I just returned from a ten day trip to Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve. This is an archipelago isolated from the mainland. It has many unique plants and animals. I look forward to sharing my photos of its richness and beauty. Click on the photo to see a larger version.
I just returned from a twelve day trip to northern Vancouver Island. The nickname ‘Fogust’ is appropriate because there was a lot of fog each morning, which would usually burn off by the middle of the day. There was an abundance of wildlife and I spent time observing and photographing Killer Whales, Humpback Whales, a Minke Whale, Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Steller Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Sea Otters, Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Pelagic Cormorants, Black Turnstones, Red-necked Phalaropes, Bonaparte’s Gulls, Marbled Murrelets, Pigeon Guillemots, Black Oystercatchers, Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets, Surf Scoters, Lion’s Mane Jellyfish, and of course, the bird in the picture below, which is a male Belted Kingfisher ( click on the image to see a larger version ). This area is the traditional lands of the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw, Kwakiutl, and Tlatlasikwala First Nations. To see some of my photos from my trip you can click on the ‘News‘ tab or the ‘Galleries’ tab and then the gallery titled ‘The Great Bear Sea‘.
In early July I did some hiking in the Lake Louise area. I started at the Chateau Lake Louise and hiked up to Mirror Lake, then Lake Agnes, and its European-styled tea house. There were too many people so I didn’t stop and hiked around Lake Agnes to the switchbacks that lead to the top of the Big Beehive. Here you’re rewarded with a stunning panorama of Lake Louise. From there I descended on the Highline trail which had lots of big rocks, roots, and stumps. I was glad I had my hiking poles. Eventually you join the Plain of Six Glaciers trail which leads to another tea house. I pressed on to the Plain of Six Glaciers viewpoint and ate my lunch underneath the hanging glacier of Mount Victoria. What a great day. Click on any photo in the gallery to see a larger version.
Lake Louise and Fairview Mountain ( 2744 m ) seen from the top of the Big Beehive. To the right is Haddo Peak ( 3070 m ) and Mount Aberdeen ( 3152 m ). As glaciers shrink the brilliant blues of mountain lakes is changing.
Mount Aberdeen and Mount Lefroy. In between the two mountains is the Lefroy glacier.
Hiking up the switchbacks to the Big Beehive. Looking down on Lake Agnes and some beautiful Larch trees.
The Mitre ( 2850 m ) and Lefroy glacier. The mountain was named in 1893 by Samuel E.S. Allen because it resembles a Bishop's mitre, which is a tall headdress.
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
Last night I went for a ride on my electric bike with my camera and tripod to a location I had previously scoped out. I had no idea the sunset was going to be so spectacular. For a few minutes, it lit up the clouds with beautiful colours of red, orange, pink and blue. Click on the photo to see a larger version.
This was my first attempt at creating panoramic images of the beautiful west coast. I was happy with the results and teaching myself a new photography technique. These images give the viewer a truly unique perspective. Click on an image to see a larger version and then use the left and right keys on your keyboard.
This is one of the last free standing diners left in British Columbia. It opened in 1956 and it reminds me of the quintessential 1950’s diner. I arrived here early in the morning and was excited to see there was no vehicles parked in front. As I was setting up my camera a vehicle pulled up and initially I was a bit disappointed. However, after seeing the image, I think the vehicle, and where it’s parked, actually contributes to the photo. I was fortunate to get this interesting moody sky in the background. This was my first attempt and I think I’ll return and try to capture an image with some falling snow. That would be cool.