Day 6/21

Shifting Time and GPS Magic

I wake up at 05:00, which goes easy this morning. I have a weird feeling, because it seems so light outside already. Soon, I discover that I am still in British Columbia where it is one hour later. So, the sun is already half an hour above the horizon. It is not that bad in the end, because I do not have a specific sunrise location in mind. Funny thing by the way is that if you pass the border from Alberta between British Columbia, a road sign indicates you to change time. Almost exactly on that same moment, the GPS decides the same.

A Cold Rain Forest

I drive from Mount Revelstoke National Park through Glacier National Park (Canada) to Yoho National Park. I visit a cold rain forest in Mount Revelstoke National Park. This is a special case as cold rain forests are usually more coastal like the one in Olympic National Park in Washington, United States. This particular forest is the most far inland cold rain forest in the world. This is possible due to the mountainous terrain west of the forest, which causes lots of rain to be dropped here.

At first I am a bit reluctant and careful to go into the forest because it is very early in the day and I am the only one around here. One never knows with all those bears here. There is a wooden path through the forest to protext the soil and plants living there. After a little while I feel already more comfortable and I do not expect bears to be here in these wet surroundings. I might be wrong about this, but I am not afraid at the moment. It is a quite open forest with beautiful lush green ferns, mosses and other vegetation.

Here is an overview of the forest.

HDR impression of a cold rain forest, early morning in spring, Mt Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Canada.

Taking vertical photographs is one of the most easy ways of variation.

HDR impression of a cold rain forest, early morning in spring, Mt Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Canada.

Suddenly I hear a low but soft buzzing in front of me and I spot…a cute little hummingbird. A very small bird of only 5 centimeters long. Wonderful to see. A little later another one flies overhead. It sounds much like the low buzzing of a bumblebee, only slightly heavier. Soon I enter shooting mode and start making ferny compositions.

This is one of the fern leafs with another type beneath it.

HDR impression of a cold rain forest, early morning in spring, Mt Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Canada.

There are several types of ferns here, these particular ones are medium sized and growing through each other.

HDR impression of a cold rain forest, early morning in spring, Mt Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Canada.

I really like this particular composition because of the dynamic lines and fern leaf patterns.

HDR impression of a cold rain forest, early morning in spring, Mt Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Canada.

A closeup of one of the flowers.

HDR impression of a cold rain forest, early morning in spring, Mt Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Canada.

At some spots there are old fallen logs covered with mosses and rotting away.

HDR impression of a cold rain forest, early morning in spring, Mt Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Canada.

After a while as I am busy photographing some dwarf ferns, a squirrel hops into the scene, looks a bit funny into the lens and continues. This gives quite a good feeling. It is so quiet and peaceful here. The fact that the squirrel is not afraid of me and comes so close is a priceless experience. It requires a second take to complete the photograph I have in mind. This photograph represents the lush green colour in this forest best.

HDR impression of a cold rain forest, early morning in spring, Mt Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Canada.

Wildflowers at Emerald Lake

After a while I leave the forest and continue to Emerald Lake. Overthere I undertake a hike of about 6 kilometers around the lake and photograph some small flowers.

HDR impression of little wild flowers, Yoho National Park, Canada.

Grizzly Dandelion Party

On the way back I suddenly spot my first ever Grizzly bear in the grass abeam a large parking place. He seems completely at ease and is eating dandelions. This particular photograph clearly shows the big hump between the shoulders that clearly distinguishes a Grizzly from a Black Bear.

Grizzly eating Dandelions, Yoho National Park, Canada.

He is very easy to photograph from a distance of some 15 meters I think but I do stay in the car for safety reasons. The bear is now clearly aware of the people that are starting to gather here.

Grizzly eating Dandelions, Yoho National Park, Canada.

Shamelesly he turns his butt to us and starts crapping (-; I only laugh and do not take a photograph of that spectacle. After a while the bear gets a little tired of all that eating and lies down to continue his Dandelion meal.

Grizzly eating Dandelions, Yoho National Park, Canada.

A little later he is chased away by a honking bus.

Grizzly eating Dandelions, Yoho National Park, Canada.

Bears that feel comfortable close to humans will become dangerous in the end. Last year, a bear was caught 3 times in a row and released somewhere else. The last time even 200 kilometers away. Within one week the bear was back. I really do not understand how these animals can find there way back so easy. That particular bear walked into the local bakery a few days after and was shot. Sometimes bears are a bit more lucky and are brought to a zoo. Lately bears are transported sometimes much farther away (over 600 kilometers) to areas that are not inhabited by humans. In these cases bears usually do not return.

Lake Louise

After the bear has been chased away I continue the road to Lake Louise. Hotel prices are a lot higher now than a few days ago. Apparently, everybody is preparing for the real summer season. 170 dollars per night is the minimum and because I do not feel for that I return to the place where I have seen the Grizzly. Very close to that place I have seen a hotel that is being rebuild. I find a room soon and it is only 59 dollars overhere. I drive back again to Bow Lake to check for the Grizzlies overthere. Again, no bears to be seen here. I drive to a hotel and ask about them. A mother bear with cubs is wandering in this area and they are usually in sight around 08:00 in the morning.

Takakkaw Falls

I return to Yoho National Park and visit a very distinctive waterfall with the name Takakkaw Falls. At the time, the sun is setting already, flooding the falls with warm orange light.

Takakkaw Falls, Yoho National Park, Canada.

A closer look, clearly reveals that the water in the middle of the falls is launched off a rock edge. Slowing the water a bit results in soft silky textures.

Takakkaw Falls, Yoho National Park, Canada.

And finally some nice patterns of water and rock around the bottom of the falls.

Takakkaw Falls, Yoho National Park, Canada.

On the walk back I spot a cute little animal that poses for the camera for a little while. A great opportunity for taking a great photograph.

Cute animal in the Takakkaw Falls area, Yoho National Park, Canada.

A little further is a nice warm colored bench I can not resist to photograph.

Bench in the Takakkaw Falls area, Yoho National Park, Canada.

Scottish Marriage

I quickly return to Lake Emerald to photograph the sunset and soon spot a few little deers that are very afraid and impossible to photograph. They screem and run away, signalling with there white behinds. Arriving at the lake I discover that I have made a mistake. Lake Emerald is in shade because of the higher mountains surrounding it. A party is going on at the lake where a Scottish couple have just been married. I manage to make a nice photograph of them from 60 meters away with a telelens.

HDR impression of a Scottish marriage at the shores of Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park, Canada.

There I speak to a guy from Taiwan who moved with his parents to Nova Scotia on the east coast. He is working as a cook in the hotel all summer and tells me he has seen a large male moose early this morning, behind the hotel. I finish this visit to Emerald Lake with a photograph of the boat house…

HDR impression of a boat house at the shores of Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park, Canada.

…and an overview of the shore line at the other side of the lake.

HDR impression of the shores of Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park, Canada.

Before the darkness falls in completely I drive back to a location at the Kicking Horse River where the water is running wildly over some large stones. I have spotted this place earlier in the day and memorized it for later use. It is almost dark now and quite spooky to photograph here. Exposures are long but I like the resulting photographs. Some of them have spectacular coloring. These stones are approximately 4 meters in width.

HDR impression of stones in the Kicking Horse River, Yoho National Park, Canada.

In the end it has been a productive day with a lot of variation.

Maps, Charts & Downloads

GPS Map with color coded altitude information

Color coded distance/altitude chart

Color coded distance/altitude chart, Canada Spring 2010, Day 6

Download the original gpx file here.

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