Saturday, September 13, 2014

US and China Arctic Sand Sculpture Exhibition, Fairbanks, AK Aug 19.2014

Yea, I know I'm posting a little late and it's been far in between post. What can I say, it's been an awesome summer. I can't stay inside when we're having beautiful weather. Now it's raining and fall is in full swing, I can post.
I went to Fairbanks last month for the Friends of Creamer's Field Sand Hill Crane Festival . Killing time between my explorations around Fairbanks, I went to the US and China Arctic Sand Sculptures Exhibition.
 Some of the talent there was extraordinary, but some was out of its class. The entry fee was $10 and for your bang for your buck, it was over priced. The biggest irritant was the background music. It was stuck. Do you remember dirty needles and a turn table? How they would get stuck and play the same few bars over and over and over. That was going on and like none of the organizers noticed, at least it seemed that way. Not that I'm a fan of twangy music from China, this tested my inner bad person reactions.
 Finally someone kicked the machine or unplugged it, I'm not sure. It was a cloudy day, so some of the exhibits were covered by temporary tents. You can tell the ones left for the elements to play with. But some had some talent and time put into them. Those are the ones here that I posted.
 There wasn't much of a crowd. I don't know if it was because of the clouds or distractions elsewhere.
 Being in an industrial area, it also was hard to see some of the beauty with the distractions in the background.
I hope it's an event that they improve on and returns. It could be so much more than what I saw.
For more of my photos of this event, click here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer is hanging on

We've been pretty busy, but Macy and I did get to escape for a little bit yesterday. We went to Upper Six Mile Lake. The temperature was great with a little wind to keep the bugs away.
 And we watched a few planes come and go.
You know, I think the leaves are starting to change.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Nothing special going on

Nothing special going on a Saturday night. Took it easy today and then Macy and I decided to go for a drive
 The falls at the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery, aka Ship Creek Fish Hatchery is always a neat place to check out. The fish are still trying to make that big jump. 
Then we went to Kincaid Park. You're always going to see moose there unless you're going to show people moose there. We had to leave because Macy wouldn't stop growling at this guy and he seemed like he was thinking about charging.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Spawn until you die, Alaska

As you know, I visit Ship Creek often. Right now the salmon are running. Some have run out.
 There's always another waterfall.
 How high can you go.
 Most of these guys and gals have turned red, so their time is limited.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I've never seen Denali out so much

I went to Fairbanks last weekend and what a trip there. We stopped at the south viewing rest area and the top was about to come out from behind a few small clouds. Well, they seemed small from 40 miles away. I've lived here over 30 years and have never seen Denali so much in one summer.
 We also stopped at the Alaskan Veterans Memorial. One of my favorite places along the highway. There were still flowers from the 4th of July.
 That's my friend Susan next to the Alaska Territorial Guard memorial. If you look where the ATG member is pointing and where the binoculars are, they're pointing at Denali.
 It was good weather for the moose to be swimming. I didn't bring my swim suit.
 Sunshine was out the whole way.
It was a good trip. I'll have more photos soon. I'm so far behind processing, it's not funny. I blame it on the good weather. If it's sunny out, I don't want to be inside behind a computer.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Even more Denali

Can you imagine driving north on the Richardson Highway, it's 80°+ outside on the 4th of July in Alaska and you com over a hill and this is what you see?
 That's what my friend Terri and I go to see for the holiday. The funny thing is that it was out the whole day. They say that only 25% of the people that come to Alaska to see Denali, get to see it cloud free.
 And it was a hot cloud free day.
And a beautiful fun day. Thanks Terri for going along.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Imagine Denali

I've been able to do a lot more traveling around Alaska this summer. Sometimes I also get to do some day dreaming. Can you imagine living in Denali National Park?
How about as a golden eagle

or as a dall sheep

or caribou

or more caribou?
WoW! What a dream.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Touring Alaska, what a week

