On the way home from my photography trip through the Okanagan Valley and Manning Park in British Columbia I passed through the Hope area into Chilliwack. I avoided stopping in some of my favourite places near Hope as this was a Friday evening just before a long weekend. Traffic was very busy near anything resembling a campground or recreational area. In face, there was a pretty good stream of cars from Langley through to Princeton if not beyond! From the highway just outside of Chilliwack I looked up towards Mount Cheam and saw this lower part of the peak still visible through the clouds. I took the next exit, a few back roads and lined up this photo. This is not all there is to Mount Cheam – the mountain itself is much larger, but I liked this small part that was poking through the clouds.
Way back in 2007 I purchased my first DSLR – a Canon 30D. I only had the 50mm Canon lens with it (f/1.4) and was forcing myself to use that lens to its full potential before I bought something else. This meant a lot of “zooming with my feet” and compositions that were slightly constrained. Though this was largely due to budget concerns, I do think this helped me choose my next lenses wisely. I always waited at least 6 months between lenses to make sure I knew what I “needed” next. I have not regretted any of my lens choices so far.
I made this photograph in 2007 with the 30D and it remains one of my better photos of Mount Cheam. This location is on Seabird Island just outside of Aggasiz, British Columbia, Canada. I have returned to this location many times, but still cannot seem to find a time where that slough is full of water. A big muddy expanse just isn’t as photogenic!
Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park is one spot in the Fraser Valley where I always go looking for fall colour. An old limestone mine, the park was created in 1990 and now is a great place to photograph not only fall colours, but wildlife – especially birds. Always a bit out of my telephoto range though.
I visited Cheam Lake twice this fall. Someday I need to explore it further – it is close to so many other locations I like to shoot at that I tend to not have enough time. The first time I was there this year I did not find a lot of color but I did manage to make this photo of a Rabbit. I realize this may not be the most exciting or exotic species, but I’ve always like rabbits.
Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) -click to enlarge-
This Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus – an introduced species here in British Columbia) allowed me to briefly make some photographs of it. A few more mouthfuls of grass and it took off into the deeper underbrush near the lake. Considering the amount of these I have in my backyard, I am surprised my first photo of one was taken over an hour away from home.
I have always liked Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park. My parents used to take me there when I was a kid sometimes when we would venture this far out into the Fraser Valley. I remember the hike to the falls being the longest most arduous journey ever. Now it takes me about 6 minutes – though the sign says be prepared for a 15 minute hike. I don’t know who those people are, but I guess if you had to take it slow it could take that long.
On this particular day I was heading out to Hope, BC and planning on driving back through Harrison Mills on Highway 7. I stopped at the falls because the overcast sky was much better for photographing here than the direct sunlight I am used to finding in this location. So I setup and shot a few of the lower falls, very minor, waterfalls along Bridal Creek before heading up to the main Bridal Veil Falls waterfall. As soon as I arrived the skies opened up with a solid rain so this shot here is one of the few that did not succumb to the pitfalls of shooting in the rain and the spray from the falls themselves.
You can not see them in this shot but there are a few teenagers further up just beside the falls who, being somewhat drunken from the looks of things, decided that it would be a good idea to start rolling small boulders down the hill towards the viewing platform and another photographer who was shooting from there. Dodging rocks is usually when I decide to call it a day so I will be back next fall, hopefully with a bit better fall colour and nicer weather – and fewer rocks!
When I took this panorama of Mt. Cheam and Cheam Ridge back in September I had intended on returning when there was more snow. On Thursday I made it back out and the snow conditions were exactly what I was hoping for. This shot is from a slightly different vantage point on Seabird Island but it worked out quite well.
I think overall I like the wide version above versus another one I shot just a while later that is a bit of a closer view of the mountain
Knight and Lady Peaks with Mt. Cheam on the right (also known as Cheam Peak). Mt. Cheam is a familiar sight to those who live in the Fraser Valley. This panorama was taken from the vantage point of Seabird Island between Aggasiz and Hope. I will try this shot again when the winter snow is on the peaks and maybe a bit less haze in the sky.