Cooler Days

Well, we have a reprieve from the heat and the air has cleared out a bit in Eagle River Valley but it looks like we are in for more high temps later this week with no rain in the immediate forecast.

These images were taken last week, during the warm spell. I don't recall a time when the heat persisted like it did after the sun dropped behind the mountains. If you look at Eagle Peak in the second photo, you will notice a large patch of snow that broke loose last week as well.

Anyway, I will enjoy the brief respite. Thank you for following along and a reminder that I have a few spots left in my summer photography class here at the Eagle River Nature Center(Alaska) on Sunday, July 21: https://www.ernc.org/courses/digital-photography-workshop

Colin


Sunset, June 27, 2019

Sunset, June 27, 2019


Eagle Peak

Eagle Peak


Sunset, June 30, 2019

Sunset, June 30, 2019

Hazy Days

Happy Sunday, friends. What you are looking at here is Eagle Peak shrouded in the haze of wildfires. If you've visited the Eagle River Nature Center (Alaska) or perhaps if you live in the vicinity, you know how this peak looms large and prominently in the valley. It is the centerpiece in our backyard and today it is barely visible. The smoke is so pervasive that the stench is evident indoors and the temperature hit 90˙F yesterday with no relief in sight.

Uneasy times, for certain. Let's keep doing our rain dances and hope for a change soon!

Colin


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New Perspective

Sometimes all you need for a change in scenery is a change in perspective. As many times as I've photographed from this spot, I've never quite looked at the valley from this angle before, using the cow parsnip flowers as a strong foreground element.

For the record, I took this from the Beaver Viewing Deck at the Eagle River Nature Center and no flowers were harmed in the making of this photo. I did not go past the sign and below the deck, which clearly states not to enter, and thereby ruin the scene for future visitors.

Have a great weekend and please don't trample the wildflowers!

Colin


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Bald Eagle in Flight

Wildlife closeups are great when the situation allows but I often find it more artful to include a dramatic backdrop to show the environment in which the subject lives. I captured this bald eagle in flight a couple nights ago after it flew from the top of a spruce tree. Shooting at the treetop from a low angle didn't produce any interesting images but it quickly took flight into a beam of golden light against the muted mountainside in the background and this is what I ended up with.

As always, thank you for following along and feel free to share my site with your friends.

Colin

Image taken with Nikon D850 and Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens, hand-held. ISO 400, 1/800" @ f/6.3

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Summer Solstice Sunset

Sunset on the longest day of the year...

Now the pendulum swings back the other way and six months from now we will celebrate the winter solstice and the return of the light. On another note, the forest fire smoke has been creating some interesting light in the evenings, though I am grateful it's cleared out a bit today.

Happy Sunday out there!

Colin


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Summer Solstice 2019

Happy Summer Solstice! Today marks the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere with the sun setting at 11:43 pm this evening in this part of the world.


This was taken two years ago through a haze of forest fire smoke, similar to what we are seeing now due to the fire on the Kenai Peninsula. The atmospheric particles diffuse the sun and if you look closely, you can see an active sunspot, which is the source of aurora borealis. The sun is "spot-less" right now and even if there were auroras, it doesn't get dark enough at night to see them this time of year. In any case, I hope the fire is extinguished soon.

Have a great weekend and get out & chase the light!

Colin


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Late Golden Hour

When the golden hour doesn't start until close to 10 pm, it's tough to stick to an early to bed/early to rise schedule. Try as might I just can't pass up evening light like this, so I will soak it up while it lasts and six months from now when we are in perpetual winter shade, I'll be glad I did.

Have a great weekend. The forecast calls for ample light and beautiful opportunities!

Colin


Alaska Wild Rose

Alaska Wild Rose


Greater yellowlegs perched in a spruce tree.

Greater yellowlegs perched in a spruce tree.

Moose Monday

Hello everyone. It's Moose Monday!

This guy has been making a splash in local ponds recently. He is one of at least 3 bulls that I've seen in the area in the past few weeks. As their diet changes in the spring, so does the shape and consistency of their droppings and for this reason, is often mistaken for bear scat, which there is also an abundance of right now.

Colin


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Empty Nesting

Look 'hoo' is out of the nest! When I visited this great horned owl family previously, this juvenile was still in the nest while its sibling had ventured out to a nearby branch. Now they are both out of the nest and will not return. Young may leave the nest as early as 5 weeks old by hopping onto branches and begin flying at 9-10 weeks of age.

Seeing as how this is graduation season, are there any human parents out there experiencing empty nest feelings??

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and thank you for following along!

✌️🦉 Colin


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Saw-Whet! Say What??

"I saw it!"

"Saw what?"

"A saw-whet!"

"Say what???"

That's right, I saw it! The northern saw-whet owl. At 7-8 inches in height and weighing less then 4 ounces, it is one of the smallest owls in North America and we are on the northern edge of its range here in Southcentral Alaska. In fact, saw-whets just started showing up in this area within the past 10 years. They are elusive little creatures and mostly nocturnal.

Have a great Memorial Day out there and enjoy this last day of the holiday weekend!

Colin


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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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