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Archive for June, 2010

The King

King Eider North Slope Alaska

King Eider in arctic pond

I got up to the north slope last week and the King Eiders were in!  Wow, they seemed to be everywhere.  This one was gleaming in the sun.  Now if you have ever been in the arctic you would know how unusual this is.  If not then let me explain.  There are 3 types of weather in the arctic; cold, windy, foggy.  Usually you get all three however every now then you get only 2 out of three.  Very rarely you get one out of three and notice that sunny did not make the list so this is a fairly rare situation.  I thoroughly enjoyed photographing these stunning birds.  They are very skittish around people as they are sea ducks that do not interact with people but during mating season they can be approachable.  Always pick the ones that are following a female around if you want to get with in any kind of range.  If you want flight photographs pick the lone drakes, they will fly.

Great Gray Owl Fledged

Great Gray owl chick after fledging

Great Gray Owl Chick Fledged on tree

The great gray owl chick fledged and I had the privilege of showing up a few minutes after the event and then spending the better part of two days with him/her.  What a great time that was.  The chick seemed pretty confident and not really fearful.  He definitely wanted to climb things and get on top of snags and stumps.  His feathers were not developed enough to get any air really but he hopped along well.  Moma owl kept a keen eye on her chick and was very tolerant of our presence.  These birds have a reputation of being very tame and that was very conducive to getting our photographs.  The adults would come in and feed the chick without any hesitation regarding us watching the whole thing.  It was a powerful experience to share that with these guys.  Eventually the little guy made it up the hill and he started to move too fast throughout the day to locate him.  Here’s to hoping he has a great life!

Blood Iris

Blood Iris Alaska wildflowers

Blood Iris Palmer Hay Flats Alaska

Alaska has a very healthy supply of these beautiful blood iris’s.  They can be found in the Anchorage area and out in the valley growing in huge groups.  The Palmer Hay flats are famous for them and Eklutna Lake has them in good supply also.

Shooting Star

Shooting Star wildflower alaska

Alaska Shooting Star Wildflower

The Alaska wildflower season is once again in full swing. These Shooting Stars were out on the Flats the other morning as I was heading in. They are absolutely beautiful flowers and set against the lush green they really stand out.

Great Gray Owls Feeding Chick

Great Gray Owl on nest with chick

Great Gray Owl with week old chick

Well the DSLR video capabilities finally proved itself of value. I was looking for but not necessarily seeing it.  We were out making photographs of a Great Gray Owl pair on the nest with chick and we had been working this project all morning. It was getting late in the morning and the light was definitely getting harsh so it was just about wrap up time when the female started hooting up a storm on the nest. We had not yet seen the male that day but I had feeling and so did Dee.  We knew something was up and I got on point with my rig and Dee instinctively hit the RECORD button on her camera.  The resulting video is awesome.  The male flies in and hands off a vole and then turns around and flies out and then the female serves up the meal to the little chick. The chick was only a week old at the time but you can see him going right at it. He was definitely hungry. All I can say is Wow, what an experience.  This one is really special though because I got to see it, I get to keep seeing it, and now I get to share the experience in motion with you.  Times…. they are a chang’n.  Enjoy and thanks for watching Fall River Photography TV :-).

New Print of the Month

The new Print of the month is up on the website.  Sentinel is to me, a fall back to the classic B&W photographs of the early western US photographers in feel.  The classic open western landscape that Weston and Adams photographed is evoked when I saw this image and the simplicity and lines are classical.  A nice evening Colorado sky was right on que too.  Thanks for taking a look.