Heather Meadows Fall Foliage

   During my recent trip to the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State, I photographed a variety of scenes around Picture Lake, Heather Meadows and Artist Point/Kulshan Ridge. In my previous post I showed a few of the photographs from the Heather Meadows area that included peaks of the North Cascades. In this post I have a few more images of fall foliage colors from Heather Meadows, but these scenes are not as wide in scope and in the case of the first image here (my favourite), a bit abstract.

sky reflection in austin pass lake at heather meadows in the fall

Austin Pass Lake Reflections at Heather Meadows (Purchase)

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   I think the above photograph of Austin Pass Lake is my favourite of these four images. I had already photographed a wider view of the the area and then tried to isolate the details at this end of the lake. I liked how the clouds looked a bit like they were flowing from the inlet out into the lake.

mount herman fall reflection in austin pass lake at heather meadows

Mount Herman Reflecting in Austin Pass Lake at Heather Meadows (Purchase)

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   A similar angle on Austin Pass Lake to the first photograph but this time with the reflection of Mount Herman.

photographer and fall colour heather meadows

Photographer/Hiker at Heather Meadows (Purchase)

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   Can you spot the hiker/photographer in this photograph? I don’t photograph all that many people but when someone stands still in a place like this it is a good way to show the scale of the scene. Reminds me a bit of my photograph of Silver Falls in Mount Rainier National Park where someone standing in the scene really gave an indication of its scale.

terminal lake panroama at heather meadows

Terminal Lake below Table Mountain (Purchase)

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   I liked the fall foliage colors in this landscape around Terminal Pass Lake in Heather Meadows (below Table Mountain). Everything here almost seems to be going westward (to the right). The water looks to be flowing into the lake, and the rocks look a bit like they are flowing down the talus slopes. The trail (the Fire and Ice Trail I believe) is leading you in that direction as well.

You can view more of my photography from this and surrounding areas in my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.

Heather Meadows and the North Cascades

   I made a number of photographs in the Heather Meadows area of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington a few weeks ago – too many for one blog post. So, these are the images from Heather Meadows showing some of peaks of the North Cascades looking north. I’ll follow up with another blog post showing some different details in the Heather Meadows area soon.

austin pass lake in heather meadows north cascades

Austin Pass Lake and Mount Larrabee (Purchase)

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   Driving up the Mount Baker Highway (SR 542) brings you to the Mt. Baker Ski area, and then to the Heather Meadows Visitor Center Parking lot. From there a short walk will give a great view of Table Mountain, the Bagley Lakes, Austin Pass Lake and the North Cascade Peaks to the north. The above photo shows Mount Larrabee above Austin Pass Lake. My visit was in early October and the fall coours in the Mountain Ash, Mountain Heather and Blueberry bushes were better than I had seen before.

bagley Lakes in heather meadows north cascades

Bagley Lakes in the North Cascades (Purchase)

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   This view of the Bagley Creek/Bagley Lakes in Heather Meadows shows Mount Larrabee as well as some of the more dramatic American Border Peak to the west.

The Border Peaks and Mount Larrabee from Heather Meadows Picnic Area

Austin Pass / Heather Meadows Picnic Area View (Purchase)

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   On the way into the parking lot at Heather Meadows one passes this picnic table in the Austin Pass Picnic Area with an excellent view of Canadian Border Peak, Tommyhoi Peak, American Border Peak and Mount Larrabee.

heather meadows visitor center volcanic rocks view

Heather Meadows Visitor Center (Purchase)

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   This is a view of the Heather Meadows Visitor Center from the Bagley Lakes trail. As this area is quite near to Mount Baker itself, there is a lot of volcanic rock of various forms around the area. Viewing the larger version of this photograph you can see the top of some Andesite columns. There are many other columns to view in the area especially on the Mt. Baker Highway between Heather Meadows and Artist Point.

You can view more of my photography from this and surrounding areas in my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.

Sooty Grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus)

A Sooty Grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus) walking warily near the trail to Table Mountain in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State, USA

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Sooty Grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus) (Purchase)

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   Last week I made the trip up to the Mount Baker Ski area and Artist Point at the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State, USA. First I made the obligatory stop at the iconic Picture Lake (more on that soon) to eat my soup, then I photographed some of the fall colours in the Mountain Ash and Blueberry bushes in the Heather Meadows area. After arriving at Artist Point I photographed this Sooty Grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus) on the trail to Table Mountain. As with most of my wildlife photography, this was an opportunity I happened upon rather than directly seeking it out. Wildlife was not on my mind but there were 3 of these Grouse foraging near the trail. Well camouflaged, I didn’t even see them until one of them flew out of my way from the edge of the trail. I switched lenses and got ahead of their direction of travel, and they walked right past me. There are a lot of visitors here, so they are likely used to people, but it is still always better to let wildlife approach your position than the other way around.

