Monday, March 7, 2016

Mother Nature's Illusions

Reflections in Westwood Lake

Today, my friend Sally and I hiked the trail around Westwood Lake in Nanaimo, the place that was the rendevous for the Turtle Gardens dog I transported the other day.  The trail is about 6km (with a few side trails we explored enroute) and winds mostly along the edge of the lake with one fairly short but steep climb up to some bluffs - a climb well worth the view:

View from the bluffs

The morning was wet, but shortly after we started to walk,  the rain  pretty much stopped, and the lighting was near perfect for photography.  I only had the point-and-swear camera with me so I could slip it in the pocket of my Gortex jacket to keep it dry if necessary, but that was all I needed.  A mirrorlike surface to the water, a clarity that gave views well below the surface,  lighting that created near-perfect reflections, and pockets of water of indescribable colour  made for some photos that were almost surreal in quality.  As I couldn't wait to share them, I posted my favourites on facebook right away - and figured I'd post them here as well so I'm not even further behind on my blog posts than I already am.

The remarkable thing about this set of photos is that the only photo editing I needed to do was a bit of cropping and then adding my watermark.  The colours, lighting, shadows, etc. are exactly as the camera captured them.  Enjoy!

Rotten tree trunk protrudes from clear green water. 

I've seen this stump referred to on hiking sites as "The Dragon of Westwood Lake."
In this photo, it apparently is The Two-Headed Dragon of Westwood Lake! 

There were many dead trees and stumps, whose reflections tempted this photographer.

A cropped version of the previous photo.  I love the paradox of  simplicity with detail. 

The water was so still, you could almost see every needle of every branch in the reflections.

Can you figure this one out?  The shoreline is about one quarter from the top.  But all the greenery below that is reflection - in fact you can see the reflection of hydro lines in the lower quarter.  Except - wait for it - except the two tree trunks you see (larger hollow one mid photos and a small one in the lower left quadrant) are in the water - several feet  UNDER the water.  The water was so clear you can see them right through the reflections!
More reflections along the lake. 

This was at the top of the bluff, as we turned away from the view to hit the trail back down to the lakeshore.  The lighting on the arbutus trees (those are the self-peeling trees with red and yellow trunks) was just right and gave the photo almost a painting-like quality. 
I think this might possibly be my favourite - the tree stump is in the water with the trunk floating partially submerged -  but the reflection is so clear and detailed, it looks like the whole trunk is suspended above the water.

Sometimes Mother Nature's Illusions amaze me! 


Anonymous said...

Do you know the history of that lake? With all those trees and stumps, I wonder if it was manmade from flooding. Sure is beautiful tho, thanks for sharing.

Caroline A said...

After much reflection (lol) my favourite is the picture with the two tree trunks under water. But it took a while to choose as they are all amazing pictures.

Jean said...

Yes, it is a manmade lake, Anonymous, though it became a lake over a century ago when a dairy farm was bought by a power company in 1907 and dammed to generate electrical power. It has been a city park since 1957, and is still part of the Nanaimo protected watershed area. Here are two interesting articles on its history: