Birds in the fog on a sunny morning in Kitamaat Village

Fly past. A bald eagle passes some mallard ducks in flight over Kitimat harbour. (Robin Rowland)


A flock of mallards fly over Kitimat harbour. (Robin Rowland)

A “murder of crows” fly toward Kitamaat Village from the Kitimat harbour. (Robin Rowland)


A crow comes in for landing on the shores of Kitamaat Village. (Robin Rowland)


The beach at Kitamaat Village as the tide begins to recede with the sun shining on the fog in Kitmat harbour. (Robin Rowland)

A pair of bald eagles find perches on a old snag on the Kitamaat Village waterfront. (Robin Rowland)


A sparrow hides in the long grass and wildflowers in the Kitamaat Village seawall (Robin Rowland)

Saturday morning at Wahtl Creek

A pair of bald eagles perch on an old log at Wahtl Creek overlooking Douglas Channel as mallards fly by. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 (Robin Rowland)

Wahtl Creek flows past Kitamaat Village, home of the Haisla Nation, into MK Bay on Douglas Channel, across from Kitimat’s Rio Tinto BC Operations aluminum smelter.

You wouldn’t know it’s the end of February, except for nip in the morning air. After fellow photographer Doug Keech posted on Facebook that on Saturday morning, low tide would coincide with sunrise, I decided to go out with my gear. One thing you have to realize is that the Photographers’ Ephemeris gives sunrise at sea level, so it takes (depending on the season) about 45 minutes to an hour for the sun to rise above the mountains. That meant when I arrived 8:30 am, the tide was already rising and a (minor) snow storm was being blown by inflow winds up Douglas Channel.  There were lots of birds doing their Saturday morning grocery shopping (probably for herring)

Looking across Wahtl Creek down Douglas Channel, Feb. 25, 2017 (Robin Rowland)

Crows on ice… the seaweed and seagrass are fed by the fresh water of Wahtl Creek, hence the thin layer of ice. (Robin Rowland)



Mallards in Douglas Channel. (Robin Rowland)


A female Barrow’s Goldeneye hunts for food in Wahtl Creek. (Robin Rowland)


Water drips from the bill of the Barrow’s Goldeneye after it grabbed a meal from Wahtl Creek (Robin Rowland)

A bald eagle skims just above the surface of Douglas Channel in Kitimat harbour (Robin Rowland)

The eagle has landed. (Robin Rowland)


The bald eagle perches on the old stump  (Robin Rowland)


The mallards head out into the Channel as the tide comes in (Robin Rowland)

Calm between storms, slack tide in Kitimat harbour

Kitimat harbour is shrouded in fog, October 9, 2015, at slack tide after what was left of Tropical Storm Oho had passed and before a new storm blew in, October 9, 2015. (Robin Rowland)

Kitimat harbour is shrouded in fog at slack tide after what was left of Tropical Storm Oho had passed and before a new storm blew in, October 9, 2015. (Robin Rowland)


The Hawaiian hurricanes that follow the path of the “Pineapple Express” across the northern Pacific normally dwindle to rain storms by the time they reach the Kitimat Valley. On October 9, 2015, however, what was left of Hurricane Oho was still at tropical storm strength.


I was assigned by Global BC to get storm and rain pictures.  There was still heavy rain when I shot my first video at the Kitimat viewpoint.


The Kitimat estuary and Minette Bay are hidden in heavy fog as rain from Tropical Storm Oho continues to fall at the Kitimat Viewpoint, Oct. 9. 2015. (Robin Rowland)


I then drove down to Hospital Beach, expecting to get some good shots of waves pounding against the shore.  To my surprise, I saw Kitimat harbour as I have never seen it.  It was slack tide, the water was dead calm and the fog shrouded the entire harbour.  Looking over to Rio Tinto BC Operations Terminal B (the old Eurocan dock) (Robin Rowland)


Rio Tinto’s Terminal A and part of the older smelter emerge from the fog. (Robin Rowland)



The Smit tug dock. (Robin Rowland)


Another view of the harbour looking toward Terminal B. (Robin Rowland)


The fog makes part of the harbour look like an alien world from a science fiction movie.(Robin Rowland)



Another view from the Hospital Beach boat launch ramp looking toward the Smit tug dock. (Robin Rowland)


Looking along Hospital Beach back toward Terminal A and the aluminum smelter. (Robin Rowland)

When I was back at my computer, filing the video to Vancouver, the rain from the second storm moving in began to pound down outside my window.

When the weather outside is frightful, it’s hard to tell the difference between black and white or colour

It’s been mostly a wet and foggy winter so far in Kitimat, known so far as Snow Valley.  Looking out from my front window. I can see the low lying fog along the Kitimat River and Kitimat harbour, often totally obscuring Douglas Channel.   Often the fog seems to hug the ground, meaning the tops of the conifers emerge from the fog to create a mysterious landscape.   With the late December sun low in the southern sky, days before the Solstice,  there is very little light. And as the headline indicates, under these conditions it’s hard to tell the difference between the original colour imagine and a black and white conversion.


Fog in Kitimat Valley

The original colour image, using the cloudy white balance setting in Adobe Photoshop Raw. (Robin Rowland)

Fog in Kitimat Valley

The black and white conversion. (Robin Rowland)

Fog in the Kitimat Valley

An original colour imagine of the trees in the fog, using the “as shot” setting in Adobe Photoshop Raw white balance.

Fog in the Kitimat valley

The black and white conversion. (Robin Rowland)

Technical note. Sony Alpha 6000, using vintage Tele-Astranar 400mm F6.3 Prime telephoto, attached by an T-mount E-mount converter. ISO 4000 1/250 manual aperture f22.