Sweet Face

How can you resist a face like this? Such a feminine pose - chin down, head tilted, ear back, she's a natural model and simultaneously a fierce protector of her cub and their fishing grounds. I observed and photographed this sow and her then first-year cub on many occasions last fall, so it's great to see them back for another season. With other adult brown bears in the area, hopefully territorial disputes won't turn ugly.



Local Bull Moose

This is one of 3 large bull moose that we've seen around the Nature Center recently. Soon their antlers will stop growing, the velvet covering will be shed, and their temperament will be less friendly when the rut (mating season) begins. Rut-crazed bulls take no prisoners when it comes to charming a potential mate and discouraging any perceived competition, which can include other bulls, people, even cars and trains. Rivals are usually met with a chase and possible head-on collision from their massive antlers, so keep a heads-up approach when hiking and maybe see if your auto insurance has a rider policy for rutting moose!



KTVA Channel 11 News Story

It's not often that I find myself in front of a camera but when I do, I like to show off my backyard. Many thanks to KTVA 11 News for this wonderful segment on the Eagle River Nature Center. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it. Have a great weekend and remember to get out & explore! I am headed out to a part of Prince William Sound that I have never been to. I hope to return with images and stories to share. As always, thank you for following along and feel free to share my site with your friends.  Follow the link below to watch the segment.



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In the Shadow on Mauna Kea

In addition the Big Island's two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, Hawaii is also home to Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano which now holds some of the world's premiere astronomical observatories. At 14,000 feet above sea level, it is surprisingly cold at the summit and snowfall is common here; meanwhile the lack of oxygen was noticeable with every breath. In the first photo you can see the shadow of Mauna Kea against the clouds over the Pacific Ocean.

Have a great weekend and, as always, thank you for following along.



Last of my Aerial Photographs of the 2018 Kilauea Eruption, Hawaii

Here are the last of my aerial photos of the lava river in Lower Puna, Hawaii and its path of destruction. You can see the source, Fissure 8, where the lava is spewing from the ground and has created cone that stands 180 feet tall. From what I understand, this fissure and resulting cone are on private property, so if the residents return they will have a giant volcanic cone in their yard - not many people can make that claim! It's tough to put into words what I was witnessing, the only thing I can compare it to is a raging glacial river, much like the one near my home in Eagle River Valley, Alaska. I'd always imagined lava slowly creeping across the ground until it cools and solidifies but this was anything but slow or creeping. The flow was turbulent and splashing its way toward the ocean, moving at speeds of 17 MPH near the fissure. Once again, mahalo to Paradise Helicopter Tours of Hilo for this opportunity to observe and photograph such a rare, spectacular event and most of all, best wishes to the residents of Leilani Estates and all of the areas affected, as well as all the people on the Big Island of Hawaii, whose lives and livelihoods have been greatly impacted.




Ocean Entry and Fissure 8

Lava ocean entry - Hawaii. Here are both aerial and ocean-level views of the lava from Fissure 8 as it hits the sea. You can see the glow from Fissure 8 behind the mountain in the second photo, approximately 8 miles up from the coast and the source of the lava river. While the current eruption has destroyed more than 700 homes in its path, it has also created more than 700 acres of new land where it hits the ocean water and cools. Mahalo to both Kalapana Cultural Tours and Paradise Helicopters of Hilo, Hawaii for their wonderful, up-close tours of the eruption, allowing me to capture once in a lifetime images of this event.



The Home Spared by Pele, Goddess of Fire

Here's another image from my helicopter ride over the Kilauea eruption with Paradise Helicopters last week in Lower Puna, Hawaii. You can see the house in the lower right corner that has thus far been spared. More than 700 homes have been destroyed since this began on May 3 of this year. I met people who have been displaced, who have lost their homes or are close to losing a home, who have lost their jobs or businesses. This eruption, while it is a part of life on the Big Island, has had a huge economic and emotional impact on those affected. The feeling was palpable. My goal was to observe and photograph this phenomenon respectfully.



