Afloat

Afloat. Mount Baker seems to float in the sky behind Vancouver as seen from the summit of Mount Gardner.

The hike up Mt Gardner is a pretty good one overall – it’s not the most interesting approach (especially if you have to start at the ferry terminal), and it can be confusing without a map, but there are a couple of great viewpoints and this stunning view from the summit. I always love the way that Mt Baker (Kulshan) seems to float on the clouds above and behind the city. Today was perfect: clear enough to get a good view of the city, and hazy enough to obscure the distant mountains.

I wrote up a quick trip report on Live Trails with a few more details of the hike.

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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!