Bald Eagle Silhouette; Image of the Month, Dec 2014

December 6th, 2014 by
A soaring bald eagle silhouetted against a gorgeous Alaska sunrise.

A soaring bald eagle silhouetted against a gorgeous Alaska sunrise. Please click the thumbnail above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

A quickie before I take off? I’m not really that kinda guy .. but here’s a photo from our recent trip to Haines, taken the last morning of the trip. I was pretty stoked to see this pop up on the viewfinder.

Heading down under to see my folks, so not sure how much I’ll be able to post over the next month, I’ll try to post something though. You all have a wonderful holiday season.

Cheers

Carl

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The Lost Coast Hike

November 6th, 2014 by
The Lost Coast in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, with Mt Cook and the Saint Elias Range rising in the background.

The Lost Coast in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, with Mt Cook and the Saint Elias Range rising in the background. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks

Now that summer and fall has wound down some, I’ve got a little time to catch up on image processing and maybe blogging as well! We’ll see how far we get with that.

One of the trips I was really looking forward to this summer was a hike along the coast, the southern reaches of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. I’d hiked part of this area previously, some of it a couple of times, but I’d never hiked the eastern section, below the Malaspina Forelands. So it was a great experience to finally get down to this area and walk the coastline, completing what is really a cool walk.

We did the hike as an exploratory trek this year, and took a bit longer for the the hike than I normally might, as we wanted to explore a few things along the way, look for the best campsites, and so on.

Packrafts are a necessity along this route; some of the rivers that have to be crossed would be foolish to cross without a packraft, unless at super low water. …. Read the rest of this entry » »

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Brown bear and a Sockeye salmon: Image of the Month, Nov 2014

November 2nd, 2014 by
A mature male Alaska brown bear carries a bright red Sockeye Salmon by the dorsal fin, in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A mature male Alaska brown bear carries a bright red male Sockeye Salmon by the dorsal fin, in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Meet Little Otis, one of the most beautiful brown bears I’ve had the good fortune to see and to photograph. I’ve shot this guy for a number of years now, as he’s grown from a cute young cub to a cautious young subadult bear to a nearly full grown adult male brown bear; Little Otis is no longer quite so “little”, but always  treat to photograph. He’s definitely one of the most photogenic brown bears I’ve photographed.

Nearly full grown, he’s just as magnificent as ever, with a beautiful light brown coat, blond highlights and markings, and a playful, easy character. I’ve watched him play and wrestle with other young male bears, and never once seen him show aggression toward another bear. He pretty much (typically) goes about his day looking for salmon. He also has this rather curious technique of carrying salmon by their dorsal fin; he’ll often catch a fish in the stream, then grab it’s dorsal fin and carry it ward shallower water, where he’ll eat it. I’ve not seen a lot of other bears carry the fish this way, particularly big male bears and certainly not so predictably.

Little Otis is an awesome bear.

Cheers

Carl

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Hiking poles and Alaska backpacking

October 29th, 2014 by
A hiker backpacking up Harry's Gulch in the eastern Chugach mountains of Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A hiker backpacking up Harry’s Gulch in the eastern Chugach mountains of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Hiking poles, or trekking poles, can be considered an integral part of the setup for a trek like this one from Bremner Mines to Tebay Lakes.

Hey Folks,

 

So one question I’m frequently asked about pertains to hiking poles, or trekking poles, and how important or useful they are for backpacking here in Alaska. In short, I’d suggest they’re more than useful, almost mandatory. Of course, few things in the mountains are ever so objective; the mountains are a subjective place, and so we shouldn’t look for objective answers like this. What’s right for me mightn’t be right for you, and what’s right on August 15 mightn’t be right on August 16 (or even 3 hours later on August 15), and so on. But as a general rule, I’d urge anyone coming to Alaska to backpack, and particularly someone on their first ever trip here, to count on using your hiking poles.

