Silver Lake for this week!
About a month ago I was at Upper Tipsoo Lake in Mount Rainier National Park during sunset. My main focus there was the great display of wildflowers, as the mountain itself was being a bit shy with the clouds. I was lucky enough that while making this photo the silhouette of Rainier showed through the top of the clouds along with a nice bit of sunset light. A lack of a breeze to mar the nice reflection was nice too!
Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) flowers in Kekuli Bay Provincial Park on Kalamalka Lake near Vernon, British Columbia, Canada.
Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) at Kekuli Bay Provincial Park (Purchase)
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This Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) is growing in the fields of Kekuli Bay Provincial Park right on the shores of Kalamalka Lake near Vernon, British Columbia. In the few days I was staying in Vernon I visited this park four times. It was on my last day, on the drive home that I made this photo – and it was fairly close to the images I had imagined at that location. My first day I was there looking for sunset only to realize the sunset was not in the right direction for what I wanted. The next day the light was great for a while but when I returned to Kekuli Bay a storm brought some wind and horizontal rain – so nice wildflower/lake photos were not going to be easy. This did present another opportunity I had not anticipated though – and I’ll write about that later. Luckily the conditions were just what I wanted on my way back home, and I knew exactly what I wanted to shoot having been there numerous times already.
Otter Bay Beach on the shores of Okanagan Lake at Ellison Provincial Park in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
Otter Bay Beach at Ellison Provincial Park (Purchase)
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Last week I went on a photography trip to Vernon, British Columbia. I headed up the Crowsnest Highway 3 through Manning Provincial Park, through Princeton, and then on to Keremeos, Penticton, Kelowna and then Vernon. On a previous trip to the area I stayed in Lake Country which is between Kelowna and Vernon but found that most of the areas that attracted me, namely Kalamalka Lake, were near Vernon and not Kelowna.
On the second day of my trip I visited Ellison Provincial Park. I didn’t really know anything about Ellison except it was close to Vernon and is on the shores of Okanagan Lake, not Kalamalka Lake. I parked in the day use area parking and walked down the short trail to Otter Bay beach. The first photograph here is of Otter Bay beach – the shallow water warm enough to exhibit some of the green minerals in the water. I made a few photographs of this area and then moved onto the adjacent rocky hill and photographed this Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) along the shoreline. If you look closely at this second photograph from Ellison you can see the small, purple wildflowers of the Shrubby Penstemon (Penstemon fruticosus). These flowers were everywhere between the rocks, as well as some sporadic Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata). Photos of those will be coming soon!
Later in the day I had waited through a brief but interesting storm in the parking lot at Kekuli Bay, but since the storm had somewhat cleared I was searching for a place to view a potential sunset. The night before there was a good sunset – but I was too unfamiliar with the area to find a good place to photograph it. I was stuck on the wrong side of some hills and ran out of light before finding a way around them. Earlier in the day at Ellison I had figured this would be a good place to go for sunset, if I didn’t find anything else better in the rest of the days exploration. The sunset light never really materialized, but in preparation for it I had found myself back near at Ellison just in case. I didn’t go down to the water as the light just wasn’t there but just as I was leaving I had the opportunity to photograph some Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and in an adjacent field, a larger group of Columbian Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus). While making the photographs of the Black-tailed Deer, I tried to not just get “closeups” of the animals with my 70-200mm lens (plus a 1.4x TC for good measure!) but also zoom out a bit to get the animals in context with their environment. Sometimes a photograph showing the animal in their habitat can be stronger than one showing just the animal. I’ve started to do this with wildflowers as well.
Many more photographs of this trip are to come. I think my favourites are from Kalamalka Provincial Park – a place that will definitely be on my list to visit when I travel back here in the Fall!