(mostly) daily photoblog

Posts tagged “Environment

Photo Friday: My Environment


One of the many anomalies in Jakarta culture – a Catholic church in a Muslim country. This is what makes my environment so interesting.

It’s a Fern! Okay, maybe that’s not exclamation mark level excitement.

It is a fern, but there was hardly a need for an exclamation point.

There are few days as a high school teacher wherein I don’t see misused punctuation.  In this case, it was me.  Please forgive me.


Is it awe…or ahhh?

My son and I went for a hike Monday and we had a great little walk and talk.  I have to admit that I’m more out of shape than I’d like to be, but I am working on it.

My son, however, kept telling me how tired he was, but spent the entire hike swinging a stick at everything and taking three steps for every one of mine.  He exerted himself far more than I did and then came home to jump on the trampoline.  I came home and sat down on the couch.

The photo above is him checking out our local cedars.  They’re always beautiful and smell so great.  He was ooh-ing and ahh-ing over their height.

Happy Spring!

A new shoot on a very young birch tree.

Photo Friday: Floral

Good morning.

I hope your day is as great as this flower is pretty.


Good morning, from SFU

This is what it looks like when I arrived at SFU yesterday morning.  I have to arrive, to mark exams, between 7:30 and 7:45 in the morning, as we start marking at 8:00.  With the incredible weather we’re currently enjoying here in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, the sunrises are gorgeous.

Well, I guess you might have already guessed that.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Merry Christmas Eve (from the dock)

Winter sunsets are so convenient.  With the shorter days of winter, it’s much easier to get out and snap photos of sunsets than it is in the middle of summer.  As long as I’m willing to put up with colder days, I also get earlier sunsets.  I think that’s a good trade-off.

Strength and Fragility

The emblem of my country is the maple leaf.  It’s not very impressive if you compare it to the eagle of the USA or the lion of England.  If you know maple trees, though, you’ll know this is a paradoxical symbol that is a poetic way to look at Canada.

The leaf is fragile.  It is easily detached from the tree.  In Autumn, it dies.  In Spring, it grows all over again.  It is beautiful.

The maple tree, however, is not fragile.  It is a hard wood.  It burns slowly and hotly.  It grows all over the world and lives a very long time.

If you extend these meanings to Canada, I guess you could say that we Canadians are fragile and beautiful but what holds us together makes us strong and enduring.  Not too bad, as far as national symbols go.

British Columbia Cedar: get ready for scrolling

Sorry for the big scroll-down.  It’s hard to put in a photo of a cedar like the ones that grow around here without showing it in all its height and beauty.  I hope you like it.

The family that flocks together

The WordPress Photo Challenge for this Friday is “Family“.  Honestly, I haven’t got a clue if geese hang out in families or if it’s more of a “birds of a feather…” kind of thing.

Either way, my drive home today was quite nice.  I took the side roads and managed to get some shots of Mt. Baker and the big, puddly remains of two days of heavy rain.  I love reflections and the geese didn’t want to move so…here’s your photo for the day.

Panoramagnifabulousity! (WordPress Photo Challenge)

The saying goes:  “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Sometimes a picture is worth one word, made up of four other words.  Wouldn’t you agree?

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is “Wonder” and I figured that, by slapping together three photos, I could recreate the “wonder” I felt while hanging around Cultus Lake yesterday.


Sky on Fire

I figure that, when taking photos, luck and observation take equal parts.

Observation takes some practice.  As a photographer, I’m learning to notice things that most people don’t.  Whether it’s the aperture and shutter speed on my camera, or the detail in a car’s grill, I’ve been trying to take close notice of everything that gets overlooked in everyday life.

Luck, however, is often the difference between finding and not finding a subject.  Tonight, as I was helping my daughter finish carving a pumpkin, I noticed that the houses behind ours had an odd glow.  I ran into the front room and pulled the blinds up to find the sunset was lighting the clouds on fire.  It was incredible.  Ten minutes later, it was gone.  If I hadn’t looked up at the time I did, I would have missed it.  Lucky me.

Photography:  50% observation, 50% luck.

Photo Friday’s gone wide angle

This is pretty.  Really pretty.  They (whoever “they” are) say that smog causes pretty sunsets.  Is it politically, morally, ethically, environmentally, logically incorrect to say that at least smog has one aesthetic upside?  Seriously, let’s clean up the earth, but keep the pretty sunsets.

WordPress Photo Challenge: Fall

It might be Fall on the calendar, but today it went up to 23 degrees here in the Lower Fraser Valley of BC.  With the humidity, which is ridiculous right now, it feels like 29 degrees.  That’s about 88 degrees for my American friends.  Honestly, I could go for some of the cool crispness that normally accompanies Fall around here.  I felt that for this week’s Photo Challenge a close-up of a decaying Maple leaf would serve to fit the topic:  Fall.

Now, if only the weather would cooperate.

Pinky: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This little beauty was sitting outside the local library, just waiting for me and my camera.  I like flowers.  I know that I’m a guy and that I’m supposed to buy flowers for my wife and not for myself.  I’m supposed to be watching my wife grow the flowers in the garden, not be worried about how pretty everything looks.

But I’m a lover of flowers.  Secretly, I love buying flowers for my wife because then I get to enjoy them as well.

