“Pic of the Week”, October 1, 2021: Fall Colors, Birds Hill Park

Birds Hill PP 00

There’s a nice deciduous forest in a small park just north of Winnipeg known as Birds Hill Provincial Park, which only covers about 8300 acres (3400 hectacres — tiny by Canadian standards).  It’s rich in aspen and birch, and even has some oak trees, so when the leaves change color the scenery can be very nice.  While it’s not nearly as dramatic as the colors one sees in eastern North America, where maple trees add beautiful shades of crimson and reds, the scenery is pretty nonetheless.
Birds Hill is a small park but because it’s so close to Winnipeg it’s quite popular, receiving about a million visitors a year.  Besides a small lake, it has opportunities for camping, hiking, picnicing, horseback …

Read More

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, October 1, 2021: Fall Colors, Birds Hill Park
.All Trips / Pacific Northwest / Washington

A fall visit to the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden, Spokane, Washington

Fall 2008 031 Japanese Garden, Manito Park

One of the things I enjoy about blogging is sharing less commonly visited but interesting destinations.  The Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden in Spokane, Washington, certainly fits that bill.  A smaller garden, well known to locals but not to many tourists, it has its charms!  When I lived in Spokane I’d commonly stop by as it was midway between the hospital where I worked and the library I frequented.  I enjoy the calm nature and beauty of Japanese gardens.  They are places where nature, tranquility, gardening skills, and art merge.

The Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Garden sits on the site of the old zoo (closed in the 1930s).  The garden was designed by Nagao Sakurai, a master garden architect (who at one time was …

Read More

Tagged , , , ,

“Pic of the Week”, October 16, 2015: Fall Colors, Colorado Rockies

Summer 2007A 430

Fall is my favorite season, largely because of the beautiful transition of colors in the vegetation.  Whether it’s grasses, small bushes or large trees like these aspen, the forests are even more beautiful as the seasons change from summer to winter.

These photos were taken not far from Vail.  The colors here, while vivid, aren’t as diverse as those in the forests of the eastern USA or eastern Canada, consisting mostly of shades of yellow.  But they’re beautiful none-the-less.  And they’re set in the majesty of one of the world’s greatest mountain ranges!

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, October 16, 2015: Fall Colors, Colorado Rockies

“Pic of the Week” bonus. October 27, 2013. Larches in their fall colors

Larches 2013 003

I just enjoyed a beautiful drive in Canada’s Rocky Mountains this past weekend, through the Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass and on towards the Elk River Valley in southeastern British Columbia.  The scenery was absolutely gorgeous with the larches in their orange-yellow canopy.  I had no idea there were so many larches in these evergreen forests.

Those who live in milder climates may not be familiar with larches.  They’re deciduous pine trees (conifers) that change color each fall, shed their needles and regrow them in the coming spring.  They add a great variety of color to the mountainous forests in the Northern states and Canada, although these colors are short-lived, lasting only a week or two at most.

Thought you’d enjoy these images!

(Click on …

Read More

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week” bonus. October 27, 2013. Larches in their fall colors

“Pic of the Week”, Oct. 11, 2013. Fall Colors, University of Washington, Seattle

2013-042-Oct. 18b

I really love fall!  It’s my favorite time of year.  The crispness of the morning air is invigorating but especially great are the beautiful vibrant colors of autumn.  No plant is more beautiful in its fall foliage than the sugar maple, not a naturally occurring tree in western Canada or the western American states, but common in the east.

These images were, however, snapped at the University of Washington in Seattle.  A lovely campus, with grand stands of deciduous trees, it’s a great place to go for a fall stroll.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance)

Karl on | 2 Comments

“Pic of the Week”, Oct. 4, 2013. Stanley Glacier, Kootenay National Park

2013-040-Oct. 4a

Stanley Glacier is easily accessible, so it’s a popular day hike in the Canadian Rockies.  It’s situated by the border of the B.C. and Alberta, near Castle Junction in Kootenay National Park.  The trail provides a great half day hike with an elevation gain of 365 m (1200 ft), taking you to the foot of Stanley Glacier.  The hike encompasses much of what makes the Canadian Rockies special, with wonderful panoramas, cascading creeks, rugged mountains and the hanging Stanley Glacier in a hanging valley.
If you hike in the fall, about this time of year or a little earlier, you’ll be treated to some wonderful colors along the lower portion of the trail in the area of an old …

Read More

Karl on | 1 Comment

“Pic of the Week”. February 22, 2013. Hayfield, Okotoks, Alberta

2013-008-February 22

When most people think of Alberta they visualize its thick green forests and ruggedly beautiful Rocky Mountains (I’m guilty of this as well).  Alberta is one of Canada’s three prairie provinces (can you name the other two?), so mostly it’s fairly flat land.  It’s on these prairies that much of Alberta’s treasures lie, from rich crops of canola to the world’s best beef, from dinosaur fossils to its oilfields.

One afternoon when my wife and I were driving to see the fall colors in the Rocky Mountains we drove past this hay field near the small city of Okotoks, not far from my home.  Something about the golden color of the grass, the neat orderly hay rolls and rolling land appealed to me …

Read More

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”. February 22, 2013. Hayfield, Okotoks, Alberta
.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Kananaskis Country: A fall visit to Highwood Pass and the alpine meadow of Ptarmigan Cirque


Kananaskis country is one of the lesser traveled gems of the Alberta Rockies.  Locals know this area well but it’s off the radar for most tourists traveling to the Rockies, who selectively go to such highly worthwhile (but much busier) locations like Banff and Lake Louise.  Kananaskis country stretches from the southern border of Banff National Park (Canmore) due south for several hundred kilometers.  It includes the same type of rugged mountainous beauty you expect in the Canadian Rockies, replete with lakes and streams and lush pine forests.   It’s also rich in wildlife but unlike Banff National Park, where a large fence keeps the animals away from traffic, the wildlife …

Read More

Tagged , , , ,