Night Time Photography In Terrace BC

It is very dark, well, dark enough that you need to wait a long while for your eyes to adjust to the dark to safely walking around with you camera and get set up for any shooting. We picked three location around town, there was a possible fourth, but it started to sprinkle as the clouds rolled in from the West, so I called it–and we headed back home. For about two hours of driving and waiting, I managed to get about fifteen photos, and five or six of them turned out great. Not a bad night’s worth of night time photography, if I say so.

These first two shots were taken from the Arena, looking East from the parking lot on top of the hill. The street going from left to right is Kalum Street, and the road on the right is  Davis Avenue with the Terrace Library to the left. It was about 11:00 when I took these. I was using my 30mm lens with an exposure of 20 seconds.

Just panning to the left from the top image, the Terrace Library is on the left, with Kalum Street going left to right at the bottom. That is Mount Remo in the distance. There were some cars travelling on the roads, so in this shot you see headlights streaks bottom left. The car lights add that extra neat effect.

This shot (above) is just before you leave Terrace, going West on the Prince Rupert Highway (#16), though I am looking East at Terrace in this shot. The lights on the left are from Kitsumkalum Tempo Gas Station along the highway. That is the Skeena River in the foreground, and the lights the middle of the image are from on top of Thornhill mountain, just above the glow of Terrace behind the trees. This shot was a 30 second exposure, ISO 100, F2.8, on a 30mm lens.

Time for bed. Looks like our run of awesome weather will end for the next couple of days. They say (weather station) that the clouds will be with us for the next four days, then we should be back to nice sunny days once again after that. I can say that it was a warm night out, about 18C when I got home. I love it when we have nice weather mixed with a long weekend.  

Friday Evening at the Lake: Sunset Included.

Not that I am complaining about the hot dry weather, but it is warm out, and I am getting a tan. With all this goodness, I do not want to be stuck at work, while all of this awesome weather is going on outside, knowing that soon, very soon, the rainy season will be upon us here in on the North Coast. It has been a great last couple of weeks, even knowing that it is still in the middle of May, and we have summer to reach yet. Oh yes, it is Friday, and we are at the start of a long weekend, Victoria Day, or May Day, depending on where you are. So some extra intensive to wanting to get out of work even faster to start the weekend. Spending time with Suz., was the highlight of the evening’s events. Unexpectedly, we went to the beach out at Lakelse Lake, just South of Terrace.

We went to Furlong Beach, now that the camp grounds and park area are open again after the long winter season. It was loaded with people, mainly young high school kids off on vacation, enjoying the super warm weather too. But for the nice weather, and wide open park, I kind of expected more people. The beach had many who were Sun Worshippers, basking out on the sand, then there were some who just walking around, and there were a few swimmers too, though I think the water is still to cold yet. The Sun was awesome, even Suz., sat quietly under its rays, collecting the energy from it. And of course, I could not resist the photo opportunity, while the Golden Hour of the day passed by, with my cameras.

As the Earth turned away from the Sun, leaving us in the dark once again, the people started moving out of the Beach area and back to the their camping areas for the evening. We stayed around for a short while, as the sky darkened. The air was still warm, and as a bonus, the mosquitoes were not out in full force biting yet. One last walk along the beach was in order.

With all the young adults, there was a police presence. Though we saw nothing out of the ordinary, it was nice to see them patrolling the area, keeping the law and order. I remember, as a younger person, this was the time of year to “let loose and be crazy” after being stuck inside all of the time during the winter months. I can imagine that has not changed for this generation, the Millennials.

The photos were taken at Lakelse Lake just at Sunset. I was using a 30mm MACRO Lens, set at f2.8, ISO100 with my Sony A77.

Tree Pollen Makes for Dirty Car

I am starting to get worried with all this nice hot weather that we might be heading into a drought like season. For nearly ten days now, the weather has been nothing short of awesome. But with nice things comes bad stuff, like huge amounts of tree pollen. The pollen is so thick that when the wind blows, I keep thinking that it is dust coming from off the roads–it is not, it is from the trees. My poor car is just coated with it. It is like a yellow dusty film on top of my black car.

