Category Archives: Travel

Same Scene, Half a Year Apart

Realized that I’ve shot the same scene about half a year apart. While the scenes are not exactly lined up, you can recognize the fence posts and get a sense of how close I must have been standing for the two takes.

NIcola Valley March 2015
March 9, 2015

BC Highway 5A
October 1, 2014

If you look closely, you can see that I was just a few steps to the right compared to the more recent photo. Cool!

Oops, this is on the BC 5A north of Merritt.

Nicola Valley Under Blue Skies

I love the BC 5A between Merritt and Kamloops. The Nicola Valley and its string of lakes has a quiet beauty that changes with the seasons. In three or four hours of slowly touring up and back down, I saw at most a dozen other vehicles. The smaller lakes were still mostly iced over, with blue at the edges.

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Meadowlark
I tried many dozen shots of these Western Meadowlarks, but only these two were usable. They were very shy, and even with the monster Tamron 150-600mm maxed out, they were hard to capture.

Meadowlark

Here are more shots of the same route taken October 2014. 

Last Day in LA, February 18, 2015

Today was my last day in Los Angeles at the end of a one-week visit to see my sister and her family. I’ll gradually add previous days to this blog as I have time, but here are a few shots from Manhattan Beach where I spent a couple of hours before my flight at LAX.

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sea lion and surfer manhattan beach CA
This sea lion was following a group of surfers near the pier. This was no one-off — the lion repeatedly rode the waves and swam back out for more.

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pelican
Pelican in flight

Off to Los Angeles!

Headed off to Los Angeles today to visit family for a week.

I had a car reserved with Budget, and a loop north up the coast and then inland through the hills planned for the afternoon. Unfortunately, there was a huge lineup at Budget and it took over an hour to get into a car.

I was pleased with the vehicle though — while the reservation was for a midsize Chevy, they gave me a bright red metallic Mazda 6.
Mazda 6
Photo from Mazda Canada website

The Mazda was solid, peppy, and sure-footed, so roads like this one in the hills north of LA were exhilarating to drive.  The 184-horse four-banger teamed with a 6-speed auto with available manual mode was fun.

California hills

Unfortunately, halfway through the loop, my phone and its GPS ran out of juice, and for some reason it wouldn’t charge either through the car’s cigarette lighter or USB port. I even stopped and bought a new cable, and that didn’t work either.

Eventually I was, um, unsure of where exactly I was. OK, lost. There, I said it, I was lost.

The Budget folks had asked if I wanted a paper map, and I’d said sure, but there was nothing in the rental-agreement package or glove box. Sigh. I finally stopped and bought a map, and figured my way “home,” a couple hours later than planned, so I missed my nephew’s key basketball game.

I know better than to rely solely on GPS in the bush, and now I know better than to rely solely on GPS in the big city!

Trusty Subaru Keeps Chugging Along

Was fooling around with Blue Book/Black Book values for our trusty ’98 Subaru Outback with 270,000+ km on it. No answer — either too old or mileage too high for the online databases.

But based on the closest results I could get, it looks like we’d be lucky to get C$1,000-1,500 for it in trade-in value. That’s less than the annual insurance fee!

So seeing as it’s near “worthless” now, and it’ll continue to be worthless going forward, I think our ongoing strategy of keeping it well-maintained and running for as long as possible is a no-brainer.

At the rate that we put on mileage, we’ve got a good year, or even 18 months before the next major service, which will likely run $1,500+. That’s when a decision will have to be made.

Speaking Twice at SEP 2015 Stewardship Workshop in May

I’ve been asked to take part in two presentations at the SEP 2015 British Columbia stewardship community workshop in May.

One will be on event and documentary photography, with an emphasis on using photos for effective communication and engagement, be it in paper publications or online. The other is a panel on engaging youth in stewardship activities. Should be fun!

SEP 2015 will take place in Port Alberni, BC, May 15-17, 2015.

More information about the workshop will be posted to this website as details firm up.

Searching Squamish, BC, for Salmon and Eagles

This is a great time of year to see salmon and eagles up the Sea-to-Sky highway heading north from Vancouver to Squamish.

Didn’t see that many of the magnificent raptors today, but enough for some decent photos.

eagle_paradise_valley_road_squamish_20141122Eagle soaring above the Paradise Valley road north of Squamish, BC

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Lunching on what appears to be a chum salmon on the Squamish River

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Cruising along the Squamish River

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A mass of  biomass. Lots of carcasses near the Tenderfoot hatchery off the Paradise Valley road north of Squamish. It looks gross, but salmon bring nutrients back from the ocean that enrich our coastal forests and other wildlife.

Adams River Sockeye Dominant Run 2014

The return of sockeye salmon to the Adams River in the Shuswap in British Columbia peaks every four years. This was my third or fourth visit for a peak run, combined with a 3-day SEHAB (Salmon Enhancement and Habitat Advisory Board) meeting.

Here are a few photos taken while volunteering on the river as an interpreter for the thousands of tourists who flock to this amazing event. The run was not yet at its peak, and I hope I can find the time to make it up there one more time this year.

Check out Salute to the Sockeye for more information.

adams river sockeye run 2014

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