Sunset Photos: And the Rest of the Best from Yesterday

And here they are, the rest of the “Rest of the Best” photos form yesterday’s photos from my drive out to Abbotsford last night. Most of these were taken earlier on in the day, so they really do not count as sunset photos, but they are good nonetheless. I did a lot of lens switching in these photos, so you will see some wide angle shots along with some telephoto shots with my 200mm.

I like to start off with a shot that I thought was interesting becuase the railway tracks sit on top of a berm. This acts as a Levey for the Fraser River, and it keeps the trains out of the water during flood season. By the way, it flood season, as the river is still very high!

Next is a shot of the mountains North of Glenn Valley, on the other side of the Fraser River. I think that is close towards Mission, BC? I call it, “Mountains in the Haze.”

Keeping with the mountain theme: Mount Baker, in the U.S.A., from Abbotsford. I really like this contrast with the 200mm lens that I have.

And another shot of the mountains, looking towards Mission, BC. I took this with the kit lens, an 18 to 55mm (SonyA33), and I sort of left out the mid-ground. Just grass and mountains here–no in between.

And a nice wide angle shot (using the kit lens from my SonyA33) of the same road I post yesterday, and the mountains in the second shot in this post.I call this one, “The Road that Meets the Mountains.”

There, that is all of them that were worth posting, and notice how I gave up on writing about how bad the mosquitoes were that day?

Thanks for watching, and please leave a comment of what you think below. Have a great night!


Walking in the Rain

I made the mistake of going on a road trip with a couple of buddies, who wanted to do some hiking and sightseeing over in Chilliwack today. Oh, the road trip was awesome, although it was raining during part of the trip, but the hiking part, well, sucked. I did so many things wrong, and I should have being more prepared.

Walking through the brush along the Fraser River can be fun, or brutal, if you have the right gear for the right environment. It was raining where we were, so the soil was saturated and the leaves got you wet where the rain did not. It was cool, around 14C to 15C, and yet you still sweat when you moved fast. The worst enemy we all encountered were the billions of blood sucking mosquitoes that relentlessly latch on us everywhere we went. We were so unprepared this, especially me.

I was the first in the group to call it. The others were mocking my decision to head back to our vehicles, but I ignored them. They gave me some “unmanly” remarks, but I turned around and started walking back. Soon after, the entire group was following me. I smiled at them and kept on going.

We were covered in bites from the blood sucking insects from Hell. The two ladies that came along with their partners were complaining about being very cold, and all of us had mud in up over our shoes.  Going from warm and muggy while starting out from the road, to cool and wet hiking through the forest, then warm again once we got to the river, spelled potential disaster for us. Hypothermia seemed to have hit me the first—so I thought. All I had on at the time were shorts and a t-shirt. Then after talking to the group once were back on the road, we were all feeling it around the same time.

Getting home, I cleaned myself up then went for a nice long “warm” bath. I had so much mud on my body, and clothes, I thought I would have to go to the Laundromat to wash my clothes there, and soak in the tub for an hour.

Perhaps there is a point when you can say that you can never be prepared enough. Bug repellent, extra clothing, proper footwear and a good guide should have been all thought out before hand. Lesson learned!

A Good Sunset to Sit and Watch

Now that the mosquitoes have come out to wreck the summer fun, I risked it to shoot the setting Sun this evening, even getting a blood-sucking mosquito flying right up my nose while holding the camera up to my face. Sitting outside now means risking getting eaten alive by this little parasites. So uncomfortable, and itchy too. But the sunset was really nice to look at, from my window. I had to go outside to shoot it though.

We may have some lighting tonight in the Fraser valley, and I want to shoot it. Lighting shots would be my next adventure in photography, as I have done a lot of reading on the topic, and prepared for it.

I will stay inside and watch the sunset from my window, as the mosquitoes try and attack me from the outside–they seem to be able to see me through the glass.

Telling a Story With Photographs: Adventures of Thomasso.

I was reading a photography magazine a couple of days ago, and I came upon an article that gave out a few suggestions for telling a story through photographs. So below in this post, I am going to tell a fictional story about my Twitter avatar’s adventures today. I had been thinking about this for most of the day. I did have a plan before I went outside and started shooting my pencil scenes, at the various locations. OK, without further ado, here is the story of Thomasso, July 10 2012.

