Bramble Ramble

Five-leaved Bramble (Rubus pedatus) On a guided photography hike today I found myself (the leader) at the back of the pack, probably because I was walking slowly and admiring the fall colours and keeping an eye out for the small and interesting. Five-leaved bramble (Rubus pedatus) is one such plant. A member of the Rubus, or raspberry clan, this small …

Gray Jay

Gray Jay | Perisoreus canadensis One of the more common and frequently seen birds in the sub-alpine is the whiskey jack or gray jay (Perisoreus canadensis). In Paradise Meadows these social birds gather at places where hikers stop for lunch and commence aggressively begging for food. Unfortunately, many people give in to the begging either to “help” the bird out …

Red Crossbill

Red Crossbill | Loxia curvirostra Red Crossbills (Loxia curvirostra) have been fairly common up in the sub-alpine this weekend. These finches are named after their very noticeable “crossed bill” which is useful for extracting seeds from conifers. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds the “bird’s biting muscles are stronger than the muscles used to open the …

Fall Colours in Paradise Meadows

White-flowered Rhododendron | Rhododendron albiflorum With the cooler weather in the sub-alpine meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park many of the shrubs are starting to turn to their fall colours. White-flowered rhododendron (Rhododendron albiflorum) and many of the blueberries (Vaccinium sp.) are getting better every day. Today was a gray, wet day and that seemed to make the colour pop a …

Mt. Elma

Mt. Elma, Forbidden Plateau, Strathcona Provincial Park Not a pleasant day to be hiking in Forbidden Plateau, cold and wet for most of the day with a bit of a window in the weather around noon. This image of Mt. Elma was made from my lunch stop at Lake Helen Mackenzie where I enjoyed a well needed thermos of coffee.

Lake Beautiful

Lake Beautiful, Strathcona Provincial Park Located in Strathcona Provincial Park, Lake Beautiful is an aptly named hiking destination. It takes a bit of effort to get to the lake but it is well worth the long hike and on a hot day the swimming is fantastic. From the trail head at Paradise Meadows the total hiking distance is approximately 18km …

Summer on the Wane in the Sub-alpine

Menzies’ Burnet | Sanquisorba menziesii Subalpine Daisy | Erigeron peregrinus The last two days up at Paradise Meadows (located in Strathcona Provincial Park, BC) have definitely had a hint of the fall in the air. While this makes for good hiking weather (cool but not cold) it’s also a sign that the late summer bloom is nearly done and that …

Paradise Meadows

Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park has a number of hiking loops that are excellent for both photography and botanizing. We headed out to Lake Helen Mackenzie today on a family hike and I attempted to squeeze in some photography along the way. Thankfully, Alden our 2 year old, is a slow walker and likes to check things out as …

Wetland Landscapes

Photography can be challenging at the best of times. Try throwing a 2 year old in a backpack into the mix (“Hold still – Daddy’s trying to take a photo”) – you get the picture! Today we took an impromptu walk in Paradise Meadows with both kids in tow (almost 2 year old Alden and 3 month old Clara). In …