More Moose on the Road...

Following up on my post from two days ago regarding moose on the roadways, this morning was another reminder when a cow with two newborn calves were trying to cross the Eagle River Road. The calves either weren't able or weren't willing to make it over the guardrail, so mom kept going back to try convince them to follow her. Cars were stopped for several minutes in both directions until two vehicles pushed ahead, forcing the cow to step back over the guardrail to be with her calves, only to return to the road after they passed.

Before I left she had stepped off the road to be closer to her calves, so I was able to pass by without causing them to retreat. I understand being in a hurry, but unless it's an emergency, please allow wildlife to safely cross the roadways, especially the newborns.

Thank you and have a great weekend!

Colin


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"Give 'em a Brake"

"Give moose a 'brake'" is the slogan we're accustomed to seeing on Alaska highways. Rounding a curve and meeting one of these giants could end poorly for both parties, and they do not always yield the right of way. 

Just a reminder on this Wednesday to watch for moose, and all wildlife, that we often share the roads with. 

✌️

Colin


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New Life in the Valley

Spring is in full swing here in Eagle River Valley and new life it popping up all around! I passed by this nesting great horned owlet this morning. One of the adults was perched nearby and I could hear its mate in the vicinity as well.

Have a great weekend and thank you for following along!

Colin

Image taken with the Nikon D850.


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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.

Colin


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Feather Detail

After photographing this pair of swans in the same small body of water for five consecutive springs, it can be difficult to come up with new and interesting compositions. In this instance, I decided to let go of the big picture and just appreciate the exquisite detail in the feathers.

Have a great day out there and maybe try look at a familiar scene from a new perspective...

Colin


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Farewell, Swans...

Fun Friday Fact: More than half of North American trumpeter swans breed in Alaska, Northern British Columbia, and the Yukon Territory during summer months. It appears that this pair has left the Nature Center and moved on toward their summer nesting grounds. Typically they stay here from 2-4 weeks and I have to assume it is the same pair that returns each spring. They're always a welcome sight and I look forward to their return next year.

Have a great weekend out there!

Colin


Bathing and preening shortly after their arrival two weeks ago.

Bathing and preening shortly after their arrival two weeks ago.

Wildlife Morning

Last week I had one of my most memorable wildlife encounters since taking up residence here at the Nature Center. I watched a bull moose cross the creek between the viewing decks while a pair of trumpeter swans was upstream and moving toward the Salmon Viewing Deck, where I was standing. Just as the swans turned a corner and headed my way, I heard something behind me and looked back to see a lynx run across the entire length of the viewing deck and off into the woods past the moose! Unfortunately the lynx didn't present an opportunity for a photo but the memory of the event will always remain with me.

All in all, it was a nice start to the day and a solid reminder of why I choose to live here!

Colin


Bull Moose crossing the creek at the Eagle River Nature Center

Bull Moose crossing the creek at the Eagle River Nature Center


Trumpeter swans at the Eagle River Nature Center

Trumpeter swans at the Eagle River Nature Center


More Lynx Poses

Here are a couple more lynx photos from last Sunday - “Resting Lynx Face” and “Yoga Lynx.” Fun fact: Many yoga poses were learned (and named) from observing animals. Here a lynx demonstrates a nearly perfect "Downward Dog" pose. If I were to critique this lynx, I'd say drop the shoulders, lower the head, and keep pushing those hips toward the sky!

Namaste,

Colin

Resting Lynx Face

Resting Lynx Face


Yoga Lynx

Yoga Lynx

Welcome Home Lynx

No matter where my travels take me, it's always nice to return to Alaska and even nicer to be welcomed home by one of my favorite animals. We had some lynx activity over the weekend - what appeared to be an adult male (pictured here) who was trailing an adult female with two kits in hopes of mating. So far she seems to have resisted his advances.

Happy Monday!

Colin

 
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Aurora Photography Classes

Hello friends! Soon we will be entering what is typically the best season for viewing aurora borealis – late winter/spring. Even though we are currently in a solar minimum and activity is lower, we still get some nice displays here in Alaska. I offer a class on nighttime/aurora photography every year at the Eagle River Nature Center and since it usually fills quickly, I’ve decided to offer two classes this year on consecutive Saturdays - March 16 & March 23. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about night sky photography, please follow the links for more information and to register. Cost is $75 and each class is limited to 10 people. 

March 16: https://www.ernc.org/courses/nighttime-aurora-photography

March 23: https://www.ernc.org/courses/nighttime-aurora-photography-1

I can’t guarantee auroras but I can promise that you’ll learn some good techniques for exposing and focusing at night as well as tracking auroral activity.

Thank you and feel free to share!

Colin

Self portrait under the aurora. Taken at the public use cabin, Eagle River Nature Center, AK.

Self portrait under the aurora. Taken at the public use cabin, Eagle River Nature Center, AK.

March 2018 Aurora Borealis Class, Eagle River Nature Center, AK.

March 2018 Aurora Borealis Class, Eagle River Nature Center, AK.

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!

Colin

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