Environment

Unified by the Land – Photo Essay

Words and Photos by Dylan Wolsky

The Squamish Estuary is an incredible place that is forever changing right in front of your eyes. The Estuary is located at the head of Howe Sound and its where the Squamish and Stawamus Rivers meet the sea. I’m often down there early on Saturday morning decompressing after a long week, camera in hand, immersed in the incredible beauty of nature.  What keeps me coming back is the chance to capture a moment as the forests evolve with the seasons or the changing tide.  It is no wonder that such an impressive collection of diverse wildlife make home in this pristine habitat.

As winter hits, Squamish kayakers paddle up a branch of the Squamish River at low tide navigating through ice and snow (photo above).

Exploring the area with a drone provides an incredible opportunity to see the environment from a different perspective; like this birds eye view as fresh snow falls along the banks of the Squamish River.

This is an image I had been looking to capture for some time. A large tree had been uprooted and washed to the mouth of the Squamish River. Week after week I kept trying to capture how beautiful it was. Shooting from above, it wasn’t until winter that the snow highlighted parts of the tree sticking out of the water allowing me to capture this unique photograph.

In the Fall months the colours are incredibly vibrant in the valley. As the sun rose up above the mountains the first light hit the top of the trees and made the fiery yellow leaves and white trunks come alive.

The summer sun setting for the evening reflecting and shimmering on the water across the Howe Sound. A panned long exposure brings out the incredible colours on the water.

Looking from the end of the Squamish Spit a large ship is docked at the Squamish Terminals. The mountains and playful clouds create a breathtaking backdrop.

Sitting on the banks of the River looking up and watching the fog dance in and out of the trees can become incredibly mesmerizing.

Thundering from above the valley bottom, heavy rains cascade off the mountain and down into the river below. There are a number of incredible waterfalls you can see from the Estuary. This image captures the dynamic movement as the water makes its way out to the Ocean.

This photo is really special to me because it captures a unique moment in the life of the valley. A creek had blown its banks and redirected itself through the forest moving tonnes of rock through the trees eventually sprawling out into the Squamish River. The disturbance of the creek created a highly defined white sediment which cut through the glacial blue water eventually dissipating as it met the murky green Squamish.

A flock of birds make their way up the river under a very snowy and foggy Castle Rock. The tip of the Howe Sound provides valuable habitat to more than 200 species of wintering and migrating birds. Early morning at the Estuary is like a freeway above your head as flocks of birds fly up and down the river.

Did you know Squamish is home to one of the largest gatherings of Bald Eagles in North America? You can find them up and down the Estuary and rivers in the winter months. This one is captured soaring above the trees. 

The Oceanfront Beach shot at night before these structures were removed to make way for the Oceanfront Park.

For more photos you can follow Dylan Wolsky on Instagram @dylanwolskyphoto or his website www.dylanwolsky.com