I was thinking about washing it at the car wash, but then figured that by this long weekend, we should see some rain, or at least a little sprinkle or two. But asking for a free wash by Mother Nature, may not be my best option, like holding my breath for a good wash, it may never turn out with climate change and all. The “do it yourself” option is out becuase I do not have a hose outlet at my compartment, so washing it at home will not happen. The Touchless Car Wash in town costs fourteen dollars for the basic wash, but I am cheap, so waiting for Mother Nature is more my style. LOL

The car needs a wash. Hear is hoping that rain starts soon. They say this Saturday it should start.

Mother’s Day of Moments

What makes this Mother’s Day stand out from the last fifteen years worth of Mother’s Days, is that I had “Mom” here with me, and as an extra bonus, two of my sisters were with us too, plus Suz., who seemed to enjoy the whole time. The setting was here in Terrace, BC, where my Mom and sisters drove from Prince Rupert, and spent most of the day here, with a huge family dinner at Suz.’s, family in Thornhill, BC, to end the day off. It was an action packed day, and I bet most everyone slept well after all the actives we did. 

It was my baby sister’s turn to drive out from Prince Rupert over to Terrace and Thornhill, where I live. They got into town around noon-ish, where the first order of business was all them wanting to see my “compartment,” or humble abode, which has barely any room. They saw the “compartment,” but they had to stand because I only have one chair that is free to sit on, and two others that have stuff on them. It was standing room only for them, but they seemed not to mind. My place is small, especially with four women standing in it, but they said it was cute until I told them what the rent is, then the cuteness feelings drifted off. Of course, Mom wanted to see my rock/crystal collection, and all my unpacked boxes sitting my bedroom. Oh, and of course, they wanted to taste the beautiful Thornhill water. 

The next stop was a walk around Ferry Island, where Mom wanted to see the tree carvings along the South Trail. With a super sunny day, we had little breezes to cool us down. My sister and her daughter, who came from Prince Rupert, had troubles with the heat, so we kept the pace slow with lots of stops along the way. Whenever we got close to the river, they were relieved as the difference with the cool breeze was about 10C cooler. They were not used to the inland heat we get here in Terrace. The Skeena River was high, from the spring run off, but not enough to reach over it banks. Only some parts of the trail system were not accessible due to high water, but this is normal this time of year. It was very funny as we passed each tree with a carving on it, we had to stop while the phone cameras came out, and each one took their turn taking their shots. I brought my camera too, but I was taking photos of them taking photos of the trees–it was funny. 

The next big event was the dinner over at Suz’s parents place, where we were treated with an awesome dinner of cool delights. From jello, and pasta salads with ham and vegetable dishes, the dinner was a big hit. The highlight was seeing my Mom meeting Suz’s Mom, and they seem to have hit it off. Mom used to live in Terrace way back in the ’70s and ’80s, so both seem to have claimed to remember each other then, but it was hard to tell with nearly thirty years of time under the bridge between them since then. Nonetheless we talked, shared stories and reminisce about the past. As the evening grew late, it was time for them to make the trek back to Prince Rupert on the highway. My baby sister was the one driving, (her SUV) so night-time driving is not in her comfort zone, so they left before the Sun moved below the horizon. The trek home for them is an Hour and a half drive, so getting there before dark was a priority.

In all, an awesome day! Lots of photos, lots of memories to go with them, and of course I think we will all have a good-night’s sleep. We did a lot, physically, from walking to eating, the day was full of activities. But most of all, it was day for our Mother’s, and I do believe they had a day of awesomeness surrounded with family, and with a Sun filled spring day that felt like a mid summer one. 

The Final Goodbye to Our Father

It was an awesome day in in the North Coast, by any standard, with few clouds, letting the Sun in; you could not ask for a better spring day. Today was about six months in the planning with organizing, and preparation, and as all that hard work came together as we arrived in Prince Rupert, BC just after high noon today, the moment finally came. For the first time in nearly fifteen years, my mother and (almost all of) my sisters, met under one roof. Like planets in rare alignment, it truly was a unique and special day. Though there was a purpose to all of this, to see the family again was awesome. Today it was a time to let go, and realise the ashes of our father back to Nature, and with it, one last goodbye.

