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.



Short Winter Video

There's something magical in the solitude of a quiet winter day, with only the sound of water rushing past. We've gotten another 6 inches of fresh snow and it's still falling. I was able to put a few miles on my skis today and explore the video features of the Nikon D750. I am by no means calling myself a videographer, but please enjoy a few seconds of solace.


Snowy Eagle

I had a visitor on my snowy walk yesterday - I observed this bald eagle for more than an hour in our freshly winterized wonderland, snapping frames when I could and waiting for the right moment. Focusing can be difficult in heavy snow as the lens will often pick up on the large flakes rather than your subject but thankfully I caught this takeoff while maintaining a sharp focus on the eagle.

Have a great day out there and remember to soar!



First Snowfall of the Season

Can a snowflake carve a valley? Today is a good day to ask this question. The answer is yes, with enough snowflakes and enough time to form a glacier.

Our first snowfall of the season has delivered more than a foot thus far and it's still coming down. Now I am contemplating whether to risk life & limb on these roads to get my skis out of storage...

Happy Monday!



Earth Day 2018

Earth Day will always remain a significant day to me for many reasons but mostly because it’s the day my life took a big turn. Looking back on all of my experiences since that time, the places I’ve gone and the people I have met, it is clear that what began as a tragedy ultimately turned into opportunity, and the worst thing I ever experienced turned out to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  It wasn’t easy, but there were a lot of valuable lessons along the way. If you’d like, you can read the story here:

Five years have since passed and each year I make a point to go outside on Earth Day to do something new or explore a place I have not been. Yesterday I took my skis to Independence Mine State Park in Hatcher Pass to enjoy the dwindling snowpack and appreciate the light. I took my camera gear out for a bit on my backcountry skis and later ditched the camera to do some skate skiing, so the panoramic is courtesy of my iPhone 8 Plus. The image of the downhill skier was taken with a telephoto at 550mm. Graceful and proficient, this person was carving a beautiful line and the sidelight created a wonderful texture.

So, Happy Earth Day 2018. My greeting is belated because I was out exploring but honestly; we ought to be compelled to honor the earth each and every day.



March Snow!

No matter where I roam, it's always good to come home to Alaska. I was reminded of this today when I woke early to fresh snow. After a quick breakfast and yoga session, I grabbed my camera pack, stepped into my skis and hit the trails, laying down the first tracks of the day. This is Darren's Bridge on the Albert Loop Trail, Eagle River Nature Center. Have a great weekend out there and, if possible, get out & play in the snow!



Snow Day

Hello friends,

I haven’t posted in a while and to be honest, the rain, icy trails, and overall lack of winter have left me a bit uninspired. More importantly though, life takes place offline, which is exactly why I decided to disconnect and get outside today. With steady snowfall and temps hovering around 0˚F, it is finally starting to look (and feel) like winter in the valley again. If this continues I should be back out on my skis soon!

Have a great weekend out there, wherever you are in the world.





More Snow!

This is a beautiful sight - almost 3 feet of snow on the ground and there are giant flakes falling as I type this. Some will curse the snow but I will always welcome it. What's the point of living in Alaska if you don't embrace the beauty of winter? Going into my third year of living here at the Nature Center and we're finally getting a true Alaskan winter. I've put more miles on my skis in the past few weeks than I did the two years prior.


River Otters

I wasn't the only one out enjoying the fresh snow and subzero temperatures today (we haven't climbed above zero for over two days now). I was fortunate enough to happen upon a pair of river otters swimming about and keeping a wary eye on me from their icy perch. River otter sightings are rare; I've only had the opportunity to photograph them once prior, nearly two years ago.