Rain flowers

Cheery western columbine on the trail to Cream Lake. The Haida call them rain flowers, a name preferred by some of our friends.

There are many flowers on the west coast of BC that could get the name “rain flower” but for some reason the Haida bestowed it on western columbine. This little patch was perhaps the richest and most vibrant meadow of columbine that we’ve ever seen, so naturally I couldn’t resist making it the foreground to the imposing Mt Septimus.

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Mt Septimus

A floral path points to Mt Septimus

Along the final approach to Cream Lake we had this view ahead of us the whole time. The hike passed many small ponds and tarns which were just begging to be used for lovely reflection shots, but alas the breeze was enough to always ripple the surface. So I had to make do with a bed of pink mountain heather instead. Life’s tough, eh?

Tent by moonlight

We’re just back from two weeks on Vancouver Island and have some catching up to do 🙂 We took over 2000 photos and filled 3 16GB memory cards… In the meantime, here’s a shot of our tent lit by moonlight at Baby Bedwell Lake from last Friday after the mosquitoes had finally gone to bed. I was hoping to catch a Perseid or two but caught a satellite instead. You may be able to make out the Andromeda galaxy, M31, if you look closely enough…

This night we’d retired to the tent before it got dark as the mosquitoes were getting way too annoying. Which meant we had to get up again before settling down to sleep to attend the call of nature. By then the moon had risen and was illuminating the landscape around us perfectly well for me to see without my headlamp. And the bugs had gone, so I was able to lie on the rocks for a while and just enjoy the warm night air. By now everyone else had crawled into their tents and the campground was still and quiet. Perfect conditions for a few night photographs.

I remember being captivated by a long exposure photograph taken under full moonlight that showed a landscape and stars. Since then – which was back in 1990 or thereabouts – I’ve wanted to recreate something similar. This is a 30-second exposure – not long enough really to capture the light properly, but it’s always hard to tell at the time since the camera screen is so bright relative to the surroundings. Next time I know to try for a minute or so. And now that it’s later in the year, the moon will be higher in the sky and thus a little brighter too. OK – roll on some nice September and October weekends!

Becher to it

Not much of a view from Mt Becher today, but still a lovely hike through subalpine forest

It’s the start of our holiday and of course the sunshine by the coast gave way to clouds in the mountains. And not just any clouds, clouds at the perfect height to obscure the views. Still, we enjoyed the hike, and it reminded us how much we liked the terrain of the Forbidden Plateau. I attempted a few misty meadow shots but none really grabbed me. In the end I liked the simplicity of this view of tall trees and little people.

Top to bottom

Della Falls more or less from top to bottom, roughly 440 m (over quarter of a mile). Flashback-Friday to my first backpacking trip to the interior of Vancouver Island in July 2006.

Another shot of Della Falls, this time from the trail up to Love Lake which offers this more-or-less complete view of the drop of the waterfall. I’d like to go back again to see Love Lake melted out (it was still mostly frozen on our visit), and to explore the area some more.

Della Falls

The lower cascades of Della Falls, taken almost exactly 10 years ago on my very first backpacking trip 🙂 After that, I was hooked!

Maria and I were invited on a 3-day backpacking trip to Della Falls by a friend of ours, to whom we are eternally grateful. Despite all the mosquitoes and the fact I ran out of steam part way through the day, those three days got us well and truly hooked on backpacking, and we just haven’t looked back since.