Posts Tagged ‘provincial parks’

Golden Ears Provincial Park – Gold Creek

Gold Creek winds through the trees and rocks at Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada.

gold creek in golden ears provincial park

Gold Creek near the Lower Falls Trail in Golden Ears Provincial Park

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   Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge, British Columbia has almost all I want in a photo location – everything from tall mountains and forests to creeks, lakes and waterfalls. A few weeks ago I spent an afternoon and evening hiking and photographing in Golden Ears Park, mostly along Gold Creek. The first photo above shows Gold Creek along the Lower Falls trail in a spot where I had intended to stop and take a water break, but ended up photographing as well.

   Downstream from Gold Creek Bridge the bed of Gold Creek narrows into a rock lined “canyon” with fewer boulders to stir up the surface of the water. The emerald green pools of the creek are on full display in this stretch up until it empties into Alouette Lake at North Beach. The colours here are from minerals suspended in the water from its journey down from the mountains. This photograph was made along the North Beach Trail in one of the few pools I was able to find not filled with swimmers and boaters. The water levels here are what you would typically see in late August, but due to drought were at this level in late June. This did make for my best time shooting at Lower Falls, but I’ll make that its own blog post coming soon.

emerald green waters of gold creek in golden ears provincial park

Emerald waters of Gold Creek in Golden Ears Park

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For more of my photographs from this area visit my Golden Ears Provincial Park Gallery.

Silver Lake Fall Reflections

Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) reflecting in the water of Silver Lake in Silver Lake Provincial Park near Hope, British Columbia, Canada.

reflection of maple trees fall colours in silver lake provincial park

Fall Colours at Silver Lake (Purchase)

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   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!

   I posted a panorama made on the same evening in a previous blog post. I also have a gallery in my newly organized image archive dedicated to Silver Lake Provincial Park you may enjoy.

Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park Fall Colour

Little Qualicum Falls at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park near Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada.

little qualicum falls at little qualicum falls provincial park near qualicum beach parksville british columbia

Little Qualicum Falls (Purchase)

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   A few weeks ago I made a weekend trip to Vancouver Island in British Columbia Canada. One of the parks on my list to visit was Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park – and it did not disappoint. The main falls (top photo) – officially named Little Qualicum Falls is certainly much more spectacular than the Lower Falls (bottom) but both are nice.

fall colours and the little qualicum river below the lower falls in little qualicum falls provincial near qualicum beach parksville

Little Qualicum River below Lower Little Qualicum Falls (Purchase)

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    I had initially thought that the best Fall colours might have already faded on Vancouver Island – at least judging from what I’d been seeing around Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. The colours turned out to be perfect. There wasn’t much in the way of Vine Maple colour, but the Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) had great colour – yellow and even some orange. It didn’t look like any of them had turned slightly then gone straight to brown which was common this year in some places.

   I was also extremely fortunate with the weather. The entire weekend was forecast for rain, at times heavy. In the three Provincial Parks that I visited there was absolutely no rain. All the plastic bags and camera/lens coverings I had prepared were not necessary. While I’d intended on photographing mostly rivers and waterfalls – great subjects in the rain, I was still happy to not have to deal with the possibility of wet equipment and clothing.

fall colours little qualicum falls at little qualicum falls provincial park near qualicum beach parksville british columbia

Lower Little Qualicum Falls (Purchase)

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More photos from this area can be found in my Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park Gallery

Silver Lake Fall Colours Panorama

Panorama of Vine and Bigleaf Maples showing some fall foliage colours along Silver Lake in Silver Lake Provincial Park near Hope, British Columbia, Canada.

panorama of fall colours reflecting in silver lake in silver lake provincial park

Silver Lake Provincial Park Panorama (Purchase)

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   In late September I went to Silver Lake Provincial Park in the Skagit Valley near Hope, British Columbia. The Fall colours had just started to appear. A few weeks later, however, they were almost in full swing. The above panorama was made about 3 weeks after my previous shot – how quickly things change! Again I was very lucky to have a near perfect reflection on Silver Lake – I’ve been there a few times when there were almost waves due to the wind. The majority of the Fall colours here are provided by Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) and Vine Maples (Acer circinatum).

Fall Colours at Silver Lake

Vine and Bigleaf Maples start to change into their Fall colours along the edge of Silver Lake in Silver Lake Provincial Park near Hope, British Columbia, Canada.

maple trees reflecting in silver lake in silver lake provincial park

Fall at Silver Lake Provincial Park

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   Last night I was in the Eastern Fraser Valley near Hope, British Columbia. My destination was Silver Lake Provincial Park. Years ago I stopped here after a storm had rolled through and managed to photograph a great reflection on the lake. Last night I was hoping that conditions would let me try this again, with a bit more exploration of the area. I was not disappointed, though there weren’t many clouds to make the sky a bit more interesting. The reflections were great, though the amount of fish jumping occasionally messed up the stillness of the water! The trees reflected in Silver Lake are Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) and Vine Maples (Acer circinatum). It is a bit early for such Fall colours, but with the amount of dry weather this area has had for the last few months, it seems some of the trees are packing it in early.