You can view more of my wildlife photography in my image archive’s Animals & Wildlife Gallery.

Mount Baker at Sunset

Last bit of sunset light on Mount Baker/Kulshan from Artist Point at the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State, USA

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Sunset light on Mount Baker from Artist Point (Purchase)

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   It always seems that there are either too many clouds or none at all when I have an opportunity to photograph Mount Baker. So sometimes I ignore it in favour of Mount Shuksan or one of the other nearby mountains available at Artist Point in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. This time, however, I like the small accents of light that showed up on the side of the peak, which gives this photo a bit more interest for me than others I made at the same time.

Picture Lake and Mount Shuksan Sunset

Mount Shuksan’s reflection during Fall in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington State, USA

reflection of mount shuksan in the silhouette of picture lake

Mount Shuksan Sunset (Purchase)

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   This is one of my newly processed photos from Picture Lake in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest – featuring the iconic Mount Shuksan. In October 2011 I again photographed this location and now that I have my website gallery organized I have finished off the processing of images from that trip. This photo (and the horizontal version) has a bit of a different look to it than the others I processed from the same evening.

   More photos of Mount Shuksan and the surrounding area can be found in my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.

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Subapline Lupines and Mount Shuksan

Subalpine Lupines (Lupinus arcticus ssp. subalpinus) on Kulshan Ridge with Mount Shuksan in the background – Mount Baker Wilderness, Washington State, USA.

subalpine lupines on kulshan ridge with mount shuksan washington

Subalpine Lupines (Lupinus arcticus ssp. subalpinus) on Kulshan Ridge (Purchase)

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   This is an older image from 2010 that I recently reprocessed. I have always liked this photo of Subalpine Lupines (Lupinus arcticus) flowering along Kulshan Ridge with Mount Shuksan in the background. The older version had that were just not that clear. There was a good breeze coming through there that evening and getting a still shot of the flowers was not easy. In fact, I had thought I had failed that mission, and published one on my blog and website that didn’t have the clearest Lupines. This is a different exposure, though a slightly different composition. It occasionally pays to keep some of my old files around!

   This evening was my first outing with my first Graduated Neutral Density filter. I had never used one, but read a lot about them and a bit on how to use it. My photos from this evening were a big eye opener as to what was possible, and this beautiful location was certainly a big help. I also learned what they can do to trees that are on the horizon line but hopefully that is not too distracting in this photo.

   The Artist Point area on Kulshan Ridge gets a ton of foot traffic as the parking lot is nearby. As a consequence, a lot of the vegetation gets trampled and destroyed. With the amount of snow that falls here each winter, there is a very very short growing season for these plants, so growing back after a repeated tourist trampling is not easy. Unfortunately I could not get my old tripod into a good position to photograph these so I had to convert myself into a pretzel to get low enough to look through the viewfinder. My old camera had no live view which would have helped immensely. One foot on a rock, a hand on another rock, and one hand on the camera… I only hit the mosses and other plants once with one of my hands. So I was successful in not damaging nature to get my nature photograph, but I did manage to pull a muscle in my leg which didn’t feel right for a week. I think the results make that completely worth it!

The Border Peaks (And Google+)

canadian border peak and american border peak
The Border Peaks
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   This is a photo I made back in 2010 of Canadian Border Peak and American Border Peak (with Yellow Aster Butte in the foreground) from Kulshan Ridge in the Mount Baker Wilderness. On Sunday I was going through some of my older photo files and decided this composition deserved some reprocessing so I could post it on for “Mountain Monday”.

   Google+ launched back in June 2011 (in September to the general public) and has been a big success. The photography community has been especially taken with it – and it is now my main social network for photography related pursuits. I am still active on Twitter and my Facebook Page but Google+ is where most of the action takes place. Every Monday I curate a theme called “Mountain Monday” where many photographers post their mountain photos and “tag” their post with a #mountainmonday tag. At the end of the day I post a selection of these images. Every week there is a substantial amount of fantastic photography.

   If you have mountain photos you would like to share – Mondays on G+ are a great time and place to do so. If you are not yet on Google+ you can read my earlier blog post about Google+ and photography back in September 2010.

Table Mountain from Bagley Lakes Trail

Table Mountain from the Bagley Lakes Trail at the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State, USA.

table mountain at bagley lakes mount baker wilderness

Table Mountain at Bagley Lakes (Purchase)

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    This is a photo I made in late September of Table Mountain in the Mount Baker Wilderness. This was along the Bagley Lakes Trail – and was one of the first short hikes I’d done in the area other than walking along the ridge near Artist Point. Being late September I was expecting that there would be few (if any) wildflowers and the Fall colours would be well on their way to starting in the various Vaccinium bushes etc. Everything was still green and the wildflowers were either just past, or still going strong (as was the case for the Lupines). I went hiking there 2 weeks later – and there STILL were hardly any leaves turning. I am curious to see what this year brings for Summer and Fall weather.