I spent most of the afternoon sitting outside under the maple tree catching some sunshine, and resting, after a troubling, harsh, cumbersome morning of office work. It is tough sitting in a cubicle all morning long filing papers when you can see all the people outside enjoying the heatwave. So when I got home I crashed on my lawn chair, Root-Beer in one hand and chocolate ice cream in the other. It was heaven.

Soon after my friend came over and asked me to join him with a couple a girls to go on a road trip down the valley. I thought, sure why not, I am single-footloose and fancy free, why not! The girls never came after we got to area we wanted to explore. I got tired of waiting for my friend who was waiting for the girls, so I headed off on my own. I am like that; hate waiting for people who are slow.

I decided that I was going roll in the clover anyway. No girls, no best friend, I said forget it, I am going to have fun by myself anyway. I should stop here and say to you dear reader that rolling in the clover gives me hives. I did not know that until after I started rolling in them. It was painful.

I was near the train station, so I thought that I would see if the train was running.

Like I said before, I hate waiting–so I took waiting for a train to a whole new level. The train never came, so I gave up and started walking to a field that looked interesting.

I came across a field of daises. It was so beautiful that I just had to run through them. I was covered in hives anyway, so why not hit the daises, how worse could I get?

I found out that the daises did not give me hives. This was good news because I started to worry that my skin was starting itch beyond anything I had ever have experienced before. I may need medical attention as my hair started to fall out at that point. It was then that I figured that I needed to go to higher ground. There was huge rock pile near by, so off I went to climb it.

I conquered the rocks! I climbed right to the very top. It only took me an hour to do it too. I was so proud of myself. I did get some minor injuries from the sharp rocks while climbing them. I did not have good boots for climbing, so I might have hurt my toe something good. Climbing down was a bit of a struggle too as I slipped a few times on my butt.

Once I got to the bottom of the rock pile, I started walking to where my car was parked. This is the worst part of my story because when I got to my car, it would not start. I was not a happy camper. This meant that my only option was to hitchhike back home.

So there I was, waiting for someone to pick me up, thumbing for a ride. No one would stop! Not one driver would stop to pick me up. I ended up walking the whole distance home.

Now, first thing tomorrow I have to get a tow truck to get my car, then fined a mechanic to fix whatever is wrong with it, and get to work so I can finish my filing in my cubicle while it is hot and sunny out.


A Walk in the Sweltreing Heat–Told in Photos

It is July and the heat has hit Fort Langley, going on three straight days of glorious hot summer weather. I took a walk this afternoon in this sweltering heat, and dragged my camera along for the walk. OK, it is not that hot out, but compared to the year so far, this weather is incredible. And yes I have had the air conditioning on becuase for six hours during the day at high-noon, my place gets hit with direct sunlight, and without the cool air flowing in it might as well be an oven.

Onward, the walk around town.

Above photo is what I call the Pom-pom flower, located by the Fort Langley Community Hall. I took a shot of this same flower last month when these were full of purple little flowers creating a sphere. They look really “Martian” like.

Next, below, is a neat shot of a newer building located in Fort Langley. It is what I consider “the” typical type of architecture in the town. I am going to make you guess where this is. What do you think, typical Fort Langley architecture?

Next, off to the Post Office. The next two shots are from the lot right beside the Post Office here in town. The an apple tree, bearing green apples, and the next shot below it are little white flowers on a large bush. I love macro photography!

Next shot is the Fraser River. Shot from Fort Langley, looking towards at Brae Island. The river has dropped a lot since it peaked during the flooding just a couple of weeks ago now, but it is still high.

Lastly, my favourite shot of the day, one that I like to call “A Rose in Fort Langley.” This is a rose bush by the railway station museum, at the corner of Glover Road and Mavis.

Have a great day!


To End the Day Off With a Walk In the Sunset

Finally I had some time to myself. Work is draining me right out with the summer rush, and the demands of operating with a downsized crew. Right now, the only positive in my day is the almost perfect skies, with total sunshine. I think I got a little bit of a suntan going?

Tonight I coaxed up energy to take a walk along the tracks just outside of town. The Sun was setting, and the light was great for some flower photography. Here are some of the photos of flowers I shot during the walk.