My sister and her husband came up from Maryland to visit and I decided to be the ultimate tour guide. While at it, we might as well check out places I haven't been to either. Our first trip is into Denali National Park, the biggest mountains, the most wildlife and awesome scenery.
 On June 11th ( my 29th birthday. I'm not going to tell you how many 29th birthdays I've had) it snowed. Snowed in June! Did you read that? It snowed in June!
We saw brown bear so close that only the bus walls separated us. It could care less about us tourist gawking out the window and pointing all kinds of cameras at it. It was eating the green before it got covered by the snow.
The views were awesome and went on and on and on. There wasn't a time when I wasn't in awe of everything we got to see.
 These smart ravens were nesting under a bridge where they didn't have to worry about predators. They say corvids are the smartest.
 As the day went by, the snow stopped, the rain stopped and the mountain, Denali was revealing more and more.
 I always knew I would make it to the end of the road, but didn't know when or where. We traveled 185 on a old school bus with an awesome driver / guide, we saw bear, caribou, sheep, golden eagles, bald eagles, ravens and much more. It was a trip well worth it.
 Next stop was 45 minutes south of Anchorage at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. You're right, I've written about it before. So my sis' wanted to go. The wind was blowing and the animals were very active. She thinks the mush ox are ugly, but not me. They are built to survive arctic conditions.
They got in a couple orphaned moose. They were taking a nap and looked very comfortable.

 This little guy was singing his heart out and you could hear it above a lot of the noise. It didn't care that there was brown bear, tour buses and tourist below.
 The bears at AWCC are always a treat.
 Baby caribou. It's that time of year.
 Reindeer amaze me. How do they hold their head up?
 From there to Portage Glacier aboard the Ptarmigan. Icebergs, waterfalls and awesome scenery.
Lots of small side trips in between. They leave tomorrow night and will probably be happy to get back home so they can rest.
I'll have more photos posted when I get the time.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Not just glacier viewing in Prince William Sound

The photographs don't do justice to the beautiful day it was. I went out on Phillips Cruises & Tours, 26 Glacier Cruise yesterday out of Whittier, Alaska yesterday with a fun group from Stewart's Photo. Here we were in the North America's northern-most rain forest on a beautiful sunny day.
Humpback whales were everywhere. They must of liked the sun also. An endangered species, but the population is growing about 7% a year since being granted protection from whaling in 1966.
As a kid I thought I splashed a lot of water doing cannon balls.
 Harbor Seal getting a tan while hauled out on a small ice burg. Their numbers are on the decline in the area. A specific reason is not known. There's probably multiple factors involved.
 Glaciers, glaciers and more glaciers. They said we would see 26 glaciers in one day. I didn't count them, but I don't doubt we did. If you put all the glaciers in the lower 48 states, they wouldn't be as large as one of Alaska's bigger glaciers.
 They say there's about 100,00 glaciers in Alaska, but only 650 have been named. This is Harriman Glacier.
 More Humpback Whales. An adult can get 55 feet long an weigh up to 40 tons. Their dorsal fin and fluke are distinct to each whale and can be use for identification.
 We saw these two over a half mile away.
Black-legged Kittiwake. They say there's about 5 thousand here. I took their word for it.
I'll have more photos posted later. It was a great day and I have about 1000 photos to go through.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Beavers at play

I've been watching these beavers on and off for the past couple of years. There's four of them that live in this pond. It's taken me a couple of trips this year to determine what time of day or night they like to come out the most. 9PM seems to be the fav.
 They have a modest home, right smack dab in the middle of an industrial area owned by the Alaska Railroad. The city did add onto the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail a couple years ago where it runs right next to it and many other neat spots.
 The trail is used a bit but not real heavy. Maybe because there's not a lot of residential areas along the trail. A lot of people cross the bridge that goes over this pond without even seeing the beavers.
 I think they get kind of curious as to what I'm up to. They come in kind of close and swim back and forth right in front of me for some time.
 I started getting the attention of other wildlife. I guess they were looking for a handout maybe.
At first, the water slapping startled Macy. But after a bit she'd quietly watch the show. I guess you can say hands down this beaver put on the best show.