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


Swan in April Snow Shower

Trumpeter swan in April snow shower. I was happy to see the snowfall yesterday and a bit disappointed that more didn't accumulate. I went looking for the swans again this morning but did not find them. Maybe they were just out of sight someplace or it is possible that they have already continued their migrational journey north. If the latter is true, then it was a short stay this year.

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Return of the Trumpeters, 2018

Timing is everything. I’ve said this on several occasions and today certainly won’t be my last. Often it’s a matter of coincidentally being in the right place at the right time while in other instances, it is far greater than simple fortune. It is a matter of connecting with an energy that resides in every one of us - call it divine, if you will. By calming the ego and believing in one’s purpose,magic can and will reveal itself. 

After an especially powerful yoga session this morning, I set out to create something beautiful to share. The sun was shining bright and the air was still. As I passed a friend on the trail we stopped to chat and I remarked that the pair of trumpeter swans that returns to the valley each spring should be arriving soon. I’d barely finished my sentence when we heard the telltale call of the swans and looked up to see them directly above us on their approach to the creek. They circled a few times, giving me a brief opportunity to get my camera & lens out of the pack, adjust my settings (I shoot strictly in manual mode), and capture a few frames before they landed. 

I always cherish my time with the swans on their migrational journey northward and this year, for the first time, I was able to greet them as they arrived. Once again, I look forward to the moments we will share. 

Colin

PS - If you have not already done so, please view my galleries of swans photos from the previous three years:
2015
2016
2017

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In time for Mothers' Day, new images added to my online store...

Well, it seems this pair of swans has left the valley and moved on to their summer nesting grounds. They were here for an entire month this spring, twice as long as the previous two years. I always look forward to their return and the beautiful opportunities they present; this year being no exception.

Just in time for Mothers' Day, I've added some recent photos (both swans and moose) to my online store. These images would look great on metal and they are available on canvas and high-gloss photo paper as well. Feel free to share!

Cheers,

Colin

Link to online store...

Moose, Swans, and Moon

Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean the light is gone. A few nights back I was photographing the swans at sunset when a moose walked onto the scene. I was hoping that the swans and the moose would line up in the frame but that seemed like I was asking for the moon when, lo and behold, the moon showed up too.

I stuck around until the light was too low to continue shooting, watching them feed together - their faces just inches apart at times, possibly foraging the same aquatic vegetation. It made me think, this interspecies harmony could be a lesson for mankind.

Happy Monday, everybody. Have a great week and be peaceful to one another.

Colin

Spring Swans

As anticipated, the trumpeter swans arrived this past week, a few days earlier than usual. Swans mate for life, so I am inclined to believe this is the same pair that I've been observing for the past 3 years. They usually stick around for a couple weeks before moving on to summer nesting grounds to raise their cygnets. The creek here doesn't offer much protection from predators, so this is just a temporary stop on their journey.

Dances with Swans

It seems that the pair of trumpeter swans that has been hanging around the Eagle River Nature Center has moved on, probably northward to better nesting grounds. In the two and a half weeks they were here, I spent countless hours with them and am grateful for the quality time we had together and the beautiful opportunities they presented. I have gathered my favorite moments into this collection, appropriately titled "Dances with Swans." Enjoy...

Swan Photo of the Day

I had a brief visit with the swans this morning as I had to be to work in the visitor center at 10 am. The sunlight hadn’t come around the mountain yet and I was running short on time when I saw this image line up. The mountains across the valley were glowing in the sunshine, casting a golden reflection on the water. I got myself into position just before this swan spread its wings, giving me a parting shot before I had to be on my way.

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