Continuing on from my Teacup Island post, I think I’ll take a closer photographic look at Alwin Holland Park.
Alwin Holland Park is located on the Peace River in northeastern British Columbia, upstream from Hudson’s Hope. It was named after one the region’s early settlers, and there is also an elementary school in Fort St. John named after him.
Over the centuries, before man built any dams on the mighty Peace, the river carved a canyon of sorts out of the landscape, leaving behind some interesting rock formations. I’ve found that Alwin Holland Park is probably the best spot to get up close and personal with these formations.
Of course, with the river no longer flowing right here, vegetation has taken over – I think that this particular growth has occurred since the construction of the Peace Canyon Dam in the 1980s, in what was likely a small side channel of the river.
Close up, one can see a variety of moss, lichens and even ferns sprouting amongst the rocky striations. In some places, the resulting cliffs make great spots for climbing as my kids discovered – I didn’t climb. I stayed safe at the bottom, repeatedly warning them to be careful!
You can see how the water washed away the earth and rocks, leaving these interesting little nooks and crannies, now full of fallen leaves, the odd wasp nest and spiders!
Alwin Holland Park is so peaceful, it seems so much more than an hour’s drive from Fort St. John. It’s a great spot for camping, fishing and clearly, photography.
Finally back at the blog – my foray into the marketplace was fun, if a trifle chilly. It was after-all, somewhere in the neighbourhood of -25C outside on the day of the market. And my table was right next to a set of garage doors. Still, it was interesting and I definitely plan to do it again, when the family’s schedule permits. I only sold 3 prints in the 6 hours I was there, but I did learn a few things.
One thing, I should bring a table cloth next time to make my display look a little tidier. Secondly, print more smaller pictures – especially of this one below. Thirdly, I learned something about the subject of one of my prints. I thought it was just a neat little rocky island in the middle of the Peace River, up by Alwin Holland Park and the Peace Canyon Dam.
This is Teacup Island. I had no idea when we visited Alwin Holland Park that this little island had a name. It certainly doesn’t look like it has a name. But a number of people who visited my table at The Hub Market were drawn to this print, and they knew exactly where this island is. Apparently, when the water in the river is really low, it looks like a tea cup.
Unfortunately, in a few years, it’s likely that no one will ever again be able to see this island as a tea cup. Because of the new hydro-electric dam the provincial government is building on the Peace River. The reservoir behind this new dam, will be huge and although it won’t extend this far upstream, I imagine the level of the river will rise here, upstream from Hudson’s Hope.
I hope that in the next year or so, people from the BC Peace Region will take the opportunity to stop at Alwin Holland Park on Highway 29, and experience this beauty for themselves. But if not, I can set you up with a copy of this print, in colour or B&W, in a variety of sizes.
Yesterday, I went out to the Fish Creek Community Forest, determined to get a picture (or two) of the now flowing, Fish Creek, while there was still some snow around it. I had an idea of what I wanted to find and create – you can see the creek from the road, so I knew the potential for success was high.
So I packed up my camera backpack, and set forth. Good thing I had boots on. The Silviculture Trail, which leads down to the creek, was still full of snow and a tad slippery in spots. However, I managed to make it down the hill without mishap. It was close a couple of times, but I was nothing if not determined to get that shot.
When I reached the bottom, I was lucky enough to find that many of our local dog walkers had allowed their pets to go out to the creek, so there were frozen doggie trails to walk on. This was a very good thing, as the snow is still 2-3 feet deep in places. I got a number of shots, from different spots on the bank and various angles, before I decided that was good for now – I will go back when things are turning green and try some different shots.
It’s so peaceful down there, on the banks of Fish Creek, even though the road is a few hundred metres away. Serene, even when the snow is 3 feet deep.
I followed the trail, back up the hill, choosing to complete the circuit, rather than go back the way I came. After-all, I did have more potential locations to scope out.
And then I got to an icy spot.
I was more than halfway back to the top, so I went off-trail a bit and navigated my way around the icy bit, thinking to myself that it was a good thing I didn’t go down this way – the only way down would be on my butt.
A few metres further on, I hit the mother-of-all icy spots. Within sight of the top. Less than 100 metres to the top, and I was stuck. Couldn’t go back down, except on my backside. I tried to carefully walk up the “less” slippery spots, only to find my feet flying out from under me, in slow-motion, and the next thing I knew I was sliding towards the edge of a very steep hill.
Thank God for trees.
Using the tree that halted my momentum, I got up and took stock of my options. I could try to go back over that small icy patch, and walk all the way back the way I came, or I could figure out how to get to the top. My soaking wet, mud-covered backside made the decision very easy. I wasn’t walking around like that for any longer than I had to.
Off-trail was the only way to go. Again, thank God for trees. There were a number of fallen trees on the hillside, and by carefully walking above them, they could act as brakes in case I slipped again, not to mention, the upright ones made excellent hand-holds.
Made it back to my truck in one piece, no more falls, and luckily, did not come across anyone else out for a morning stroll!
I’d better have an absolutely fantastic shot, I thought as I drove my soggy butt home.
I’ll let you be the judge. Here’s one of the pictures I took yesterday.
Sank in the snow up to my knees several times yesterday to get this shot of one of the spruce trees in our yard, but it was worth it!