A sunny afternoon hike

I find that the sooner I post photos of a hike, the sooner I tend to write a trip report. That’s definitely true of Sunday’s trip on some less well-known hiking trails on the flanks of Hollyburn. A very pleasant way to spend a few hours on a sunny Sunday for sure. I need to find a way to start including a map of my hikes too.

Photos are on Flickr, and the full write-up is on Being. Outdoors.


Minnekhada wanderings

I finally uploaded some photos to Flickr from our walk around Minnekhada Regional Park back in March, which inspired me to finish the “story” section of the blog post. A very pleasant couple of hours on a sunny spring day. Check out the full post at Being. Outdoors.


Patience – a great blue heron waits for the right moment

A walk along the seafront on a cloudy day, and an experiment with a high-ish key photo. With our various compact cameras, I was always careful to not blow out highlights if I could help it, though this often resulted in shots that were mildly to seriously under-exposed. The SLR I used for this photo also tends to underexpose but after several years of looking at histograms I realized I needed to push up the highlights to make it more realistic, and then a bit more to give it a high-key look. It’s not a true high-key picture, so I may go back and play with the raw file to see if I can find a look that I like. One day…

Earlier in the walk we watched a seal splash around in the water, slapping its tail and breaching. Pretty cool. The heron never moved.

Blog central

It finally occurred to me that it might be worth having a central, generic blog that links to my other more specific blogs. So here it is, using my real name and all. I might post stuff here, but mostly it’s going to be somewhere to link to my other blogs when I add new entries. You know, to save y’all the bother of following multiple blogs 🙂

So where are these other blogs, and what are they about?

First up, my hiking blog, Being. Outdoors. This is the most voluminous of my blogs, covering hiking trips that now go back almost a decade. I used to be strict about keeping the entries in order but I recently changed my mind and now just publish whatever I want whenever I feel like it.

Next, my Instagram blog, Fonetoes. I like reading about the stories behind a given photograph, so this is my attempt to write about some of the photos I’ve taken. UPDATE 11 Nov 2016: not any more – I’ve moved all my Instagram-based posts here instead.

Third, an old out-of-date blog cataloguing the photos I’ve taken from our balcony, A Rainy View. Pretty much the same rationale as the one above.

Moving over to Blogger, I have a now-static blog that kept track of my one and only attempt at a photo-a-day project, Once Around The Sun.

Finally, there was the blog that started it all – after one of my first backpacking trips, I came home so enthused that I just had to write all about it: The Intertidal Flush.

You may detect a theme or two from the above – hiking and photography. That doesn’t cover all my interests by a long shot, but it’s a good start. Hiking is probably the root inspiration; the photography grew out of documenting where I’d been. And the hiking was probably spurred by my combined interests in the natural world and maps. As to where that came from, who knows?

Mercury and the Sun

A little black disc against a big bright disc: Mercury (lower left) wanders across the face of the Sun. The fuzzy patch in the upper part is sunspot 2542.

My original idea was to dig out my solar filter and attach it to one of our SLRs, but that meant trying to work out which box it’s stored in. It was much easier to simply project the image onto a white sheet of paper. Having said that, it took a few attempts to get the camera to focus on the image, and then angle the paper so that it wasn’t too shiny (it’s amazing how shiny paper is when projecting the Sun). I was also impressed with the camera’s resolution, even showing up the fibres in the paper. With the breeze and heat haze from the Sun itself, it took quite a few photos to get a handful that were sharp enough to show. This is one of them. Obviously 🙂

The tiniest bunch

A bunch of tiny flowers for Mother’s Day (OK so it wasn’t Mother’s Day in the UK anyway but that doesn’t matter 🙂

I teamed up with our friend Andrew for a wander around some of the trails on the lower flanks of Hollyburn, exploring some new routes. It was a good move as these trails were much quieter those for than our Plans A and B (where the parking lots were already completely full). The forest flowers were just beginning to bloom, with some lovely patches of bunchberry in open areas. These flowers often decorate old tree stumps, which makes for a particularly pretty scene, though we didn’t find any to photograph today. On the other hand, we did stumble across the Hollyburn Fir, a gigantic Douglas fir that survived the rapacious logging of the last century. What an incredible tree it is! Worth every step of wandering through crappy second-growth forest.

The Chief

Today’s tasty lunch spot

It’s been a year since we last hiked up the Chief near Squamish, so it’s about time we returned. This time we went to the First Peak, which we usually avoid due to the crowds, but today we didn’t feel up to pushing for the whole loop. It was a beautiful day, busy but not too bad thanks to our earlier-than-usual start. It was our friend Jen’s first time to the top and she (and her pup Frisco) loved it.

And yes, lunch was as tasty as the view 🙂