Easter snowshoeing

Mini eggs on Mt Seymour 🙂 a fine way to wrap up the Easter weekend

We celebrated our first Easter in the snow way back in 2006 with a trip up to the summit of Hollyburn to continue the tradition of roll eggs at Easter. I used to venture out into the New Forest with my family to hide, find, and then roll painted hard-boiled eggs. It’s much easier to skip most of those steps and use a couple of chocolate eggs, which are much tastier!

This year we had a bag of Cadbury Mini eggs – unwrapped, so not suitable for rolling anywhere except straight out of the packet into your hand and thence eaten – and we headed to Mt Seymour instead as it has better views.

Actually, now I come to think about it, the first time I encountered snow at Easter was for a family visit to Scotland back in 1984 or 1985…

Salmonberry skirt

Salmonberry blossom – looks a bit like a dancer with a pink skirt 🙂

The pink dots of salmonberry are one of the signs of spring and I’ve been trying to get good salmonberry blossom photos for years now. This one, I think, might be the best yet. The trick is to find a location that’s not too dark, a branch that’s at the right height and isn’t swaying in the breeze, and a flower that hasn’t been battered by a passing shower, is a nice colour, and has another one behind it for extra interest. It also helps that the camera I used (Sony RX100II) has a larger depth of field for a given aperture than our SLR, so more of the flower is in focus.

Mission accomplished? I guess we’ll see when next year comes around.

The beginning of a year-long journey

Throwback Thursday to the day 5 years ago almost to the day when I embarked on a photo-a-day project, which I called ‘Once Around The Sun’ (for obvious reasons…). It pretty much started on a whim as I was exploring Lighthouse Park in search of fawn lilies. I didn’t find any that day, so I started with this unfurling trillium flower instead. Little did I know just what I was taking on 🙂 But, hey, now I have a year’s supply of TBT photos to choose from 🙂

The project turned into a blog too if you want to find out how it all ended: once-around-the-sun.blogspot.com.


Takakkaw Falls and a late afternoon rainbow for waterfall Wednesday

I took the above photo on the same day I took the photo of the moon over Cathedral Crags. I knew there would be a rainbow in the spray, as a few days earlier we’d ended a guided hike to the Burgess Shale on a sunny afternoon and had seen one then. Seeing that rainbow gave me the idea to return here with my parents on an even sunnier afternoon, and we weren’t disappointed!

International Day of Forests

A trio of giant cedars in Stanley Park to celebrate International Day of Forests. Trees such as these are Canada’s cathedrals and should be treated with the same reverence.

Before moving to Vancouver, I imagined it to be a rainy, darkly-forested place where the sun rarely shone. Instead I was won over by the incredible huge trees – the red and yellow cedars, Douglas firs, and Sitka spruce, some reaching ages of many hundreds of years. And then I was horrified by the clearcut logging wiping clean entire valleys of old-growth forest.

When I lived in the US, there were several occasions where Americans expressed their wonder at the preserved history of Europe, and lamented their own perceived lack of antiquity. It occurred to me that, in their vast trees of the temperate rain forest on the west coast, the US and Canada has ancient treasures that are long gone from Europe. These trees are as old (and in some cases older) than the grand stone cathedrals, and that people would never stand for the destruction of such architecture to make way for lesser buildings. So why are there not more people standing up against the destruction of these old forests? These forests are Canada’s (and the USA’s) history, and at least some of that history should be left intact for future generations to appreciate.

The downside of popularity

The awesome view remains the same but this destination has suffered as a result of its popularity – the bare rock on the right used to be a lovely carpet of moss. And then there are the inevitable fire rings, and branches cut from living trees… Sigh…

I knew that this destination had been popular based on the number of social media posts I’d seen, but I still wasn’t prepared for the change that has been wrought here in the near six years since I was last here. All the soft moss we’d sat on has been worn away by countless feet. My only consolation is that at least it shouldn’t get any worse…

Behind you!

Don’t forget to look around when in the parking lot for Joffre Lakes – early morning sun on Saxifrage Mountain, July 2008

Joffre Lakes is a very popular destination on account of its three beautiful lakes and a stunning glacier above the uppermost lake. A group of us decided to do a backpacking trip through Wanderung, but in order to be sure of getting spots for our tents, everyone except me went up on the Friday. I had to work… so I ended up leaving the apartment at about 3 am Saturday morning. After a brief stop at a sobriety check-point on the Lions Gate Bridge, I was on my way. I stopped again to admire the full-ish moon setting over the Tantalus Range and then pushed on through a rain shower near Whistler up to Pemberton and onto the Duffey Lake road.

The clouds cleared as I reached the parking lot and I pulled on my boots and backpack. By 6:15 am I was on the oh-so-peaceful trail. But before I got underway, I looked around and noticed the morning sunshine striking the snow fields and glaciers on Saxifrage Mountain. Of course I snapped the photo and got on my way. When the time came to put up a set of photos on Flickr, we decided against including this one and it was only looking back at the original set of photos recently that I rediscovered this one. With my Instagram cap on I realized that it would make a pretty decent square crop – not something we used to do back in 2008 – and so with a bit of tweaking to give it a little more “oomph” I added it to my Instagram feed.

Made me glad to be a digital pack-rat, at least for a moment!