Jon, pictured above here, is a great hiker; in super shape, he’s athletic, well-balanced and a very good walker; safe to say he’s a much better hiker than the average backpacker. Much better. He cruised the Bremner Mines to Tebay Lakes route with virtually no trouble at all, and that’s a tough walk, by almost anyone’s metrics. Even Jon mentioned how useful and helpful the hiking poles were for him on this trip. This image, taken as we walked westward up Harry’s Gulch, shows one of the most strenuous parts of hiking in the mountains around here; …. Read the rest of this entry » »

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Polar bear cub and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Image of the Month, Oct 2014

October 10th, 2014 by
A young polar bear cub cautiously approaches over the slush ice and snow of the Beaufort Sea, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska.

A young polar bear cub cautiously approaches over the slush ice and snow of the Beaufort Sea, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Still here in the arctic. And it’s very arctic indeed . we’ve had some crazy weather the last week, but things settled today and we were able to get out and shoot some images. This young cub approached us over the slush ice and snow at the edge of the barrier island, and I used a 28-70mm lens for the wide view. How cute is cute?

Cheers

Carl

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Brown Bear in Katmai National Park: Image of the Month, Sept 2014

September 10th, 2014 by
Brown bear (Ursus arctos), and a reflection in a lake, sunset, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Brown bear (Ursus arctos), and a reflection in a lake, sunset, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Sorry for the delay again, I’ve been in the field, and still catching up with everything here since getting out; And part of that catching up involves packing for the next trip, where I’ll be leading 2 sold out photo tours to Katmai National Park for the Grizzlies in the Fall trip. Definitely a favorite trip of mine, and one I look forward to getting back to every year.

Hopefully this year we get some light and scenes like this one to make a few images. Fingers crossed!!!!

Cheers

Carl

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Chugach Mountains Campsite; Image of the Month, August 2014

July 29th, 2014 by
Campsite in eastern Chugach mountains, near Iceberg Lake, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Campsite in eastern Chugach mountains, near Iceberg Lake, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

A quick post from the eastern edge of Alaska’s Chugach Mountains, near Iceberg lake in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Camping in a place like this is a real treat, even more so when the weather is this superb. Awesome place.

Cheers

Carl

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Packrafting Malaspina Lake – Image of the Month, July 2014

July 1st, 2014 by
Chuck takes a swig of water from his Nalgene bottle while we're out paddling around in our packrafts on Malaspina Lake, in southern Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Chuck takes a swig of water from his Nalgene bottle while we’re out paddling around in our packrafts on Malaspina Lake, in southern Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

What an awesome area; Malaspina Lake, near Malaspina Glacier and Icy Bay. We spent nearly 2 weeks down here, hiking and packrafting and sea kayaking along the Lost Coast and Icy Bay. This day was a memorable one, spending the afternoon paddling around Malaspina Lake in our Packrafts. Had a bit of a mission of a hike to get to the shore of the lake, but it was all so worthwhile when we arrived.

Cheers

Carl

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Grizzly Bear Paw print

June 24th, 2014 by
A footprint in the mud of a grizzly bear paw and a human footprint.

A footprint in the mud of a grizzly bear paw and a human footprint side by side. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks

A recent trip to Malaspina Lake, and the Lost Coast and Icy Bay treated us to this set of prints, along the silty shores of Malaspina Lake.

So whoever saw a grizzly bear with one bear paw and one human foot? Amazing. The Malaspina Monster, evidence at least. The missing link? Who knows?

Cheers

Carl

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Harbor Seals, Icy bay – Image of the Month; June 2014

June 4th, 2014 by
A mother harbor seal and her pup rest on an iceberg in Icy Bay, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A mother harbor seal and her pup rest on an iceberg in Icy Bay, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

A tolerant female Harbor seal and her young pup watched us curiously from this iceberg. Paddling back to camp one afternoon, we snuck by her as we were weaving our way through a throng of icebergs. Quietly trying not to frighten the seal from her place of rest, we paddled by and headed back to camp. Fantastyic afternoon sea kayaking in Icy Bay.

Cheers

Carl

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Owner and guide Carl Donohue.

 

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