I have been on a blogging hiatus this summer, mainly because I haven’t had much internet access out here in the wilds of Alaska. During this summer of Trump, that hasn’t been a bad thing. With readily available internet, I’d have spent an unhealthy amount of time reading about the antics of the GOP presidential candidate, then following that up with hours of Jon Oliver and Samantha Bee videos to help me cope. One great thing about Alaska is that you can escape from the drama of the world, and during an election year, that is a beautiful thing.
Instead, I have pursued offline activities, traveling up Glacier Bay several times, going on many hikes and visiting nearby Juneau. I even stayed up late into the night a few times watching the northern lights.
So, here are my top 10 photos from the summer. At the bottom is a poll where you can vote for your favorite if you’d like. Voting is very important, especially if you live in Ohio or Florida – there is great pressure on people in those states to get it right in November by not picking the outrageous, orange, racist guy. Luckily, this poll will have less pressure. Just pick a photo you like.
Without further ado…
Halibut Point Sunset
I took this photo at very low tide, braving slippery rocks covered with slimy seaweed but suffering for my art was worth it, I think. We get lots of incredible sunsets in Glacier Bay, but this was probably my favorite.
Sky on Fire
Last week I experienced the best northern lights show I’ve seen in my 12 years in Alaska, and by far the most photogenic. Bartlett Cove was a mirror, reflecting the ethereal light that illuminated the north sky all night. Occasionally, shafts of light, like a magical chandelier, would knife down from straight overhead, dancing and pulsing. Strangely, I had the song Strawberry Fields Forever, in my head, and the line “nothing is real” made a lot of sense to me during the surrealistic light show.
Leap of Faith
A baby mountain goat on gloomy knob in Glacier Bay National Park took a leap of faith over what to him must have looked like a bottomless abyss. He spent several moments gathering the courage to make the jump after his mom nonchalantly strolled over it.
Sawyer Glacier Calving
I’ve been lucky enough to see and photograph some massive glacier calvings this summer, but this was the most photogenic. The crashing ice from the blue glacier sent up a spray of brown silt-laden water. It sent waves across the bay that rocked the boat. Awesome.
Note: there is no such thing as global warming – it was invented by the Chinese to steal American jobs.
Flock of Seagulls
Seagulls gather by the thousands in Glacier Bay, and one evening the sun cut through a gap in the clouds and illuminated a flock of birds as they took flight, soaring about in a Hitchcockian swarm. A seagull by itself isn’t very interesting; a flock of one thousand seagulls is pretty incredible.
Seagulls and Sea Lions
Speaking of flocks of seagulls, after a bald eagle landed in the middle of their cliffside nests, they took to wing by the hundreds and returned to the cliffside to dive bomb the massive eagle, basically harassing the hell out of it as it sat smugly among their nests. The sea lions were content to watch from the rocks and not get involved in bird drama.
This photo probably took the least amount of creativity – God and Canon did the hard part. I just snapped a photo of the massive glacier and uploaded it to the internet.
Field of Fireweed
Most people don’t realize just how colorful Alaska can be during the summer. On the open flatlands near the Gustavus beach, purple lupine and white cow parsnips grow in May and give way to fields of fireweed in June. It is one of my favorite places to take photos and watch a sunset.
I love Glacier Bay because there are lots of bald eagles, and being a truly patriotic American I get a feeling of pride whenever I see one of these birds. When I see them eat dead seagulls, scavenge stinky fish carcasses or invade Iraq, I feel less national pride. This eagle posed for me atop a tree just begging me to snap his photo.
Whale of a Tail
The good news: right at the start of our whale watching tour three humpback whales dove right under the boat, their massive tales so close it seemed as though we could touch them. The bad news: we didn’t see anything this incredible for the next three hours. Nonetheless, anytime I go whale watching I am always amazed at the grace and power of these giant animals.
As promised, you can vote!