My Top Photos for 2015

I’m a little behind on this, but what another awesome year we had as a family! We were fortunate enough to travel a great deal and had a lot of fun along the way. Here’s some of my favourite images along the way.

Waves

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. - Albert Camus
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. – Albert Camus

Stargazing

Spirit Island has been on my bucket list for a while now, and so I was thrilled to be able to visit it this summer. It's a gorgeous spot to say the least and it was made even better as I was able to go there with a few of my favourite people!
Spirit Island has been on my bucket list for a while now, and so I was thrilled to be able to visit it this summer. It’s a gorgeous spot to say the least and it was made even better as I was able to go there with a few of my favourite people!

Solitude

An explosion of epic colour as seen this past summer at Quadra Island, BC. f
An explosion of epic colour as seen this past summer at Quadra Island, BC.

Playground

Overlander Falls on the Fraser River in Mount Robson Provincial Park. For those interested in the technical. This is a four shot panorama. I used a Lee Filter Little Stopper to obtain a 13 second exposure to smooth the water.
Overlander Falls on the Fraser River in Mount Robson Provincial Park. For those interested in the technical. This is a four shot panorama. I used a Lee Filter Little Stopper to obtain a 13 second exposure to smooth the water.

Overlander Falls Trail

Kinney Lake along the Berg Lake Trail. A little piece of paradise.
Kinney Lake along the Berg Lake Trail. A little piece of paradise.

Peaking Through

We made a quick stop at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park near Parksville, BC. With all the rain we've had lately, the water is really raging through the canyon. It was difficult keeping my lens clear at this misty falls!
We made a quick stop at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park near Parksville, BC. With all the rain we’ve had lately, the water is really raging through the canyon. It was difficult keeping my lens clear at this misty falls!
A beautiful morning at Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park.
A beautiful morning at Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park.
Radiator Springs in California Adventure, Disneyland.
Radiator Springs in California Adventure, Disneyland.
"How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! - John Muir
“How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! – John Muir
Beautiful morning light dancing through my frame!
Beautiful morning light dancing through my frame!

Cryptic Message

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Buttle Lake in Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island at first light. f
Buttle Lake in Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island at first light.

2016 is looking like a slower year travel wise, but we’re looking forward to more local adventures on Vancouver Island. Thank you for following us along the way!

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Lush Forest to Secluded Beaches

Schooner Cove in Pacific Rim National Park is a great afternoon adventure suitable for families. It features:

  • Rainforest
  • Beautiful secluded sandy beaches
  • Tidal Pools
  • Box Island
  • Wildlife
  • Waves
  • 2 kilometres one way with 336 stairs

Park at the well marked parking lot off of the Pacific Rim Highway (4) about 16 kilometres south of Tofino. Start off on a relatively easy two kilometre trail. The scenic hike wanders through lush rainforest before arriving at a spectacular beachfront area. You will pass giant cedars, a number of small gullies and over a few bridges spanning small creeks. Near the end of the trail you will pass a 600 year old sitka spruce. As you get closer to the beach the rolling sounds of the ocean will greet you.

The pristine beach offers amazing views including rocky outcrops that can be accessed at low tide, so check your tide charts before arriving. A long day of exploring awaits you as you walk south along the beach to Long Beach which is a 10 kilometre expanse of beach. Allow a lot of time, because you will love exploring this area!

If you plan to stay to watch the sunset, remember to bring a flashlight as the densely forested trail back to the parking lot gets really dark!

 

PACK LIST

  • Rain gear
  • Jacket
  • Good hiking shoes or boots
  • Camera
  • Lunch
  • Water
  • Flashlight if staying past sunset

Enjoy!

Spring Flowers

The Spring always brings a huge variety of spring flowers adding joy to our walks around the neighbourhood.  With my recent purchase of an old film camera, I was anxious to shoot some flowers around the neighbourhood to see how they would come out. Here’s a photo, shot on Pentax Spotmatic SPII with 55mm 1.4:

Poppy Madness

I love the look of film and how it forces you to slow down and be deliberate about your shooting, so I will definitely shoot more of it. I found this quote and it sums up how shooting film makes you feel:

“It means you appreciate the details, the nuances, and subtleties of your craft. It says that in a manic world that designs everything to be faster, you’re not afraid to slow down, to focus, to plan, and to trust yourself when you press the shutter.”

