Out with the old…

Out with the old… The penultimate sunset of 2016. May 2017 be a better one! Happy New Year!

And so 2016 draws to a close. For many it’ll be a year to forget or curse in some other fashion. For others it was no doubt a good year. Personally it was kinda “meh” – some good, some bad. But there’s always a new year to look forward to with anticipation. Hopefully it’ll be a better year than 2016 in whatever way is meaningful to you.

I was getting our gear ready for our New Year’s trip away when I noticed the band of pink light on Crown and Grouse. In all my years of taking sunset photos from our balcony, I haven’t witnessed one like this before. It’s always nice to find different reasons to photograph a familiar scene. Now on with the packing… See you next year!

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a fun festive season!

A sunny Christmas morning, and the only chance to get out in the snow all week. How could we refuse? We made an early start (at least by our standards) and enjoyed a peaceful wander up to the summit before heading back home to catch up with family on Skype (showing them some of the photos from the morning’s expedition) and then enjoy a lovely Christmas dinner with friends. A good day, for sure.

Long exposure

Alpenglow. Flashback Friday to a Thanksgiving 2012 backpacking trip to Garibaldi Lake.

I couldn’t think what to post today, but I have had this photo in mind for a while now. It didn’t feel like a floral-Friday so I went with “flashback” instead. The summer of 2012 was a good one for us when it came to camping. I think we spent over 20 nights in our new tent as the backpacking season lasted until Thanksgiving in October. For the weekend, we called out a hike through Wanderung and headed up to Garibaldi Lake with a couple of fellow hikers.

The weather was perfect, and we enjoyed two lovely evenings by the lake watching the daylight fade. I was even inspired to take some long exposure photos of the lake to smooth out the ripples and get this nice reflection of the distant glaciers catching the last light of the day. Alas I totally missed the superb auroral display that graced the skies on the night we drove home…

Long shadows

Thursday again already? This is probably my favourite photo from my picture-a-day project 5 years ago. I ran down the steps to the beach, knowing I might miss sunset but hoping for some colour, and was greeted by this gorgeous light. I only managed to get half-a-dozen before it disappeared. I think this was the first shot I took too 🙂

The full story behind this photo is here. I still don’t think I’ve witnessed a sunset like this one where the light cast such long shadows from the pebbles embedded in the sand. And the colour too – so orange!

For the longest night…

Beer for the longest night, although technically I’m either 3 months late, or 3 months early… Oak-aged IPA from Howe Sound Brewing served in my souvenir glass from Ecliptic Brewing. Happy Winter Solstice!

I don’t normally post this kind of picture to Instagram (or Facebook) but I love the astronomy themes from both of these breweries. Personally, I think Howe Sound’s Super Jupiter Grapefruit IPA is nicer, but the Equinox was still pretty tasty.

That snow otter

An otter in the snow. Just another day in Vancouver 🙂 I watched this otter for several minutes as it rolled and played in the snow, and was surprised at how close I was able to get.

I’ve seen otters a couple of times in False Creek – once I was able to get quite close to one munching away on a fish. I wouldn’t have seen this one had it not been for the nearby crows dive-bombing something at the water’s edge, hidden from view by the rocky embankment. Most people were just walking by, but the crows had me wandering over to take a closer look.

The otter and I saw each other at the same time. The crows fled and the otter dove beneath the water, coming up a few metres later for a moment before diving again and disappearing. I was kicking myself for being slow with the camera (and not having the faster-responding SLR), and thought that would be the last I saw of it. I watched it surface again around the corner and then it hauled out onto the snow-covered dock near the coastguard station. I took some (distant) video from here and then wondered how close I might be able to get.

As it turned out, much closer than I expected. I was able to walk along the dock almost to the last part where the otter was rolling in the snow. I stopped by one of the uprights and took more video and a few photos. It was only when my phone rang and I began speaking that the otter looked up, saw me and slunk off again into the water. A pretty good encounter in my books!

Here’s the final video:


Minimalist monochrome Monday. It made a nice change for Sunday’s enveloping grey to be associated with snow rather than endless rain. Alas, the rain has returned…

I’m so glad the snow fell on the Sunday, and not the Monday as it did a couple of weeks ago. It was fun to pull on my winter boots, wrap up and trudge down to Granville Island in the snow, taking pictures as I went. Walking through Vanier Park was an unexpected pleasure as all the sodden grass was blanketed in snow, which had the added bonus of covering up all the goose poop too!

Snowy beach rocks

Snowy beach rocks.

Not much to say about that really 🙂 We’d woken to fresh snow this morning and I knew I had to get down to the beach to see snow on the sand there. The tide had gone out a little, leaving some unsnowy beach exposed – I was hoping to get the waves lapping at the snow – but these rocks were still wearing their white caps and made a nice grouping against the city skyline. Or what could be seen of the city skyline given the grey murk in the distance!

Seymour and bridge

Mt Seymour looking nice and warm at sunset.

Another photo from last Tuesday’s chilly sunset wander along the seawall. I took so many and had a hard time choosing between them as the light on the mountains was so beautiful – I’m surprised that I’ve been so restrained and only posted a couple on Instagram (I uploaded more to Flickr). It helps that the Lions Gate bridge is a visually-appealing suspension bridge. I just really liked the warm light on the distant mountain seen through the cable supports of the bridge. I think I would have preferred to have been on that mountain at this time, but being on the seawall wasn’t a bad place to be really.

Chilly sunrise

‘Twas a chilly sunrise this morning, but worth seeing the light on those North Shore mountains.

From a sunset posted yesterday, to today’s sunrise 🙂

Well, now I remember what -8 C feels like! I had a good many warm layers on this morning as I headed out to capture the sunrise light on the mountains. I’d wondered what this spot was like for getting a nice view of the city and the mountains several times, and since this is the last of the clear sunny days for a while, I figured I should take my chance and get out there to check it out. In practice, it wasn’t as good a spot as I’d hoped: the foreground features large in any wide-angle shot, and it’s pretty uninteresting. The view of the city skyline is pretty flat and distant. I was glad of the railway tracks (it looked like a giant train set from up on the viaduct) to lend some perspective and leading lines. I think this would be a better shot in the middle of the day when the light was actually on the foreground too although I think this version works well enough for me not to be in a desperate hurry to try it out. Maybe some other day.