Snowshoe Hare

Now I don’t want to split hares here but technically speaking, Lepus Americanus is actually not a rabbit. With larger bodies and longer hind legs than rabbits, snowshoe hares also have unique behavioral characteristics and their fur changes color throughout the year, being brown or grey in summer and morphing into white for camouflage in wintertime. Snowshoe hares go through a population boom and bust cycle that lasts from 8 to 11 years and they are currently nearing their peak in Southcentral Alaska, which explains the recent increase in lynx sightings, as they (lynx) are dependent on snowshoe hares for their primary food source.

Taken yesterday at the Eagle River Nature Center.


Aurora Photography Class

Hello friends, fellow photogs, and aurora enthusiasts. I am teaching an aurora photography class at the Eagle River Nature Center on Saturday, March 24 at 8pm. If you or someone you know is interested, please follow the link below to register. Cost is $75 and limited to 10 people. This class always fills up so don't hesitate if you would like to attend. Feel free to share and spread the word.




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.





Winter Photo Class

This valley has been pretty brown all winter, but that changed yesterday. We got a foot of fresh powder - more than we've gotten over the past 3 months - just in time for my winter photography class! This is the hearty bunch of photogs who spent the day trekking through the snow with me. We covered more than six miles in a beautiful winter wonderland, capturing photos along the way. Thank you to all who attended! 


Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes (Turn and face the strange)
Turn and face the seasonal

If you've followed along with the photos of this moose that I've been posting recently, here is a collage of the changes that took place over the past week. Hopefully I will be able to photograph him throughout the spring and summer as he grows a new set of antlers.

Unicorned Moose

Today may have been the closest I ever come to fulfilling my dream of witnessing a unicorn in the wild. This is the bull moose that I photographed last week, though he was still carrying a full rack when I previously saw him. It seemed unusual to have his antlers this late in the winter season, so I reasoned that it wouldn’t be long before they were shed. Voila - five days later, you might say he is half the man he used to be.

February Bull Moose

This is the first moose I’ve seen near the Nature Center since last October; they aren’t as prevalent in this part of the valley during the winter months. I'm pretty certain this was one of the bulls I photographed out here last year. I imagine he will shed his antlers in the near future, only to be replaced by a new set in the spring.

Winter Bear Tracks

While hiking on the frozen Eagle River yesterday, I discovered what I believe to be black bear tracks in the ice. They've melted and refrozen, so there wasn't much detail, but I could make out claw marks and the size and spacing lead me to believe a black bear was out of its den during the warm spell we had last week.

Return of the Sun

Today I took a long breath, exhaled and smiled from somewhere deep within as the sun climbed over the mountains, making its long awaited return to the valley after a two-month absence, splashing my face with golden sunlight.

PS - It looks as though we're going to have clear skies this evening for my aurora photography class. After a week of clouds and rain, this is a beautiful reprieve!

Early Morning Aurora

Ground Control to Major Tom, we’ve got some geomagnetic activity out there this morning….

The sky was socked in when I went to bed last night. Early this morning I woke to patchy skies and brilliant aurora, so I quickly got dressed, grabbed my gear, brewed a thermos of tea and hit the trail. When I arrived at the viewing decks, the lights had faded a bit and clouds intermittently blocked my view, eventually clearing off in time for another surge in the aurora, which carried on until it could no longer compete with the impending daylight.

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.