Three feet of fresh snow! Yippee!!! It is hard to hike cross country here since we have deep hummocks, chest high fireweed and willow brush. Enough snow smooths out the bumps and we can snow shoe over the top of it and go anywhere. Plus the bears are sleeping! This is a strange photo, but I like the weird shadows...
Low tide on the Turnagain Arm on the Cook Inlet near Hope, Alaska. This is the first of many photos I will be posting from our recent road trip. This is the view from one of our free campsites, and it was very interesting to see the water come in and fill in the patterns in the sand on this beach. We headed in this direction to see the bore tide which was supposed to create a three foot wave, but we were not in the best location when it came through! The Turnagain arm has the largest tidal range in the US.
More snow (and more on the way)!! We now have 5 feet...The last storm took out the electricity and internet for a while, but the snowshoeing is wonderful! We snowshoe 1/4 mile through this area to get out to the plowed road, and haul groceries in on a sled. I almost always enjoy the trek, and get lots of photos on the way!
“hark, now hear the sailors cry, smell the sea, and feel the sky let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic...” ― Van Morrison
From Friday at the beach....I wish I had stepped back a bit and included the tip of the foam, but the wind was blowing and my fingers were freezing. Some days you just enjoy the experience and take what you can get!
More aurora borealis from Saturday night...It was a grand show! The predictions for it have been wrong lately so we never know when it will show up, or how long it will last. The element of surprise makes seeing it even more wonderful!
"To bring anything into your life, imagine it is already there" - Richard Bach
From last Friday at the beach...Otters playing in the waves and lots of shorebirds. A much needed break from snow. It looks like we are getting a break again today, and I am heading back to the beach! Enjoy your day! :)
We are in the middle of selling our house and buying a house in Haines Alaska (1000 miles away). I haven't even had time to process the photos from our last road trip! I will try to stop in briefly on Fridays but things are getting even more busy. I will be back here more often after this crazy summer. I am sorry I am missing all the wonderful posts from my friends!
The beaches here are different every time I visit with tides, seasons, weather and clouds. Earlier in the week biting wind was whipping frothy waves, but yesterday at sunset all was calm. Variety is good! There should be snow for Christmas... :)
A little northern light glow from last night! We might see it again tonight, and maybe on Monday too... Even a little show is worth missing sleep for, and it is wonderful to be out in the crisp night air gazing at the stars. Hope your weekend was good!
Northern lights from last night!! I was up until 3 am watching them, but the show is worth missing sleep for. It filled the entire sky, and was pulsing and flickering! One of the best shows we have seen so far, and they are supposed to be back tonight. I am tired, but happy!
No Regrets - I will never regret a decision to goof off and walk on the beach. On my death bed, I will not say that I should have spent more time working, or that I should have kept a cleaner house. I will never regret seeing too many sunsets.
I decided to quote myself today! A wonderful day at the beach yesterday, strangely warm for November.
Going With the Flow - Another abstract made from combining three different photos in different overlay blending modes. I am doing a lot of these lately, and having a lot of fun with it! And a quote I like:
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
We had a few beautiful days before it started to rain and did a lot of hiking. The Sockeye salmon are spawning now and the high bush cranberries are ripe so there is a lot of bear activity. At this spot the grizzly bear was on the other side of the river, and I didn't get a good photo since I don't have a good zoom lens. Earlier in the day the bear was on the trail, but I didn't get a photo since I was too scared! We watched The Edge before we left (thanks to +Marianne Skov Jensen !) so were already on edge. After hiking in for a few miles, we saw a large pile of bear poop (full of berries) on the trail. We kept going, and passed by a moose skeleton, and more bear poop, and then as we got closer to the river there were mutilated fish bodies on the trail. After the 5th pile of fresh steaming bear poop, we wisely decided to turn around! As we were heading back, there was a loud rustling noise in the bushes and it was a bear!! We made a lot of noise as to not surprise it, and moved off the trail so it could pass by, gripping our tripods to use as weapons if it charged. Thankfully it moved away, but my heart was pounding and I was so glad to get back to the parking lot. We want to go back since the river was gorgeous, but will at least have pepper spray next time!
Forest Lake in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge - We had some stormy days on our last trip, but it made for some interesting clouds! The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is nearly 2 million protected acres, and there are two dirt roads we take into it to get away from crowds. We didn't see anyone on the hiking trails when we were there, and there was no one else camping at the little lakes we like to visit. Maybe because of the unsettled weather! There are lots of little lakes like this one, and a few canoe routes that include 30 lakes with small portages between them. A kayak is on my wish list! Last year this time we saw trumpeter swans, but there were none this year and not many loons or ducks. I hope they are just late showing up, but this worries me...
"Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization." - Charles Lindbergh
On Saturday we spent over an hour watching bald eagles soaring over the Kachemak Bay. Sometimes two of them would fly together, and then do some strange maneuvers locking talons in mid air. They don't mate in the air, but it is a mating ritual. I did get some photos of it, but I like this background better. :) Here is a link to a video that shows it: http://birdnote.org/video/2012/07/bald-eagle-mating-ritual-sky-dancing
Happy Earth Day! I hope you can get outside and enjoy nature, one of the best ways to celebrate. #earthday .
This is HDR, and as you can tell, my intentions are more artistic than natural! It might make a good background for added elements in a fantasy scene, but I am still trying to decide what to add. Maybe a grand piano?
Floating for +Abstract Xpression and +AbstractArtMonday . I have been photographing bits of natural sea debris floating in the water of the harbor lately, and this is a composite of photos including one of the sun reflected in the water.
This will be my last post for a while since I will be on a short road trip to see more of Alaska, but should be back this weekend...Have a good week!
This will be a post and run since we are leaving this afternoon on our next trip! This time we will be going to the interior of Alaska and plan to be near the Arctic Circle for summer solstice on June 20th when the sun never sets.
It will be another short trip, and we plan to be back on Friday so hopefully I won't miss the aliens... Have a wonderful week!
"Our life expresses the result of our dominant thoughts." -Soren Kierkegaard
I want to think positively...Things are good here, but the news is so disturbing. I want to believe that we will turn things around. I want to believe that we will do the right thing for the environment and end suffering. I want to have hope. I should do more to help...
This is from a sunset at the beach over the weekend, with textures added.
“Fly without wings; Dream with open eyes; See in darkness.” - Dejan Stojanovic
Last week it was snowing, and now we have no clouds! The frustrations of a landscape photographer...While I wait for good clouds, I am playing with old photos and this is a composite with a texture layer. Hope you are having a good week!
Land's End - The beach at the end of the spit in Homer, Alaska. The spit extends out 4.5 miles into the Kachemak Bay, and gets us closer to those beautiful mountains and glaciers on the other side. We often see sea otters, various shorebirds and sometimes whales from the spit. We had two weeks with no clouds, but now the clouds are back! It is hard to take landscape photos without clouds.
A little Aurora Borealis - This was a surprise...It wasn't predicted, and yesterday was dark and cloudy. Around midnight the clouds were gone and a glow appeared in the north. It wasn't the best and brightest aurora with the moonlight, but the waves of light were rippling and it filled the entire sky. This was taken at 3am after a 1/4 mile hike in my pajamas by flashlight to find a different view of it. It was wonderful to be out in the still night watching the stars and the ribbons of light moving overhead while I waited for the long exposures. You can see Orion in this shot! It was still going at 4am, but that is when I quit watching. Nature is so amazing! I need a nap.
To another year of creative experiments, colorful sunsets, exploration, wild beauty, natural magic, mental challenges, good books, weird dreams, alien madness, gypsy music, art, laughter, love and friendship...Not necessarily in that order!
One of my first digital drawings, currently on display in the hallway of the infamous Red Lounge on Venus for #alienabductionfriday . Our curator +Irene Kato might even recognize it!
Some Earthlings don't understand my work, but at least it is popular with the Gargonian miners on Titan. I am submitting a proposal to decorate inside the drawers in the unisex powder room of the intergalactic space bar, so wish me luck!
"In response to those who say to stop dreaming and face reality, I say keep dreaming and make reality." ~Kristian Kan
I am busy chasing another dream... After our last trip to different areas of Alaska, we impulsively decided to put our house in Homer up for sale and try to move to Talkeetna, which is a small town closer to those wonderful dirt roads and wild areas we traveled through. Homer and the Kenai Peninsula are beautiful, but we have been here two years and have explored much of it and are ready to see other parts of Alaska. I used to call myself a semi-nomadic back road traveler, and I guess that still fits! I will still be around here when I can, just less while we are in transition. Our property might not sell, but we have to keep chasing our dreams!
*Special Alert for #alienabductionfriday * and +Irene Kato: The aliens have apparently taken over the communication systems in Alaska!! My radio is static, my phone doesn't work and there is no TV!! (Maybe because I don't have cable..). Good thing I still have the internet to send in this report!
This is what happens when clouds come in during an aurora borealis show! Eventually the clouds blocked it out entirely.
If you want to see some excellent aurora shots, check out +Helge Korneliussen from Norway. I would like to get something different in the foreground, but the mountains are to the south and the lights are in the north....
