Autumn is a time of unparalleled beauty on the west coast of Canada. The mixed forests of deciduous and coniferous trees become a patchwork of red, yellow, orange and green. I was fortunate to be out with my camera on a day that also included a dusting of snow in the mountains. I thoroughly enjoyed chasing the light and Fall colours. Click on a photo to see a larger version and use the left and right keys to scroll through the gallery.
Joffre Lakes is a beautiful hike that passes three lakes with turquoise blue water. The colour is caused by ‘rockflour’ or glacial silt that is suspended in the water and reflects blue and green wavelengths of sunlight. At the upper lake you get an impressive view of the Matier glacier and Slalok mountain which is 8704 feet high. Hikers need to obtain a day use pass and will be turned away if they don’t have one. Click on each of the photos below to see a larger version. If you click on the square in the top right hand corner of the image, the photo is displayed on a dark black background.
Today I hiked to the top of the 2nd Peak of the Stawamus Chief in Stawamus Chief Provincial Park. All hikers must obtain a day use pass, which is an attempt by BC Parks to manage visitation levels in the more popular parks. The granite cliffs are world famous for their climbing and also a nesting area for Peregrine Falcons. After climbing a steep trail, chains and a ladder, which felt like two hours on a StairMaster, I was rewarded with incredible views of Howe Sound, the Squamish area, and Garibaldi Provincial Park. I shared my lunch with a chipmunk and a Steller’s Jay. On the top of the peak pine trees grow on the granite and it’s a very fragile ecosystem. Due to the fact that we’ve received very little rainfall for the last forty days the pine trees didn’t look very healthy. Thankfully, there is some rain in the weather forecast for this weekend. Click on a photo in the gallery to see a larger version.
It was very warm and smoky, but I enjoyed camping for a week in Banff National Park. At Lake Louise I hiked up to the Plain of Six Glaciers viewpoint, which is past the tea house and a great place to eat your lunch. In my photo below you can see Mount Lefroy on the left and Mount Victoria on the right. In the middle is Abbot Pass which was named after Philip Stanley Abbot who was an experienced climber who died in 1896 trying to be the first climber to ascend Mount Lefroy. He was the first climbing fatality in North America. It’s hard to see in the photo, but at the top of Abbot Pass is the Abbot Pass hut which was built in 1922 by Swiss guides working for the Canadian Pacific Railway as a base for mountaineers. The route up the pass is known as the Deathtrap because of its exposure to avalanches and crevasses.
Lawren S. Harris was a painter and a member of the Group of Seven. He did abstract work of Lake Superior, the Rocky Mountains, and the Arctic. One of my favourite paintings is one he did of Mount Lefroy in 1930 which is part of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
” When I first saw the mountains, travelled through them, I was most discouraged. Nowhere did they measure up to the advertising folders, or to the conception these had formed in my mind’s eye. But, after I became better acquainted with the mountains, camped and tramped and lived among them, I found a power and majesty and a wealth of experience at nature’s summit which no travel-folder ever expressed.” Lawren S. Harris
With their Superman-like vision and sharp talons I never tire of taking images of these majestic birds. No baiting or calling was used in taking photos of these Bald Eagles ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ). Click on a photo and then use your left and right arrow keys to scroll through the gallery.
The weather forecast wasn’t very promising, but I was determined to spend the day taking photos of the Fall colours. Timing peak colours each Fall is an imperfect science, and the ideal time and place one year can turn out to be a disappointment the next. The reason leaves change is because of a decrease in photosynthetic activity as the days get shorter in the Fall. I like this photo because of the vibrant colours and how the trees lead the viewer into the photo, creating a sense of depth. Click on the image to see a larger version with a black background.
The alarm clock rang at 4:30 a.m. and I was out the door a half hour later. My goal was to take images of the beautiful Fall colours we experience during the month of October. I like this photo because of the range of colours.
On Saturday it was a beautiful sunny day with a blue sky. I hiked to the top of the third summit or peak of the Stawamus Chief. It’s a steep climb, with an elevation gain of 627 metres. The Stawamus Chief is the second largest granite monolith in the world. At the top, I enjoyed the breeze, my lunch and the company of a few chipmunks. There is wonderful views of Howe Sound, the Squamish estuary, Mount Garibaldi and Sky Pilot mountain, which many hikers mistakenly refer to as ‘one of the Lions’. It was getting late, so I started my descent. After hiking down and stepping from rock to rock and over roots for two hours my legs are still sore.
When I first started to take pictures of wildlife I used my telephoto lens to create a closeup image of an animal. Lately, I’ve been learning to take photos of animals that shows them in their natural environment, which is often referred to as an animalscape. These images are more challenging, the composition requires more thought and work on the part of the photographer. The image below shows a juvenile bald eagle in its natural habitat which includes the wetlands, ocean and mountains.