Emerging from the clouds like a dome from Yosemite
Our trip to Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada, was planned to coincide with sunny September skies and the glorious gold color of Alpine Larches in the high country. Nature had other plans. Rainy, cold days, and mountains playing peek-a-boo with us were followed by snow. There was little sun.
But, as every nature photographer soon learns, bright sun is boring! I find myself more fascinated with the details of the landscape when I’m not being constantly swept away by fantasic views, and that is just fine with me. I’ll take unsettled weather almost every time, except in those moments when I’m shivering under a pelting rain at a mountain pass, on the verge of hypothermia; then I just might take warm sun.
These photographs represent a portfolio of five wonderful days on the trails near Mount Assiniboine, a peak shaped like the Matterhorn, but which never revealed itself fully on our trip.
An Alpine Larch in all its autumn glory against the turquoise waters of Elizabeth Lake
Alpine Larch is a deciduous conifer, meaning it has needles like other conifers, but they turn color and fall in the fall like deciduous hardwood trees
Wildflowers bloomed late this year, so there were quite a few species still in bloom during our mid-September visit
Purple Asters are my favorite fall wildflower; I photographed this one during a light rain
Dramatic clouds raced across the landscape, throwing brief beams of sunlight across the meadow of Og Creek
Fresh snow and a knife-edged ridge above the meadows of Og Creek
Sun sparkling off the waves on Cerulean Lake, with Alpine Larches and Englemann Spruces along the shore
Waterfall of Magog Creek along the trail to Wonder Pass
We watched at close range as this Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel harvested a puffball from a mountain meadow, then went to a rocky overlook to have his lunch
At higher elevations we encountered this beautiful conglomerate, which had stones several inches across embedded in a concrete-like matrix
A peak floating in the clouds
Rain on the sad autumn leaves of Fireweed and Meadow Rue
Descending down the trail through an Alpine Larch grove from Og Pass
Magog Creek as it emerges from Gog Lake
Each of the lakes appeared to have a resident Barrow’s Goldeneye during our visit
An orange lichen that looked like a logo left by a prior civilization
A sodden cinquefoil at the end of flowering
A sad aster enduring a cold rain
An elegant natural arrangement of spruces and larches along Lake Elizabeth
Clouds among the peaks, signaling a change in the weather; it snowed soon after
A Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel looking fat for winter survival
Golden Alpine Larch, blue mountains
Alpine Larches reflecting in Gog Lake
The magical trail down through the Alpine Larch zone just below Wonder Pass
Ridges of rock briefly revealed by parting clouds
Snow beginning to fall in the meadow of the Naiset Huts
The flakes got bigger as twilight approached
The last morning of our visit, Magog Creek flowed through a fantasyland of snowy spruce forest
One of our beautiful asters enduring an early snow
This Seattle Mountaineers photography trip into the Canadian Rockies was ably led by Linda Moore. Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park is a British Columbia park wedged between Banff and Kootenay National Parks in the Canadian Rockies. For more information about transportation to and facilities in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, go to the British Columbia Parks website.
For two more stories in my weblog about Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, go to Grizzly Bears and Staying in a Mountain Hut.
To see my web site, which includes photographic prints for sale, please go to LeeRentz.com.
To see thousands of my photographs in large file sizes for use in magazines or other printed materials or electronic media, go to my PhotoShelter Website.