Lower Hollyburn Ramble

Chris Wright Photo Trips

This past Saturday a friend and I walked the trails around the lower Hollyburn area in Cypress Provincial Park and the upper Brothers Creek area. We made a loop out of those trails and covered some 17 kilometres, photographing the various features, and as a side attraction, sampling the abundant blueberries.

I had not been into this area before so it was fun exploring the myriad of trails, lakes, and upper Brother Creek. We had mostly overcast conditions which was perfect for the water features and the vegetation.

The Hollyburn area is known for the extensive number of cabins, most of which date back to the 1930’s to 1950’s. Today there are about 100 cabins remaining of the nearly 200 in the 1940’s. This cabin is now used as the park ranger station.

Pearly everlasting along the trail and in the second photo, a detailed view

West Lake, one of the six lakes that we visited on this outing. I always like these compositions where the reflected trees form an arrow shape. The still, dark waters on the lakes certainly makes a perfect mirror.

Lilly pads were dominant in the shallower areas of the lakes and I liked this composition with the striking green tone against the black water. In my upcoming Expressionism and Abstract August post, I have an interesting take on those lily pads.

As I was walking along one of the trails, I noticed the two leaves of the skunk cabbage upright and resting on the log. The large leaves are distinctive, set against the smaller leaved blueberry bushes. You will notice the water droplets on all of the surfaces from the recent rains.

There was plenty of time to stop and photograph along the way given our early start. This western red cedar with its large and irregular base has provided a home base for the sword fern and moss.

There were numerous patches of gentian (likely mountain bog gentian) growing in the area, including at the aptly named Blue Gentian Lake.

Further west from that lake, we spotted another group of gentian growing alongside bunchberry (dwarf dogwood) with their bright red fruit.

At Lost Lake was this yellow cedar tree overlooking the lake. We also spotted a western red cedar further along the shoreline, indicating a transition zone. Yellow cedar are a higher elevation species while the western red cedar are a lower elevation species.

Another view of Lost lake. I liked the strong bright toned tree stems anchoring the composition.

We crossed one of the tributaries to Brother Creek and with the overcast conditions, the water and rock were in perfect harmony.

I thought the line of natural soaps and oils would provide a distinct division between the above and below water sections. The small rock underwater happened to be perfectly positioned at the tip of the rock wall.

I always like the way that trees adapt to their environment and I think this western red cedar base tells that story well. Note how the roots grip and encircle the rock outcrop.

As we descended down towards Brothers Creek, we entered a grove of large diameter coastal trees. These western red cedar trees are fairly spaced out from each other as is typical of a mature forest. The understory trees are primarily western hemlock.

One of the small cascades along Brothers Creek. I noticed that the log formed a division between the splashing water in the main portion of the watercourse and the slower back water area with the swirling natural soaps and oils.

This was certainly an enjoyable find on Brothers Creek. The logs add drama and weight to the scene with the waterfall splashing around them.

While fungus are common on the coastal forest walks, I don’t recall ever seeing an instance of two equal size ones growing perfectly aligned such as these Fomitopsis pinicola. The water droplets were an added bonus!

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Comments 8

  1. Chris, thanks for these photos. You’ve definitely inspired me to get up there for a hike, also with camera. I stayed in one of those old cabins decades ago in winter. It was so beautiful in the snow. Really enjoyed your images.

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      Thanks Dennis, it was a productive outing. Interesting to hear about your winter outing. I have snowshoed once to Hollyburn Mountain and that was certainly fun.

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  2. I have never found it easy to hike and photograph. You have produced a wonderful expression of the area. So well done. You have presented the beauty beautifully! P.S. I remember snowshoeing from those cabins back in the 70’s!!

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      Thanks Chris, yes hiking and photography can be a challenge. One does not have the time to really ponder compositions and reflect on the subject. The advantage is that I see more areas. It does teach one to be quick and decisive on their compositions. Having said that I do enjoy the times where I am by myself and can photograph at a more reflective pace.

  3. My faves this time are the photos of the two, long logs ‘stranded’ in the waterfall & the twin fungi with their water droplets & green, textured backdrop.

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