More of my photos from this park can be found in my Silver Lake Provincial Park Gallery.

When Photography Plans Go Awry

a yellow-bellied marmot - marmota flaventris - looks out from a burrow at kekuli bay provincial park - vernon - british columbia - canada

Yellow-bellied Marmot
(Marmota flaviventris)

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   When a photography plan goes awry, or the weather changes, there are almost always images that can still be made. I often can look back on such instances at photos that I never would have been able to make if my plans had come to be. Sometimes those are the most satisfying.

   Years ago when I would go on a day trip I would try to plan very thoroughly. No matter how much forethought had gone into a trip I found myself throwing off the whole plan because the first or second location I’d visit had more photo opportunities than I had anticipated. I would then rush through the remaining locations and not feel that relaxed when doing so. I’ve realized how silly this was.

   Now my planning tends to be towards becoming familiar with locations in the area and not always the order I plan to visit them. What locations might be good at sunset, for early morning, for the harsher midday light? I find getting this information beforehand, if possible, means that I can adapt to the conditions available. After all, the conditions will seldom adapt themselves to my plans!

   During my last trip to the Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia, I had to be flexible on many occasions. While attempting to photograph wildflowers in Kekuli Bay Provincial Park and the local populations of Osprey, Red-wing Blackbirds, and Killdeer I was instead presented with wind and near horizontal rain. This didn’t bother me much either, as I already had figured this could occur and had a place to go when the weather cleared. This change in my plan did create an unforseen opportunity, however.

   So I relaxed in my car reading a photography magazine and eating cold soup for dinner. I watched the rain fly past my window horizontally. Looking out my car window I saw a Yellow-bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris) peeking out from its burrow – then scurrying up the bank and eating some of the grass. I’d never seen a Marmot before – and I still might be able to say that if the rain hadn’t changed my “plans”. This was near a path up to a children’s play area near the campground – and I’d walked within a few feet of this burrow about 20 minutes before without noticing it. I turned the car around (less rain flying in my face) and made the above photo from inside the car. Getting my magazine wet was worth it!

a mule deer odocoileus hemionus laying in the pine forest at ellison provincial park - vernon - british columbia - canada

Mule Deer
(Odocoileus hemionus)
(Odocoileus hemionus columbianus)

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   As this was Vernon and not an area near Vancouver, the rain didn’t last too long, and the storm moved on. I then headed bakc in the direction of Ellison Provincial Park to see what the sunset might have in store. I’d noticed a few spots down there earlier in the day that would be great for a sunset shoot. I drove to the parking lot, walked part way down the path and realized that sunset light was just not going to happen. So I left in order to see what else I could find to photograph.

   Just as I exited the parking lot I noticed a few Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) laying down in the Pine forest along side the road. They didn’t seem to mind me photographing them, though I didn’t get out of my car either. Just as I turned onto the main road on the park border – I noticed about 15-20 Columbian Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) grazing in a field. I parked the car, put the 1.4x extender on my 70-200mm f/4 L IS lens for just a bit of extra reach. I suppose deer are pretty common in the area, but I liked how they were grouped together, and in the earlier photo I posted how they seemed pretty unconcerned with my presence. Though in the above photo I certainly looks like I’d been spotted!

a group of columbian black tailed deer odocoileus hemionus columbianus standing in a field at ellison provincial park - vernon - british columbia - canada

Columbian Black-tailed Deer
(Odocoileus hemionus columbianus)

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   So what I am trying to suggest is that if you are planning your photo trips too tightly – relax! I enjoy photography a more when I’m not as concerned with where I have to be next. The planning I do helps me adapt to changing weather conditions and my own timing – allowing me to make photos during times when I would have just considered that moment a failed plan. Photography is a lot more fun that way.

Gold Creek in Golden Ears Provincial Park

gold creek in golden ears provincial park - maple ridge - british columbia

Gold Creek in Golden Ears
Provincial Park

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   A few weeks ago I headed to Golden Ears Provincial Park to hike to Lower Falls on Gold Creek. The trail was very muddy, and hard to walk on for much of the way but it was one of the first really nice days this Spring. To be out walking without the heavens pouring down was nice. I was never able to find the trail from Lower Fall to the above trail that I had intended to hike though. This gave me more time to make photographs between the Gold Creek bridge and Lower Falls. I made this photograph next to the Gold Creek bridge at the end of the Golden Ears Park road. Gold Creek is pretty wide in parts at this location, and while I did concentrate on some details of rocks and ripples, this wider view shows the overall look of this part of the creek.

Chilliwack Lake Winter Panorama

panorama of chilliwack lake in winter
Winter at Chilliwack Lake (click for larger version)

   Wide angle shot from Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park back in January. Glad I had a few shots I like from this trip as I nearly froze my toes off! I have posted a few shots previously of this location concentrating more on Mount Redoubt and Nodoubt Peaks.