Posts Tagged ‘Thamnophis sirtalis’

Sasquatch Provincial Park

   A few weeks ago I drove out to Harrison Hot Springs, BC to explore Sasquatch Provincial Park. On the past two occasions I had attempted to visit the Hicks Lake area of the park during the off season I had been turned away due to construction. This time everything was open and I was able to explore around the area around Green Point, Trout Lake, Hicks Lake, and Deer Lake.

Trout Lake Creek

   At the entrance to Sasquatch Park there is a small parking lot at the park sign. I’d seen a small creek on the map flowing through this area from Trout Lake down to Harrison Lake. Most creeks I find look like all the others, but this one had enough character and dense foliage surrounding it to make things interesting.

trout lake creek

Trout Lake Creek near the entrance to Sasquatch Provincial Park

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   I this this may be one of the spots I visit in the fall just in case there are some interesting colours here.

common garter snake at hicks lake in british columbia

Trout Lake Creek Panorama

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Hicks Lake

   Once at Hicks Lake I parked at the day use area and hiked part of the Hicks Lake Trail. My aim was to photograph some of the streams and potential waterfalls flowing into Hicks Lake (I’d picked a cloudy day for just this reason). Near the group campground area I found a trail down to a beach on the north side of the lake. The cloudy day I had planned for transformed into a mostly sunny one, so at this point there were not photographs of the lake itself that I wished to make. However, this did give me the opportunity to photograph a few Common Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) that were basking on the sandy beach. I posted another photograph of one of these Garter Snakes in an earlier post.

common garter snake at hicks lake in british columbia

Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) at Hicks Lake

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   Near the group campground area a small creek runs down the mountain into Hicks Lake. I spent a few minutes photographing these really small cascades flowing through the ferns and other understory foliage. Sometimes photographing in the forest can be rather challenging as there are so many plants growing in various directions complicating the search for a simple composition. Around a creek or a waterfall I think this can work well as a frame for the scene, providing there isn’t as much chaos in the middle of the photograph.

common garter snake at hicks lake in british columbia

Small waterfalls near Hicks Lake

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   From the lakeside creek I walked back to the day use area and then to the perimeter trail around the campground. I remembered quite a few of these spots from many years ago when I camped here with my parents. It was good to see all sorts of kids fishing along the shore like I used to. I hiked a bit more of the the Hicks Lake Trail south towards the end of the lake. There didn’t seem to be many streams on this side of the lake, so I headed back just before reaching the south end beach (Sandy Beach). I did hear some rushing water while at the south end, so perhaps on another trip I’ll investigate this. Walking back through the campground I checked out the final few streams on my list, didn’t find much photographically interesting – so I headed to Deer Lake.

Deer Lake

   Deer Lake is just up the road from Hicks Lake, and is the last of the 3 easily accessible lakes in Sasquatch Provincial Park. As I was there late on a Friday evening, traffic through the campground was fairly heavy with last minute campers trying to find a spot. I parked in a day use area and had enough time to explore around the south edge of the lake near the Bench Campground. I spent a few minutes making this photograph of the surrounding forest and some snags reflecting in the lake. The blue tinge at the top of the photograph is the result of campfire smoke from the Bench Campground nearby. This may be a better scene to photograph when there are fewer campers making dinner! It also looks like a great spot in the years we have decent fall foliage colours.

deer lake forest

The forest and snags reflecting in Deer Lake

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   On the north side of “The Point” I photographed campfire smoke lingering over the Lakeside Campground and one of the picnic areas at Deer Lake. With the light fading, I got in the car and drove back to Harrison Hot Springs hoping to catch some sunset light on Mount Cheam and Harrison Lake. Those photographs will have to wait for another blog post coming soon.

common garter snake at hicks lake in british columbia

Campfire smoke over the campgrounds at Deer Lake

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Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)

Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) on the shore of Hicks Lake in Sasquatch Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada

common garter snake at hicks lake in british columbia

Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)

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   Last week I spend a day exploring Sasquatch Provincial Park near Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada. I did some hiking, and while at one of the beaches on Hicks Lake I found several Garter Snakes basking in the sand along the shore. Not my intended subjects, but as a wildlife photography opportunist, I was happy to take advantage of the chance. I used my longest lens with a 1.4x extender so I wouldn’t have to get close enough to these snakes to disturb them. The ants on the beach, however, seemed disturbed enough to crawl up my legs and all over my camera bag. Not sure how beach oriented people would fare at this location…