I guess that’s not much of a secret anymore.



Oregon Coast: a love story

I just got back from spending five days on the Oregon Coast.  It is the second summer the Family B has visited the Oregon Coast and we’ve fallen in love with it.  It is easily the most beautiful, natural area I’ve ever vacationed.  The triptych above (just for you, Karina – triptych) shows you the area where we camped.  The town of Manzanita is at the foot of Mount Neahkahnie (seen in the bottom right) and the beach extends out from the cliff-sides down to a spit of land that ends where the Nehalem River meets the ocean.  Our campsite was about halfway down the beach you can see in the photo on the left.

We stayed in a yurt (Year-round Universal Recreational Tent) that was a five minute walk from the beach.  The sand is soft and light and completely enveloped my foot as I walked in it.  The ocean gently lapped at the beach all day and night and lulled me to sleep.  There is virtually no light pollution, so I got to see all the stars I remembered from when I was a child. I nearly cried the first night I looked up and was met by billions of lights while being serenaded by the constant sound of waves crashing on the sand.

Playing with my kids on the beach and in the water tops the vacation cake.  There’s nothing in the world like this.

I love this place.

Oh, and I was so in love with this place that I had to post today, even though it was the second post of the day.  Whoo!

Haystack on the seashore: Photo Friday

Photo Friday’s challenge today is “Seashore“.

The family B went to the Oregon Coast last summer and we made the obligatory stop in Cannon Beach.  If you’ve ever gone to Cannon Beach, or seen the movie “Goonies“, you’ll recognize Haystack Rock.  It’s an incredible geological phenomenon.  It’s more incredible to stand in its shadow.  If you’ve never been to Cannon Beach, or anywhere on the Oregon Coast, go.  Go now!



The end of all must be nigh…

I feel as dead as the trees in the photo.  I’ve got dry eyes, sore muscles, tired brain and little will to go on.  Don’t get me wrong – this is not a public cry for help.  It’s just late in the year, the students are losing focus, the teachers more so, and I’m ready for a break.

Summer’s coming, but there’s three and a half weeks to go.  Hallelujah!

Trucks and Fishermen: it must be spring in the Valley

Spring in the Fraser Valley seems like it will never quite get here.  We have one day of 15 degree (Celsius) sunny weather followed by a series of 10 degrees and rainy days.  It seems as though Mother Nature has a crush on November and is unwilling to move on.

That said, the photo above was taken on an 18 degree and sunny day.  This shot is typical for the area in which I live:  two fishermen on shore, giving advice to the guy in the water (off to the left of this shot).  I don’t know what they caught, but they sure thought they knew more than the guy in the water.

It’s easy being green (when you’re a tree, or a fern).

We North Americans love our environmental causes.  That’s not to say that we’ve given up our gas-guzzling cars or our long commutes or our inefficient freezers, fridges and furnaces.  After walking through the forest at Cultus Lake this last weekend, I feel a renewed love for all things green.  I mean, look at this photo.  I did little to enhance the colors of this photo.  It is just that green up there.  Beautiful.

Douglas Fir

Here’s another shot of one of the Seven Sisters (see yesterday’s post).  This is all one shot, as opposed to yesterday’s photo, which was a photomerge of three different photos.  It’s also black and white to highlight the incredible bark of a Douglas Fir.  I did amp up the contrast here (through the use of Curves in PS) to show off the designs of nature in the shell of this mighty tree.

Now, I’m going to sleep.  Good night, and congratulations Canada on electing a new government and embracing change in a really great way.

The sister – she’s a bit stout and old, but she’s strong

Hi.  Sorry for all the scrolling.  I didn’t know how else to show you how impressive this Douglas Fir is unless I showed it to you the way I saw it today.

We (the Family B) went hiking on the “Seven Sisters Trail” today and I’d never been there before.  I know that we’ve got some old growth trees around here, but these seven (three standing, four fallen) are incredible.  So massive; so majestic; so big.  It was very cool to see these trees that have been around, well, I don’t know, but every article I’ve read about them says they’re survivors of the original forest surrounding Cultus Lake.  That makes them really old.

You can call me flower…

…if you want to. (Bambi)

Do you remember that moment?  Bambi‘s a bit of a sappy movie for me, but I love that moment.  Flower, the skunk, meets Bambi when Bambi is just learning to talk.  He is naming things and comes nose to nose with a skunk, who is more than pleased with being mistaken for something “purty”.  I love that scene.  It’s so innocent and beautiful.  I’ve had that moment when I wish someone would think I was beautiful despite what others think of me.

As for the flower above, my wife and I are having a debate over what it is.  I’m pretty sure it’s a rhododendron.  She thinks I’m wrong.  Anyone want to help us out?

Photo Friday and WordPress Photo Challenge, together again

I think it’s nice that Photo Friday and the WordPress Photo Challenge can work together so that I have less work to do.  Photo Friday’s challenge this week is Minimalist and the Photo Challenge from WordPress is One.  Here’s my photo of a lonely tree standing out against this evening’s sunset.  I was hoping to catch the sunset proper as it was a gigantic ball of orange on the horizon.  Alas, I was thwarted by how quickly the sun sets this far away from the summer solstice.

Oh, and Happy Easter everyone.


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