Sunset on a view

Last light on Mt Seymour – another throwback Thursday shot from my picture-a-day project 5 years ago. You can’t see this view on campus any more thanks to the new student union building.

I remember finding this view of Mt Seymour from a particular spot on the UBC campus, and during my photo-a-day project, I often walked out near the end of the day to watch the light change colour as the sun set. Even if it wasn’t worth a photo, it was usually worth seeing.

Seymour shadow selfie

A selfie of sorts – my shadow at the top of Pump Peak (First Peak) on Mt Seymour, looking over to Tim Jones Peak, Third Peak, and beyond to Garibaldi.

Another beautiful day in the mountains, and a mid-week chance to have the summit of Mt Seymour’s First Peak to myself – or so it appears, at least! But perhaps my favourite photos of the day were of patterns in the wind-scoured snow. Maybe I’ll post one or two of those later…

Spotted!

Spotted! A spotted towhee makes a rare venture out from the safety of the undergrowth. This should have been yesterday’s Throwback Thursday but I forgot, so it’s today’s Feathered Friday instead 🐦

These birds are notoriously shy and although they often venture out into the open, they quickly dart back into the undergrowth as you approach. It took me a few years to associate them with the cat-like mew of their call, and of course now I hear it often. So I was pleasantly surprised when this one hopped out into full sun to scratch through the leaves on these steps. It had made a first tentative visit but sought the safety of the bushes as I got closer. I stopped still and zoomed in on where it had been, hoping it might make a return. And so it did, and I was ready.

Moonrise in motion

Time lapse video of Wednesday’s moonrise over Robie Reid and Golden Ears – made a few mistakes but it worked out well enough 🙂 🏔🌝

OK so I know I posted the full video with the previous post but I couldn’t resist posting it on Instagram too. As I mention above and in that post, I did make a few mistakes that I’ll correct next time. In no particular order I think these were:

  • I didn’t clear the memory card beforehand – the video stops where it filled up, but the timelapse program (and the camera!) kept going and didn’t report any problem
  • I should have used manual focus – the focus hunts a couple of times during the video, which is pretty distracting.
  • Actually I should have used manual everything for the camera – I should have checked my exposure time for my best aperture and just set it accordingly.
  • Next time I’ll shoot a shorter interval – one photo every 10 seconds isn’t enough, so I’ll try 5 seconds to aim for a smoother video.

I think that’s about it. Nevertheless, I’m still quite pleased with how it turned out! A bigger learning curve comes with the video editing software – iMovie doesn’t really think the same way I do, so it’s taking a bit of fiddling to work things out. We’ll see what the next one brings!

Mountain moonrise

A glorious nearly-full moon rise over Robie Reid with the last rays of the sun lighting up Golden Ears

How lucky for us to have clear weather for a January full-moonrise (or nearly full)! For some time I’ve wanted to catch the moon rising over Golden Ears, and when I realized I had a chance to photograph the moonrise, I spent some time using the The Photographer’s Ephemeris, Google Earth and searching for images on Flickr to try and work out the best place to capture this event. I was delighted to find that Deer Lake regional park offered a clear view across to the mountains, a view I hadn’t seen before as I’d only ever been to that park on cloudy days.

I cased out a parking spot along Oakmount Crescent (though I was nearly thwarted by the huge amounts of snow piled up at the roadside!), and jogged down into the snowy park to find my spot. I set up the tripod and camera, and waited. The moon soon rose right over the top of the gigantic block of Robie Reid, so not quite Golden Ears but close enough 🙂 It was fun to see how quickly the moon appeared to rise over the mountains. The sky turned from orange to pink to dusky blue, while the moon turned from orange to yellow to white.

While I was taking photos with the SLR, I had the compact camera (Sony RX100II) shooting a timelapse. I’ve never done any timelapses before so this was a first. I made a few mistakes but it still turned out quite well!

The evening was made all the more enjoyable by watching and listening to the crows as they flew overhead, cawing in pairs that created a stereo-like soundtrack to my ears. Soon after, a small hawk (Cooper’s or sharp-shinned probably) flew barely 10 feet over my head and settled in a tree behind me. Finally as I was getting ready to call it quits, a small movement caught my eye and I looked down to see a tiny vole dart back and forth across the snow before disappearing into a hole created by a patch of tall grass. What a treat!

A Chilly Yak

Yak Peak, intimidating and majestic in its winter coat, but a surprisingly fun hike in summer. Thankfully it was easy to get this shot from the car to avoid going back out into that frigid cold!

On our way back from our New Year backcountry adventure we drove along the Coquihalla highway, passing Yak Peak perfectly lit by the afternoon sun. I love this angle as it makes the mountain look just so spectacular, and for so long left me wondering how on earth it was possible to get to its summit without being a rock climber. After last August’s hike, I know now its secret 😉

Back to today, and the famous Coquihalla breeze was blowing snow across the ridge tops. While it was tempting to wish ourselves up there for the view, it was cold enough without the extra wind chill, so we were quite content to admire the scene from the car and warm up with refreshments from the Blue Moose!

Lions in a frame

The Lions, framed at the north summit of Black Mountain.

Last Wednesday was a gorgeous blue-sky day and I couldn’t resist getting back out in the snow with my camera. The wind that greeted us at the north summit felt almost as cold as that in the Coquihalla at New Year and we quickly retreated to a nearby bump that retained a view of the Lions at least. And that’s when I saw the picture: the famous twin peaks were framed neatly between two snow-laden trees, and I had a nice foreground of smooth sunlit snow. Even the existing snowshoe tracks serve to frame the Lions.