Pahoa, Hawaii

Pahoa, Hawaii. A groovy little community that lies very close to the current eruption of Kilauea Volcano. At night the sky glows red from the lava river that flows just a few miles from town. I’m not sure exactly what drew me to the Big Island to witness this powerful natural phenomenon. Perhaps it’s because I understand first-hand the destructive yet renewing nature of fire, or maybe I just wanted to see and photograph this event, which appears to be the largest flow in recent history and could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Whatever the reasons, I decided I would take a chance and explore a new part of the world. It was a spontaneous trip with nothing reserved but a standby airline ticket and a rental car; the rest would be up to good fortune and destiny. More to come…



Hawaiian Adventure - Kilauea Eruption!

Aloha, friends!! I am on my way home from a brief and exhilarating visit to the Big Island of Hawaii. It was a spontaneous trip, mostly to observe and photograph the current eruption of Kiluea Volcano. This was an opportunity to explore a new part of the world and observe a phenomenon that may or may not happen again in my lifetime, an opportunity I could not pass up. Yesterday I took a sunrise boat tour to see the lava pouring into the ocean and creating new land, followed by a doors-off helicopter tour over the lava flow in the afternoon. If you’ve never hovered above a volcanic eruption at 5,000 feet in a helicopter with no doors, I would highly recommend it! I will have more photos to share in the coming days. As always, mahalo for following my journeys!



Cuba Tour, February 2019

Hello and Happy Friday, friends! I've got a couple bits of exciting news to share. First, I have nailed down the dates and details for my photographic tour of Cuba, which is scheduled for February 3-9, 2019 (with an option to stay an extra two days to explore Viñales with me). I have gotten several inquiries regarding this tour so I am happy to have the plans laid out. We will be using KB Cuba Tours for the transportation, lodging, and guide services. This is the same company I traveled to Cuba with this past February and I happy to say they are offering us a great rate for this tour!! Follow the link at the bottom for details and how to arrange payment. Total cost for the week, which includes all transportation in Cuba, lodging & breakfast each day, photographic instruction and more is $1,795 with an early bird rate of $1,595 if you register before October 1, 2018. A $500 non-refundable deposit will secure your spot with the balance due by December 1, 2018. You can see my photos and videos of Cuba here: http://www.colintyler.com/travel/#/cuba-2018/

Second, after photographing a wedding this afternoon I am heading to the airport to explore a new part of the world! I haven't divulged the details yet so you'll have to stay tuned to see where I land this time.

Please share this information with your friends and anyone you think might be interested in exploring Cuba with me and experiencing the magic and culture of this magnificent Caribbean destination! As always, thank you for following along and supporting me in my adventures.



Details on February 2019 Cuba Tour:



Wildflowers and Closeup Photograph Class

I never claimed to be a serious macro photographer but I truly believe that it takes a true artist to celebrate the ordinary. From time to time, I find myself looking for a new perspective on this mountain valley I call home. With wild roses, bluebells, and geraniums in full bloom, now is a perfect time to find beauty in small places. Speaking of which, I still have a few spaces left in this Saturday's class on closeup photography at the Eagle River Nature Center (Alaska). If you are interested, please click the image below for more details and registration. Cost is $75 and limited to 6 people. We will spend some time outside photographing wildflowers and then go over fundamental Photoshop techniques to get the most out of your images. I ask that participants have a basic understanding of shooting in manual mode and also provide their own laptop with Adobe software installed (i.e., CS or Lightroom).

Thank you and feel free to share!




Father's Day Print Special

Hello friends! If you're searching for a Father's Day gift, I've got a couple print specials going this week: 25% off all canvas prints and 20% off metal prints by using the following codes at checkout: FATHERSDAYCANVAS or FATHERSDAYMETAL. I will also include a signed 2019 Aurora Borealis calendar from Todd Communications with each print. Just click the image below to view my online store. Feel free to share!



Black Bear Family

Yesterday I had the privilege of observing a sow black bear with two little spring cubs feeding in a cottonwood tree. The cubs were learning to break off branches and eat the seeds, discarding each branch after it was stripped clean. I watched them for nearly 3 hours from a respectful distance until they descended and moved on. Perhaps most encouraging was the fact that fellow human observers were keeping a safe distance as well - nobody approached the tree or let their dogs run loose, which is much appreciated by the staff here at the Nature Center but most of all, by the bears. 🐻