More of the aurora borealis, as promised! This is from last Thursday, which was my favorite night because we could see purple tones. We had three nights of this wonderful light show last week. There is no way to really capture how amazing it was to see these streaming lights filling most of the sky, but maybe you can imagine it!
Meadow circles?? Kind of like crop circles...When I go outside in the morning, there are three or more large circles where the vegetation has been flattened. Could these be left by the landing of alien spaceships? Also, the broccoli in my vegetable garden is missing! They might be rading my garden for food to feed the abducted humans...This is a mystery for +Alien Abduction Friday , #alienabductionfriday and our fabulous curator +Irene Kato . Happy Friday!!
First Snow - At least the first snow that I have proof of! +Rob Patterson wanted a snow photo, so here is one from yesterday, with a texture layer added since it looked gray and bleak. It snowed more last night, and it will be beautiful when the sun comes out again. We have three inches!
We get some wonderful waves in the winter, almost like California but a bit colder. It was around 15 degrees F with ice forming and slush in the water. Despite the cold, a beautiful day at the beach!
A UHO (Unidentified Hovering Object) spotted over the Kachemak Bay...I better report this to +Alien Abduction Friday. It looks like a planet, with a smaller one below it. A bad day to forget my zoom lens....Any idea what this could be?
The view from Bear Mountain, a sweet hiking trail in the Kenai Wildlife Refuge. There were no cars in the parking lot, probably because the rangers posted a flier at the trail head warning that bears had been spotted. We didn't see a bear, just droppings, and the view at the top was fabulous! Too bad it was in the middle of the day...I want to go back next summer when I am not shooting into the sun!
This will be a post and run since I am heading out on a road trip! The snow is finally melting after a record-breaking cold spring. My fingers are crossed for good clouds....Have a good week! I will be back when it rains. :)
Of course this is for #alienabductionfriday curated by the wonderful +Irene Kato ! There was some speculation among the #gplusaliennation that I was abducted last week, and I just laughed it off...Then I found this image in my camera!! Now I am not sure....
A photo of the Kachemak bay from yesterday (in HDR with a few tweaks....I can't seem to help it!). We are having stormy weather, and I feel sorry for all those tourists camping on the spit in the rain. Hope you are having a good weekend!
"The world is your kaleidoscope, and the varying combinations of colours, which at every succeeding moment it presents to you are the exquisitely adjusted pictures of your ever-moving thoughts." - James Allen the author of As A Man Thinketh (1902)
The Russian church and cemetery at Nikiski Alaska taken on a little road trip last week. There are quite a few Russian communities in our area, and we see the women in long colorful dresses and head scarves shopping and even on the beach. It seems like they would have a traditional lifestyle, but are usually driving large SUVs and using cell phones! An interesting mix.
I wasn't going to post today, feeling lazy on a warm (for Alaska) Sunday afternoon...I have been working on this image, and it fits the mood. Here is some music to go with it: Janis Joplin - Summertime 1968
Bishop's Beach for +LandscapeArtTuesday and +Sea Tuesday. There is still at lot of snow around our house up on the ridge, and it is not very attractive in this stage so the best photos are to be had at the beach. I am trying to shoot some backgrounds that can be used later in photo manipulation, so will be going back again today. Nice to have an excuse to spend time walking at the beach....This one is in HDR, as you can probably tell, and my intentions with it were more artistic than realistic!
Before the Storm - I wanted to post a totally normal photo today to balance out all the alien madness that will surely ensue tomorrow!! This is in HDR, of course, and was taken at the beach this week. I can't find a theme to submit it to, I am always on the wrong day! I know what I will be submitting to tomorrow though...Enjoy your day!
Kenai Lake with clouds, from our last trip. This is the same spot I took a photo in summer without a cloud in the sky...A very different look! We found a special free and private camping spot on this beach, perfect since there is also a creek and forest to explore. The blue of this lake and the Kenai river is from glacial melt and it really is this color. We ended up heading home because of the storm, but I enjoyed practicing some long exposure photos of the little creek flowing into the lake before we left. This is long exposure and HDR, just for fun. For +HDR the World with +Karl Geiger Jr and +Landscape Photography , #landscapephotography .
Some surreal reflections for +SurrealArtSaturday with +Mikko Tyllinen! I have been fascinated by the distorted reflections as we move through the harbor in our little boat. Soon we will pull it out of the water for the season, but hopefully we can take it out again today since the sun is shining... Have a wonderful weekend!
