Posts Tagged ‘trees’

Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) Flowers

   The Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) is the official flower of the province of British Columbia. Growing only in the southwest corner of British Columbia, the Dogwood is not yet endangered, but is nearing that distinction. A fungus (Dogwood anthracnose) infects Dogwood trees and has helped diminish their numbers along with deforestation and the 2002 removal of protections against destroying Dogwoods (and other species) by the Provincial government. Dogwood flowers are a familiar sight in British Columbia as they are used on many company logos and even the Provincial Coat of Arms. The High School certificate of graduation issued by the Province is called the Dogwood Diploma (I have two of them – figure that one out).

pacific dogwood flowers - cornus nuttallii - in british columbia

Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) flowers (Purchase)

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   The photograph above shows the native species of Pacific Dogwood here in British Columbia, but there is another common Dogwood tree as well. “Eddie’s White Wonder” Dogwood is a hybrid between the Pacific Dogwood (C. nuttallii) and the Flowering Dogwood (C. florida). This hybrid was developed by British Columbia’s Henry Matheson Eddie (1881-1953) in 1945. The hybrid was created from the Pacific Dogwood and the Flowering Dogwood partly to avoid the fungus that damages the Pacific Dogwood.

hybrid dogwood flowers - pacific dogwood cornus nuttallii x cornus florida in british columbia

Eddie’s White Wonder hybrid Dogwood flowers (Purchase)

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   The hybrid has shown to be only partially resistant to the Anthracnose fungus, however. The hybrid Dogwood is shown in the photographs below, and tends to have larger, broader overlapping bracts and a much higher density of flowers. Some also have a slight pink hue to the flowers, as some of the original dogwood crosses were with pink varieties of C. florida.

hybrid dogwood flowers - cornus nuttallii x cornus florida in british columbia

Eddie’s White Wonder hybrid Dogwood flowers (Purchase)

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   The last photograph here shows another individual of the hybrid Dogwoods with a much higher density of flowers.

hybrid dogwood flowers - cornus nuttallii x cornus florida in british columbia

Eddie’s White Wonder hybrid Dogwood – note high density of flowers (Purchase)

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For more photographs of the flora of the forests of British Columbia (and Washington) take a look at my Forest Photos Gallery in my Image Library.

Bigleaf Maple in Macmillan Provincial Park

Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) along the riverbed of the Cameron River at Macmillan Provincial Park in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada

bigleaf maple near cameron river in macmillan provincial park

Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) along the Cameron River

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    The Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) in this photograph (left) is a good example of an ecological “edge effect”. In ecology the edge effect refers to the phenomenon that species (and diversity) you would normally see within an area change along the boundary with a different area. This can be the edge of a trail or road, a clear cut, grassland/forest transitions and in this case, the edge of the Cameron River in Macmillan Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. In this particular type of forest, you’ll get Bigleaf Maples, Vine Maples, Red Alder (successional species) and a number of other tree species growing on a newly formed or existing edge. Just inside the edge the majority of the trees are conifers such as Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir. This was one of the better specimens of mature Bigleaf Maple in Macmillan Provincial Park that I found. The tree on the right hand side of the image is a Red Alder (Alnus rubra) and is also a frequent edge resident.

You can see more of my photos of this area in my Vancouver Island Gallery.

Star Magnolia Fall Foliage

Star Magnolia tree fall leaf colour at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

star magnolia tree in queen elizabeth park vancouver british columbia

Star Magnolia Fall Leaf Colours (Purchase)

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   I have photographed this Star Magnolia tree before – in spring when it was in full bloom. When I was in Queen Elizabeth Park earlier this fall I noticed I was standing in almost the same spot, and the tree had some nice fall foliage. I managed to make a photograph reminiscent of the first spring photo. I may try this again during winter when there are no leaves, or perhaps if I am lucky when there is snow on the branches, though that is probably rare in Vancouver.

   This is one of the photographs in my 2014 Nature Calendar

Cherry Blossoms in Stanley Park

Spring Cherry blossoms along the South Creek Trail in Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

spring cherry blossoms in stanley park in vancouver british columbia

Spring Cherry Blossoms in Stanley Park (Purchase)

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   One of the first subjects I like to photograph in the Spring, in addition to wildflowers, are the Cherry trees in Vancouver. There are often a lot of flower bulbs also in bloom (tulips, daffodils etc) at the same time, so there are often great photo opportunities at that time of year. This past April I was in Vancouver’s Stanley Park and made some photographs of these Cherry trees blooming along the South Creek Trail (near the Rose Garden). I love photographing Stanley Park, once the sun starts go to down there are always other opportunities to photograph the Lions Gate Bridge or the downtown skyline.

Cathedral Grove Fallen Trees

Fallen trees at Cathedral Grove in Macmillan Provincial Park near Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada

fallen trees in cathedral grove at macmillan provincial park near port alberni, british columbia

Cathedral Grove Rainforest (Purchase)

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   Macmillan Provincial Park lies to the east of Port Alberni on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. This photo was made in the Cathedral Grove area of the park, and a shows two fallen, large trees (windstorm casualties) along the trail. While there are many large trees there, it was a challenge to show any of the larger ones in the context of their natural environment (this photo does not fulfill that challenge, obviously). First it is often difficult to give a sense of scale with trees, especially those not surrounded by recognizable foreground elements (or people hugging the trunk). Second, many of the larger trees were rather highly visited by the tourists in the area and were not longer really sitting in a natural setting.