Although he never decreed what is wishes were for his ashes, we as a family took the initiative and choose to place them where his favourite places on the Earth were. Half went to his home town in Ontario, and the other half stayed in British Columbia, his final home for three quarters of his life. My second youngest sister held on to his ashes for nearly fifteen years since his passing, waiting for the opportunity for us all to gather as a family, before taking them to their final resting place.

We choose the harbour becuase that is where he spent his past time, on the water in his sail boat, and among his friends there who also loved the water. The ocean was special to him, and his sailing was his lifeblood, and together this was his freedom. We even found out that his very own sail boat was still in the harbour, moored just five minutes away from where he kept it during his ownership. Truly amazing considering that was nearly thirty years ago when he owned it.

We each took a turn to pour his ashes into the ocean water, until the there were none left. It was Mother who did the last goodbye. Then, when all was done, we feasted as a family in celebration with food and drink, then told the stories with laughter, and when all was said and done, we left for our homes in the sunset’s light saying goodbye to the day, getting ready for next.

My compliments to Suzette for taking this photo.

No Test Alert for Me

To be honest, I kind of figured the Network Test Alert would not work on my work’s Smart Phone, nor the Internet Radio I listen to. While some phones sprang to life at exactly 1:55pm this afternoon, many did not at my work. Some said even the local FM Radio gave off the alert sound–I do not listen to off-air radio. However, I did hear it on other phones around me, but thought what if I am all alone, and the impending alert was broadcast, then what–follow the crowds, if I see them running all in one direction?

Strangely, and even more worrisome, some Smart Phone users around me had their phones go off some fifteen minutes later, and one co-worker said that he got the Alert’s text message, but no alarm sound. So the alarm was not constant throughout the local population. I see now that it is based on what type of phone you have, and whether your software can handle the carrior’s Apps for the alert.

Just add to this, my work’s phone is on the Telus Network, and so was everyone around me at my work. One would assume that we would all get the alert at the same time. This alert system appears to be ridden with bugs and very glitchy over different types of phone.

The test alert was scheduled for all of British Columbia, today, at 1:55pm. I knew about the test for today long in advance, some weeks ago. I even placed my Smart Phone on my desk, and cranked the volume up, just to make sure I would hear it. Other were near by too, so I heard their phones going off, but mine lay in silence.

What is humbling, is in the event of a real British Columbia wide Alert, or something local, I would not know it, if I was alone. Say, for instance, I was out hiking, or in some place remote, I would never know. So this made me think what else I could do, or change, that would include me in with those who would be notified? Right now, not much. Even the App’s software I installed, did not work. So I believe that our Governments still have some wrinkles to iron out, and bugs to squish, on this matter.

Getting Warmer!

I just had to type this and tell the world. It is breezy now that I have the windows opened to let in the air. In fact, this is the first time that it is warmer outside than it is inside after I got home from work. This has never happened before this year, and I hope to have more spring days like that ahead. Even when I went to work this morning, I took my camera to photograph the landscape around Terrace, BC, just becuase today, like the weekend, is almost like summer. This far North, and I am liking this!

This morning there were high clouds, but that did not deter the Sun from pouring over the mountains once my side of the Earth faced it. It got warm fast, as the sunlight blasted its way onto the parking lot, and I wanted to open the doors to let it in, but it was against company policy to do that, so I watch all from the window. The above image was taken around 6:30am this morning–nice eh?

This is what the temperature was when I got home. I have turned off the heat, and closed all the windows before I left for work, but it was still 20C inside. I laughed when I noticed that it was a raging 23C outside, and it felt cooler inside. I thought, “so this is the turning point here in Thornhill (sic British Columbia)… for great weather.” I hope to have more days like this. Reminds of the Lower Mainland, but with much prettier mountains.