I was in need of a walk today. I had to get out of the house before I went crazy.

Oh Deer

My neighbour called me up while I was just getting in the door to tell me that a deer was roaming around my back yard. She urged me to take photos of it. I grabbed my camera, opened the door, and there looking at me was this young deer over by the fence.

I guess the grass is greener on this side of Fort Langley!

I Think of It as, Liquid Sunshine

I really, really, really wanted to go a whole month without posting about how bad our weather is for this year. I broke down. Today I am going to type a little diatribe about today, and the rain that has fallen so far. And of course, I have a photo to prove my point.

I had plans for this morning. A morning hike along the river, and then drop off some borrowed items to a friend who owns a shop here in town; I had several books, CDs and a patch-cord I borrowed from him a week ago that I promised I would return to him today. I was going to return all of my friend’s items on foot. When I awoke this morning, I was feeling a little sore from the work week. I did a lot moving, physical type work, so my body was telling me to slow down and take it easy. When I heard the rain hitting my roof, well, that was the sign to lay right back to bed and contemplate an alternative plan for today’s “to-do” list.

It seemed the more I waited, the worse the rain came down.

When I got up and made some coffee, I turned on my computer and click on Twitter. I friend of mine was complaining about how hot it was in Toronto. I laughed to myself, “if only they could have some of Vancouver’s weather right now.”

The funniest tweet I wrote was, “So comparing the two cities: Vancouver, raining and 16C. Toronto, scorching 33C, need suntan lotion SPF1500 and 1 beer per every 10 min.” That Tweet got retweeted about five times so far.

So, I think I can speak for everyone here along the West Coast that we need at least one good day of summer for this long weekend! Happy Canada day!

River Talk: Still High Water Along the Trails

It was the best combination of factors that allowed me to get out and shoot a few photos of the Fraser River today. I got out of work a little early, the Sun was shinning and there was hardly anyone in the parks when I got there. The river is still high, although not as high as it was from just few days ago, but the river is down only by about 20cm. Some forecasters are saying that there could be another rise near the beginning of the next week, but it is highly unlikely that water will reach the levels seen this last week. So, there is more high water to come–we are not out of it yet.

I went into Marina Park, on the Fort Langley side of the Fraser River, to see how high the water was over at the boat launch–it is high–almost reaching the level of the parking lot. They had part of the Fort to Fort Trail closed off becuase it is under water.

Nothing scares me more, by the river, than seeing homes and back yards flooded.

Above is a shot taken from the bridge (Glover Road) looking at the Kwantlen First Nation Reserve (McMillan Island) as their soccer field is flooded in some parts. To think that today, the water is 20cm less than it was just a few days ago.

My water level indicator that I like to use and compare with from when the last flood took place back in 2007. In this shot you can just see the top metal bar of the storm drainage outlet under the surface of the water. I estimate that the water is about 2cm above that metal bar.

Another IGA Update From Fort Langley BC

As the old saying goes, “steady does it,” but for most of us, we are getting impatient waiting for the IGA Marketplace store to open here in Fort Langley. Well over a year since the old store burnt down, waiting for the new building to be completed has been a slow, almost like watching grass grow, when other buildings on the other side of the tracks are being erected in a fervor-pitch. Nonetheless, we watch with earnest as each window is put in place, doors slowly appear, and walls get painted.

Last weekend the IGA was in the media when the owners of the building created a time capsule to be buried under the entrance of the building with the rule that the metal box would not be opened again until that building is demolished, hopefully well into the future. A wonderful idea having a time capsule in which people of the town can contribute to. Please read the Langley Times, June 20th, 2012 article called: Capsule offers a peek into 2012 Langley.

Already the race for time has started ticking on the IGA building as Fort Langley continuous grows, and the changing “sands of time” seep in, called gentrification. Fort Langley continues to grow, and grow and grow, as many want to live here in the village environment. Noting that money talks, and politics walks, the question that I am hearing is, how many other big business are ready to move in that could possibly squeeze out the legacy business that are already here in Fort Langley?

So, waiting patiently to have a local grocery store once again, hopefully by this fall. I just hope I am still living here to buy from the IGA as the property that I live on now has now been sold to make way for fifty-five new homes in Fort Langley.  Gentrification is an evil that I live with now, but ethically I support it. How sick is that?