Earth Day Solitude

Yesterday's theme was solitude. I spent the entire day hiking in Eagle River Valley without another soul around. Snow fell throughout the day, adding to my peaceful surroundings. Pictured here is Dew Lake, where I stopped on my way to search for another lake a few miles further back and across the river. I found the hidden lake, or Knob Lake, as it's named on local maps. It's a location I will revisit when the time is right, or if I just need a bit of solitude.



New Camera!

One thing about these cold snaps, they sure make for a peaceful winter scene. We're gaining over two minutes of light each day now and soon the sun will return to this part of the valley, a welcome relief after being in the shade since late November. 

And with the New Year came a new camera body. This image was taken with my new Nikon D850! I am happy to add this to my arsenal, although 60 MB files will force me to be more selective when shooting or my hard drive is going to fill quickly...

Happy Tuesday!



Happy Winter Solstice 2018

Today marks the moment that the pendulum swings back toward the light, gradually bringing longer days to the Northern Hemisphere. This image was created last year on this date. I've been watching the sky this morning in hopes of another colorful sunrise to bring in the season but alas, it is not to be. Nevertheless, I was able to honor the darkness and return of the light at one my favorite places last night, Namaste North Yoga Studio, by performing a total of 108 sun salutations, alternating in all four directions. My body is sore today but my spirit is strong. This is my New Year. This is my reset. Now is the time break free of resistance and allow the journey to unfold.

Happy Winter Solstice 2018!



Five days later and we're still shaking...

With such a serene setting, it's tough to believe that the ground is rumbling beneath us but we still have occasional reminders in the form of aftershocks that the earth has not yet settled after last Friday's big quake. Some of the aftershocks have registered at 5.0, which would be a decent earthquake in its own right. Schools and other buildings are still being inspected for damage while bridges and roads are quickly being repaired and life is resuming in Alaska. 

Happy Humpday!



Vote for More Auroras!

Good morning, America, how are you? Today is Election Day, so be sure to cast your ballot and when you do, vote for more auroras! Here are a few more images from Sunday night/Monday morning's display, taken at the the Eagle River Nature Center.

I am getting ready to travel to Minnesota later this week. If you are in the Minneapolis area, I will be working two travel shows with KB Tambo Travel & KB Cuba. The Star Tribune Vacation & Travel Experience is this Saturday & Sunday at the Minneapolis Convention Center and the second show is the Midwest Mountaineering Outdoor Expo on Nov. 17 & 18. Please stop by if you are in the area. I'll be promoting KB's tour packages and hopefully filling the remaining spots in my second February 2019 Cuba Photo Tour ( I have 4 people registered for the second tour and the first tour is full, so if you are interested in joining me in Cuba, please contact me ASAP!




November Auroras

It was a beautiful night to be out under the stars. After a couple days of waiting, the geomagnetic storm arrived later than anticipated last night but the lights actually kicked up much earlier in the evening than I had expected. I was scrambling to get ready but made it out for the second wave of activity.

Happy Monday!



Bold Peak, Lynx Photos, And Cuba

Bold Peak in all its autumn glory. Happy Monday out there! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I'm getting around to editing through more of my recent aerial photos. I'm glad I got out when I did as most of this vibrant color has since faded.

Reminder that I still have signed & numbered 12x18" lynx photos available (along with a signed 2019 aurora borealis calendar, both for $95):…/signed-amp-numbered-12x18-lynx… February photo tour in Cuba is full and it looks like I may add a second tour that will begin on February 16 or 17! More details on the Cuba tour here:




More Aerial Photos

When I first moved to Alaska in 1996 I'd wanted to learn how to fly. Later that year I survived a crash in a single engine plane with my then roommate, which pretty much killed my desire to become a pilot. Looking back, I realize I was better off to befriend people with airplanes rather than become a pilot & own a plane myself. That proved true again yesterday when I was able to get up & capture a few more aerial photos of the valley around the Eagle River Nature Center before the fall color vanishes. The second photo is directly over the visitor center (lower right) and the Rodak Trail - both viewing decks are visible along the creek. Many thanks to my neighbor and skilled pilot, Craig, for taking me up twice recently to photograph the valley from a new perspective.



Mountaintop Black Bear

Here's an aerial view of an obviously well-fed black bear eating berries at around 3,000 feet during my flight through Eagle River Valley last week. This was one of about a dozen black bears that we saw high on the slopes grazing on autumn berries. Black bears are typically forest-dwelling creatures but with brown/grizzly bears roaming the lower reaches of the valley in search of salmon, they may be seeking the safety and food supply of the higher elevations.



Aerial View of Eagle River Valley

A bird's eye view of Eagle River Valley and Glacier Lake (the source of Eagle River). Last night I flew with a local pilot friend of mine to take some aerial of the valley where I live. It's always fascinating to see this area from a different perspective. Clouds were building over the mountains, blocking the direct sunlight over the areas I most wanted to photograph, so we will probably fly again in the next few days before the fall color is gone. Have a great Wednesday out there and thank you for following along!



Foggy Sunrise and a New International Adventure...

We've had some foggy mornings in the valley recently, adding an ethereal quality to the burgeoning fall colors. As much as I love this place and time of year, I am about to embark on one last international adventure before the oncoming winter. This will be the furthest I've traveled this year and it is a destination I have never been to before. I leave late tonight and will return next Friday. I'll check in when I am able, although I will be in remote areas and Wifi & downtime will likely be in short supply. In keeping with tradition, I will let my destination remain a mystery until I arrive. As always, thank you for following my journeys and feel free to share my posts with your friends.



Image taken with the Nikon D850.


Ethereality is my Reality

"Ethereality is my reality."

Here are two more photos from Monday's ski trek in Portage Valley. I'd wanted to hike up to Byron Glacier to explore the ice caves but with the recent snow slides on either side of the valley and all the wind-packed snow, avalanche danger was too high to risk going up there. Better to be safe than sorry, as they say, and live to create another day!



Happy Vernal Equinox, 2018!

Happy Vernal Equinox! Today marks the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and we just passed 12 hours of daylight here in South Central Alaska. I decided to leave my home turf yesterday and explore Portage Valley, south of Girdwood. A friend and I skied up toward Byron Glacier. The skies were clear and the wind was ripping, which made for some interesting scenic images with my telephoto lens. At 400mm, I could isolate the top of Bard Peak and focus on the lines & textures. Black & white always brings an ethereal mood to a wind-blown landscape.


Winter in my Backyard

I've hardly seen a cloud in the sky for the past week. At the same time, the temperature has barely climbed above zero during that stretch. It looks as though that is about to change with snow showers in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow, which is always welcome.

I felt the need to get out and enjoy the winter landscape before embarking on my next journey. In just a matter of days, I will be experiencing a new culture and exploring a new (tropical) part of the world. Still, no matter where I roam, part of me will always remain in this beautiful little valley I am so fortunate to call home. Have a great Monday out there and stay tuned to see where I land next!