The Glitter of My Small Crystal and Mineral Collection

While the spring season rages on outside, inside, my humble abode, is my small rock and crystal collection that sits atop my PC tower, just to my left. I stare at it daily, every time I read emails, search the web, or just play with my 3D software, there they are reflecting light in their strange iridescent way. With my small collection growing, either from buying them or collecting them from hikes, I realize that outside, in my backyard, are untapped places where new deposits are just waiting to be discovered. The trick is, I have to find them.

I realize now that the river is the last place to find good quality crystals, and it makes sense. Our river walks do yield the odd rocks that you cannot put down becuase of their unique qualities, but in general, finding nice crystals is fruitless on the riverbed–to date. However, way up on the mountain tops I have seen wonderful deposits of quarts, but I find my time is short on these day hikes to thoroughly check them out.

I do lots of reading and research. I have my places picked out that I want to hike to from doing some basic research, but I find most of my best information comes from the people I talk to. Reading the books seems fine and dandy, but everyone else reads them too, and I find those places are picked over good and are monitored by some level of private/government agency. But talking to some hikers, they walk off the beaten paths, and that is where the I want to go, becuase that is where the good stuff is. Yes, one day I will have a Skeena Valley quarts crystal, of some sort, worthy to sit in my collection.

The Gruchy Beach Hike

On whim and a wish, we headed out to Lakelse Lake for a walk no the beach. It was a nice spring evening, with the Sun now setting a lot later in the day, we figured that a good walk through the Lakelse Lake Park along the Gruchy Beach Trail would be in order. With a partly cloudy sky, and warm evening air, the hike did not disappoint. Between getting some good old exercise, and fresh air in our lungs, I got some awesome photos with my Sony A77 Camera that I dragged along. 

For the last couple of days now, I have been using just my 30mm Macro Lens. The main reason, it is a Macro lens, and a very good one at that. Normally I do not spend so much time with my prime lenses, but on day like this, I try and use it often. This lens, a Sony Alpha DT 2.8/30 MACRO SAM Lens is cheap, but it has a minimum focal distance of only 5mm, and for what I do with it, is one of my favourite lenses! So when I crank the F-Stop down to 30, the focal rang is phenomenal. In the above shot of Gruchy Beach, I was shooting at F22, at ISO 6400.

The Gruchy Beach trail is just under a kilometre long, and can be hiked in under ten to twenty minutes. It follows the Williams Creek that flows into the lake from the North end, from the Highway, and has a place to park your vehicle from just off the road.

When walking through forest, you are seeing some (a few trees) of the original Old Growth trees in the area that have not seen any type of logging. I just love this time of the year. Spring is so vibrant in the forest,  and seeing green after a long winter, well, it makes it all so worth while to be walking about under the tree canopy new budding leaves. Sigh.

The Air Plant’s New Home

I thought this worthy of its own post, since I am happy out how well it turned out. I bought a glass globe plant holder for my air plant. I shopped around in a few places, but found one at a very reasonable price, nice and cheap, so I am very happy with it. The amazing fact is that the air plant is still alive, and living quite well–I have not killed it. I guess I do have a green thumb!

I picked up the glass globe planter over the weekend, and searched for string to hang it with, which took all of Monday. My stash of string was buried in one of twenty boxed stored in my bedroom, so it took a couple of days before I hung it. Back on our trip at Prince George, BC, I saw these very same planters, but were in the twenty-five to thirty dollars cost, so I held off until later buying those. Well, that paid off when I went into a local store in Terrace, BC, and found one that was under half that price. I scooped it up, and took it home. It is well over the size for the plant, but I wanted as much room as I could find, you know, to make sure the was happy as could be.

I have had the air plant for about five months now. I was worried about having plants in my living room, which faces North, and not having enough light for growing in. I am glad to say, the air plant seems to be good with that. The plant is continually sprouting new leaves, and does not appear to be wilting away to its death. I would say, the plant is flourishing with vibrant life! I always wanted an air plant, thinking that these plants were just a myth, but now that I have one, I am impressed–it needs no soil or dirt–just air and water. My kind of plant.