   That said, Cathedral Grove is a great place to stop and stretch your legs (or photograph for 2 hours like I did). It is not the best example of an “old growth” forest that many purport it to be, however. Still, this park receives a lot of visitors each year, indicating that at least some people do have some manner of interest in this kind of nature. Even though this is a bit of a pseudo forest in a way, high interest from the public is a good thing. Genuine old growth forest would likely cease to be as diverse as it should be upon becoming a highly visited tourist destination, so with Cathedral Grove I think a decent balance is found.

My Top 10 Photos of 2012

   I always find it difficult to narrow down a years worth of photographs into one list of the “best”. It is a good exercise, however, to really sit down and go through your work and determine what images best fit your current vision for your photography. I did this back in 2010 and 2011 as a part of Jim Goldstein’s project and I am please to enter my images again for this years version.

   All of these photographs are available as Fine Art Prints.

   So in no particular order these are the “top” (probably better termed as favourite) photos I have made in 2012.

kalamalka lake provincial park panorama
Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park Spring Panorama

(Coldstream, British Columbia)

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Ellison Provincial Park on Okanagan Lake

Otter Bay Beach on the shores of Okanagan Lake at Ellison Provincial Park in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

otter bay beach on the shores of okanagan lake at ellison provincial park in vernon british columbia

Otter Bay Beach at Ellison Provincial Park (Purchase)

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   Last week I went on a photography trip to Vernon, British Columbia. I headed up the Crowsnest Highway 3 through Manning Provincial Park, through Princeton, and then on to Keremeos, Penticton, Kelowna and then Vernon. On a previous trip to the area I stayed in Lake Country which is between Kelowna and Vernon but found that most of the areas that attracted me, namely Kalamalka Lake, were near Vernon and not Kelowna.

   Staying in Vernon put me within easy reach of 4 places I wanted to photograph on this trip – Kekuli Bay Provincial Park, Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, the Coldstream Valley, and Ellison Provincial Park.

ponderosa pine on the shores of okanagan lake at ellison provincial park in vernon, british columbia

Pine on the shore of Okanagan Lake (Purchase)

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   On the second day of my trip I visited Ellison Provincial Park. I didn’t really know anything about Ellison except it was close to Vernon and is on the shores of Okanagan Lake, not Kalamalka Lake. I parked in the day use area parking and walked down the short trail to Otter Bay beach. The first photograph here is of Otter Bay beach – the shallow water warm enough to exhibit some of the green minerals in the water. I made a few photographs of this area and then moved onto the adjacent rocky hill and photographed this Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) along the shoreline. If you look closely at this second photograph from Ellison you can see the small, purple wildflowers of the Shrubby Penstemon (Penstemon fruticosus). These flowers were everywhere between the rocks, as well as some sporadic Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata). Photos of those will be coming soon!

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

Columbian Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) (Purchase)

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   Later in the day I had waited through a brief but interesting storm in the parking lot at Kekuli Bay, but since the storm had somewhat cleared I was searching for a place to view a potential sunset. The night before there was a good sunset – but I was too unfamiliar with the area to find a good place to photograph it. I was stuck on the wrong side of some hills and ran out of light before finding a way around them. Earlier in the day at Ellison I had figured this would be a good place to go for sunset, if I didn’t find anything else better in the rest of the days exploration. The sunset light never really materialized, but in preparation for it I had found myself back near at Ellison just in case. I didn’t go down to the water as the light just wasn’t there but just as I was leaving I had the opportunity to photograph some Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and in an adjacent field, a larger group of Columbian Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus). While making the photographs of the Black-tailed Deer, I tried to not just get “closeups” of the animals with my 70-200mm lens (plus a 1.4x TC for good measure!) but also zoom out a bit to get the animals in context with their environment. Sometimes a photograph showing the animal in their habitat can be stronger than one showing just the animal. I’ve started to do this with wildflowers as well.

   Many more photographs of this trip are to come. I think my favourites are from Kalamalka Provincial Park – a place that will definitely be on my list to visit when I travel back here in the Fall!

For all of my photos from this park visit my Ellison Provincial Park Gallery.

Campbell Valley Regional Park Photos

A Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) with a bed of Pacific Bleeding Heart flowers (Dicentra formosa) – at Campbell Valley Park in Langley, British Columbia, Canada.

vine maple and pacific bleeding hearts in campbell valley park, langley, british columbia

Vine Maple and Pacific Bleeding Heart in Campbell Valley Park (Purchase)

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   Today I have two photos from Campbell Valley Regional Park in Langley, British Columbia. One of the things I have been working on with my photography is to improve the photos I make of scenes inside the forest. There can often be so many competing elements all heading in different directions that a pleasing, non cluttered composition can be difficult. So I decided to work on that, and am getting results that I think are an improvement and more compelling than previous efforts. This photo (left) of a Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) with a bed of Pacific Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa) growing below it is one example.

walking path in campbell valley park in langley - british columbia

Walking path in Campbell Valley Regional Park (Purchase)

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   I’ve recently been editing and key wording all the photos I’ve made in this park over the last few years. Many were already processed, but there was still a lot of work to be done. I’ll place them all in their own gallery on my website soon – right now they are scattered over a few different categories. Campbell Valley Park is only about a 15 minute drive for me, so I will likely be spending even more time there as a lot of the park I have yet to explore.

For all my photographs of this park visit my Campbell Valley Regional Park Gallery.