December in Minnesota

I arrived in Minnesota last week where winter is making a late appearance. A few days of low temps (uff-da!) has the lakes creaking and groaning as new ice forms. Meanwhile, the Midwest sunsets never disappoint. It's great to be back in my homeland for a few days to visit family & friends, make lefse with Mom, and explore the land that bore me.



Solstice Sunrise

The sun rose at 10:14 am this morning, marking the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere. While some find the lack of daylight insufferable, I cherish this time of year as it gives me a chance to rest from the long days of Alaska summer. For those of you missing the sun, it gets brighter from here.

Happy Winter Solstice 2016,


2015 Winter Solstice Ice Lantern Walk

Last night was the Nature Center’s annual Winter Solstice Ice Lantern walk. For the past few weeks, staff and local volunteers have been making ice lanterns of all shapes and sizes, some of which succumbed to the warm temperatures we had this past week. In the end, though, we pulled through with roughly 600 lanterns lining the trails as well as a record number of attendees (well over 300). Following a performance by the Alaska Fire Circus Performers, guests followed the Sun (played by ERNC Naturalist Ute) on a walk to the classroom yurt where we served hot cocoa next to a raging bonfire, which was constructed by Trail Manager and all around pyrotechnic expert Gus. If you’ve never attended, it is a sight to behold and takes place on the Saturday closest to winter solstice. Happy Holidays from CTP and the Eagle River Nature Center!

"December Sunrise, Eagle River Valley" Limited edition prints...

This sunrise image from the Eagle River Nature Center last week is continuing to generate a lot of attention. It truly was one of the most spectacular sunrises I have ever experienced and I couldn't have asked for a better location. In response to the requests for prints, I have added it to my online store on as a limited edition of 25 signed and numbered 12x18" prints for $75 each, just in time for the holiday season. Follow the link below and please share. When you make a purchase, you help fund my adventures and allow me to share the beauty of the natural world,

Thank you for your support,


Serenity Now

This is the dramatic sunrise sky that I've been waiting for! When I saw openings in the clouds to the southeast this morning, I grabbed my gear and hiked out to shoot at one of my favorite foregrounds, arriving just in time to catch the first rays of sunlight illuminating the clouds and reflecting on the water. Total serenity...

10 am Sunrise

The sun rose at exactly 10 am today and will set at 3:42 pm. With Winter Solstice just over a week away, we will lose approximately 15 more minutes of daylight before the Northern Hemisphere begins to tilt toward the sun and the light returns.

I was facing away from the sunrise here, using a 3 minute exposure to show the motion of the clouds moving in from the inlet, hopefully bringing a fresh layer of snow to the valley.

Perpetual Shade

Another brisk, beautiful morning at the Nature Center. Beginning in mid-November, sunlight does not reach this part of the valley floor for approximately two months, leaving us in perpetual shade. On or around January 20, the sun will begin to slowly return, bringing long awaited light back into the valley. While this can be a challenge in terms of photography, I often seek out reflected light where there is open water.

Happy Trees, Happy Mountains, Happy Clouds...

"People might look at you a bit funny, but it's okay. Artists are allowed to be a bit different." One of my favorite quotes from the late, great artist Bob Ross.

I spent today exploring Eagle River Valley, seeking out happy trees and a peaceful little corner of the world, far from the repetitious cycle of tragic news stories and the vitriolic exchange that it always generates. I found solace in a frozen landscape with only the sounds of rushing water and crackling ice to break the silence. I wish everyone could have experienced this same tranquility, maybe the world would be a bit more civil.