Maidenhair Fern in Cowlitz Box Canyon

maidenhair fern - adiantum pedatum - clings to cliff over the muddy fork of the cowlitz river in mount rainier national park

A Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum) clings to the side a the cliff above the Muddy Fork of the Cowlitz River in Mount Rainier National Park.

I am still sorting through a few 2010 images that I have not fully processed – most from my last trip to Mt. Rainier National Park. This shot was taken looking down into Cowlitz Box Canyon. More from this location to come soon!

Steller’s Jay in Mt. Rainier National Park

stellers jay - cyanocitta stelleri - in mount rainier national park

I had only parked my car at a pullout for a few minutes when this Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) and a flock of Gray Jays (Perisoreus canadensis) came begging. There is ample literature and signs telling visitors to not feed the wildlife but clearly this is being ignored. Photography wasn’t really the action they were looking for so they fled fairly quickly.

My Best Photos of 2010

arctic lupine and mt shuksan

I have seen many photographers make a “Best of 2010” list recently, many of them stating how difficult it was to choose between their images. Sorting through my own list was also more difficult than I had imagined. I don’t know if these are my “Best” as that can be rather subjective, but these are my favourites taken in the past year.

What I do notice is that these photos are from only 3 locations, Mount Rainier National Park, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (though Mount Shuksan itself is in North Cascades National Park) and Silver Lake Provincial Park. May 2011 bring more variety!

In no particular order my “Best of 2010″…

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Mt. Rainier from Tipsoo Lake Lookout

mount rainier from tipsoo lake lookout

9 exposures stitched, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 IS USM @ 97mm

Mount Rainier with the Cowlitz Chimneys, Barrier Peak and Governors Ridge in the foreground (L to R). I shot this panorama during my last trip to Mount Rainier National Park from a spot along SR 410 near my other Tipsoo Lake panorama.

Christine Falls – Mt. Rainier National Park

christine falls in mount rainier national park

This is Christine Falls in Mt. Rainier National Park. The last time I stopped to photograph Christine Falls, Mt. Rainier National Park was quite busy and there was a considerable lineup for the viewpoint. This time (in mid October) there were few people around and I could take all the time I wanted. Much more relaxing than having in the back of your mind that people are lined up waiting for your spot. The water level was also a bit lower on this occasion which I think yielded a nicer shot and let the blue colour of the water show through better.

-print available-

Reflection Lakes and Mt. Rainier

Mount Rainier is mirrored in Reflection Lakes in the evening light at Mount Rainier National Park.

mount rainier reflection at reflection lakes

Mount Rainier at Reflection Lakes (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   I know the Reflection Lakes are a very common subject in Mt. Rainier National Park and, being right beside the road, readily accessible. I still love this spot though, and since on my other two trips to Rainier it was first surrounded by snow and then very windy I lingered in the early evening on my recent October trip. Unfortunately it was a bit late in the year to get a good foreground subject as the wildflowers were long past, but I still like this result – the reflection is almost perfect. Not terribly original though but I have written in a notebook that I bring with me on such trips a few compositional ideas I have for next time. Without it I tend to forget my ideas until a few hours after I have left an area, having returned to implement those very ideas. Of course, this all hinges on me remembering to bring the notebook…

More photographs from this location can be found in my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery

Panorama of Tipsoo Lake and Mt. Rainier

Panorama of Mount Rainier and Tipsoo Lake in late October. Yakima Peak is on the right.

8 exposures stitched, Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM @ 17mm

mt rainier tipsoo lake yakima peak

   What a difference a week makes! I shot this panorama of Tipsoo Lake 8 days ago in Mt. Rainier National Park about 90 minutes after sunrise. A bit late in the season for the good fall color (a Ranger told me I missed that by a week only) but still a pretty spot to be. It was cold that morning, probably about 20°F (about -6°C or so) and sunny with a few clouds all weekend. Less than one week later it began to snow. Right now SR 410 (which was right behind me at this spot) at Chinook Pass is closed here due to avalanche danger. It would appear that Paradise has a few feet of snow and more coming fast. Many of the roads are closed, some for the season. I was quite fortunate to be there on the last weekend of fall before all the snow.