An added bonus is with an adapter like this, I can use the old M42 screw mount lenses on my modern digital camera. Of course, the old lenses lack modern advances such as autofocus. But, my Sony NEX-7 has focus peaking so it is really easy to use the manual focus lenses. With this set up, I’ve been enjoying the old Cosina 55mm 1.4 lens on my digital camera. I paid very little for the old film camera including a couple lenses. But, if you’re familiar with the price of a f1.4 lens, then you will see why this is a good deal! Here’s some of the fun I had with this set up:

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Little Green Bug

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My Ride

Lavendar

Red Hot Poker Plant

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Until the next time, thank you for taking a look! Enjoy!

Tall Tree Adventure

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Yes, we are THAT family! What do I mean? Well, the other day I was spending time with a close friend and she was explaining how her husband will spend a full day trying to search down a big tree in a forest, even after the fun factor has waned for the rest of the family. A big tree, she lamented! I laughed and said “I totally get it!” I was, of course, taking the side of her husband for we are THAT family.

I’m blessed with a husband who is crazy kind enough to agree to my crazy ideas. You see, when I see something cool on the internet, I want to go see it for myself. So, that starts the planning process if it is feasible, not dangerous, and is something we can do as a family, including our four year old. Those are the parameters. So, when I suggested we go find the tallest Douglas Fir Tree in the world, and we happened to be in the area, my husband again said, “why not!”

So we set off, but I’m not sure what I was thinking. It was my husband that read the disclaimer about the road which reads:

“**Please take note regarding driving to the Red Creek Fir: The
gravel logging roads from Len’s Main are rarely maintained or
not maintained at all. Use at your own risk. It is recommended that
you have enough gas, a spare tire which is in good condition (and that
you know how to change a flat tire). It is always wise when travelling
in the backcountry to let someone know where you intend to go and
when you will be back. In the event you have car trouble, stay with
your vehicle. It is best to visit the Red Creek Fir in the morning as the
road is rarely travelled after dark. Those driving rental cars should be
aware of rental contracts regarding travel on logging roads. This route
is not recommended for vehicles with low clearance (compacts, sub
compacts, sports cars etc.) SUVs, Pickups and 4x4s are best!!”

For anyone who just has to see it for themselves, here’s some directions.

So, it’s REALLY not suitable for cars! Take my word for it, you really are better off in a truck or SUV. It is bumpy, rocky and clearly not passed very often, as there were branches down along the way that needed to be cleared. My husband didn’t complain even though he had to clear the roadway from fallen branches. So, if you are going to go, bring some gloves or a chainsaw or something to clear the road. My husband had his gardening gloves but it was getting ridiculous after a while, and I even questioned whether it was a good idea! But, we pressed on, and my husband got a good workout.

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Trailhead
Trailhead

So was it worth it? Well, you can judge it for yourself, but this tree is huge! We remarked how it is a marvel that it was even spared from being logged! In addition to this awesome old growth Douglas Fir, there are giant cedars that are awe inspiring! Along the road way there’s a really cool creek which cascades straight down. Truly impressive! A fun adventure for the whole family and another wonder of creation!

Red Creek Fir

Red Creek Fir

Big Tree

Photo credit: Malia Cole
Photo credit: Malia Cole
Photo Credit: Malia Cole
Photo Credit: Malia Cole

Giant Cedar

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Creek

West Coast Vancouver Island

I still haven’t had much time to dig into my shots from Port Renfrew and area on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Life is like that some time. It’s the balance of responsibilities of life.

In the meantime, here’s a couple shots. The first one is Fairy Lake Bonsai presented in landscape orientation:

Fairy Lake Bonsai

The second shot is from Sandcut Beach which is just past Sooke, BC between French Beach and Jordan River. It’s a place that I’ve wanted to go to for a while having heard how awesome it is from friends and also fellow photographers. So, on a lovely spring morning we set off to explore. It’s about a 15 minute from the trailhead to the beach through forest. Once you hit the beach, the falls I’m showing here are to the left about 10 minutes down the beach. I could stay at this spot all day and I’ll definitely return to Sandcut Beach!

Sandcut Beach

Fine art prints available at my WEBSITE.

San Josef Bay Teaser

I travelled with my family in our own backyard so to speak. We took three weeks to get to know Vancouver Island and I’m now taking the time to blog about this wonderful Island we have the privilege to live on. I’m working on a blog post covering Port Hardy and San Josef Bay in Cape Scott Provincial Park but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peak of one of the prettiest beaches on Vancouver Island!

San Josef Bay