A Tybonian Gorf from page 42 of the Complete Encyclopedia of Friendly Lifeforms in the Universe for #alienabductionfriday curated by +Irene Kato and of course, #owcbn , and #gplusaliennation . We should offer him a beer!
“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” - Carl Sagan
The sun shining through frost, taken with my Lensbaby. We are having weirdly warm weather for Alaska, and days of bright sun but at least there is frost on the car windows in the morning! One of my favorite things to shoot.
A stormy beach for +Sea Tuesday and +LandscapeArtTuesday. I liked the storm clouds yesterday so took some photos on the beach, and fortunately a woman wandered into my shot. We are going back today since the clouds are still interesting and the sun is shining. Enjoy your day!
Seize the moment - When we first passed by this spot, the sun was out and there were beautiful puffy clouds, but we were in a hurry to hike to the Exit glacier (near Seward) and decided to stop on the way back. Meanwhile a storm rolled in, and when we returned the scene was dark and completely transformed. I like it with textures, but am sorry I missed what I first saw. The second lesson here is in going with the flow!
Of course this is for +Alien Abduction Friday curated by the wonderful +Irene Kato, #alienabductionfriday . This was taken from the window of the shuttle to Venus on my way to a party at the Purple Lounge. I am not sure if it is a plasmatic tracheron cluster or an alien life form! Always get a window seat on the shuttle, it cost a bit more but is worth it. Happy Friday!
Spring, Alaskan style! This is Bishop's beach near town, and the patterns in the melting snow are from tire tracks (they allow driving on this beach). I am enjoying all the green grass, flowers and flowing water in my stream since things are very different here. Today, it is snowing!!
"The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man." ~Author Unknown
The Root Glacier in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park - The first photo from our last trip. I am completely in love with this park, as I knew I would be. The largest U.S. national park, it is six times the size of Yellowstone with mountains and glaciers. Wrangell-St. Elias is bordered by Kluane National Park in Canada, Glacier Bay National Park and Tatshenshini-Alesk Provincial Park in British Columbia which are together a World Heritage Site of 24 million acres and one of the world's largest internationally protected areas. No pavement, entrance fees, or crowds here. There are two roads in, and both are rough dirt roads. In the middle of summer, were able to camp for free at a sweet spot by a river with very little road traffic. We drove 61 miles from Chitina to McCarthy on washboard to get to the end of the road. After exploring the old mine and ghost town of Kennecott (photos of that to come), we hiked two miles to this glacier. There were other people on the trail, but we walked around on the glacier and had it all to ourselves. I might not be able to afford flying into the interior and won't see all of this wonderful place, but I will be back to explore the fringes and it makes me happy to know that this large area of wilderness exists and that it is protected.
"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life" - Rachel Carson
I had a moody monochrome image to share, but the sun is out today and I am in the mood for color. I finished this yesterday, and it is a mix of 4 different photos, including one of the moon, and some photoshop filters. I might have been inspired by +ae den!
I have been wandering around with my 50mm lens and macro extension tubes the past few mornings to capture the sunlight glistening off the dew drops hanging like pearls on spider webs. I did get some flowers reflected in the drops, but not as good as others I have seen here! I liked this shot best from yesterday, with some Photoshop modifications. I am not the best at macros, but it is wonderful to get lost in the small magical details of nature.
Our sky from yesterday evening. There isn't a theme that fits... oh well! The snow is covered with tracks now and slowly melting, but hopefully the sky is enough of a distraction. Lots of nice sunny warm wonderful days and I am busy trying to dig our little boat out of the snow so we can go out on the bay. Hope the sun is shining on you!
No aurora borealis last night, sadly, since clouds moved in. Here is another shot from the night before. The huge solar storm is supposed to increase the chance of seeing it tonight, so I remain hopeful. Have a wonderful day (or night)!
A video of the best Aurora Borealis we have seen so far this season by my partner Gene. We have had some alerts lately, but haven't seen more than a green glow since October. I will keep watching the skies!
Sorry I am not around here much lately...I will soon be leaving on the first road trip of the summer, I accidentally signed up for three Coursera classes, and I figured out how to put my photo book for sale on Amazon in the Kindle Fire format and have another one in the works ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CTESWS2)
I will try to stop by on Fridays to hang out with the aliens and check in with friends. Hope everyone is doing well!
Evening at Engineer Lake in the Kenai Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Nothing fancy or artistic here, but I love the reflections in these lakes. We stopped here while searching for the perfect campsite, and didn't find one but enjoyed the view. The Seven Lakes Trail heads out from here, and that is on my list as well as kayaking to a public use cabin on the other side. No people here at all when we stopped by, and I am still amazed by that but so glad to find peaceful and beautiful natural places.