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Posts Tagged ‘Arctic’

Print of The Month


Snow Geese On Arctic Tundra

Snow Geese On Arctic Tundra

Snow Geese on Arctic Tundra

Snow Geese In Flight

Snow Geese in flight Arctic

Snow Geese In Flight, Arctic

The arctic is a tremendously beautiful place and nothing says arctic to me like fog, wind, and cold.

White Fronted Goose

Greater White Fronted Goose Arctic Alaska

Greater White Fronted Goose Arctic Alaska

The arctic evening have longs hours of beautiful golden light and this lady is soaking up some rays.  The White Fronted Goose is a long time favorite of mine and is ubiquitous on the north slope.

King Eider

King Eider Portrait photograph

King Eider

The Comp.


Snow Geese Chicks

The Snow Geese Junior Hockey team.  They had a Hockey mom getting after them a little for what sounded like a lack of effort.  You can’t blame her too much.  Look at them;  they look like they don’t have a care in the world.

The King Eider


Somateria spectabilis, The King Eider is a large, ornately plumaged duck that spends the predominate portion of its life in the very far north.  Its breeding grounds in the Americas are in the Arctic and the North West Territories and it winters mostly no farther south than the Aleutian Islands.  In addition it spends the predominate portion of its life out on the remote northern waters and therefore is not easily observable.

The King Eider population migrates very early, sometimes to their own detriment, flying across the tundra in flocks reported at up to 113,000 in one half hour period.  Now these birds fly at about 60 km/hr at less than 100 meters off the ground.  Imagine yourself on the Arctic tundra with over one hundred thousand birds, flying less than three hundred feet over your head, at forty miles an hour.  Wow.  And these migrations can fill the sky for hours, ten hours in the case of this particular report.

Arctic Loon


The Arctic Loon has a distinguishing “greenish” iridescent patch on its foreneck that most of the time looks black.  From this angle you can see the green.  The little chick is all fluffy brown down though at the moment.  After being born the chicks down can actually get water logged and they will jump up on Momma’s back for a ride while they dry out.  This little guy seemed pretty well on his way to adjusting to his future on the water.  He still cannot dive though, too buoyant.  When mom or dad dives under he sticks his head down and tries to give chase but just pops right back up like a little cork.



Everybody loves chicks.  Loon Chicks are a special treat, and Arctic Loon chicks are too cool.  I found this mom and chick squirting around a little pond of water and after some initial hesitation they relaxed and let me observe and photograph.  Arctic Loons are an absolutely beautiful bird and I did not realize that they actually can have a very dark green neck, only when the sun hits them just right does it appear anything other than black.  This little chick was having a pretty good time but it must have been fed earlier, the day before both mom and dad were working lunch duty, today the action was not so feverish.  The little chick had been swimming in between the two of them and just turning its head from one to the other to get whatever it was they were getting from the bottom.  Good times.

Midnight Wilderness


Debbie S. Miller has written one of the best, if not the best, descriptive books on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and it is certainly the most enjoyable that I have read.  Debbie has real world years of feet on the ground experience in ANWR and her book will impart to you her passion for a place of moving beauty.  I’ll let her introduce herself in her own words (http://www.debbiemilleralaska.com/).  Midnight Wilderness is a book to read if you want to know what the fuss is about with regard to drilling ANWR.  http://www.debbiemilleralaska.com/MidnightWilderness.htm.  It is available on Amazon of course.

Just got back from Denali NP and Denail State Park so I have a lot of catching up to do.  I have a ton of photos to go through; I will put some up asap.

Arctic Wings


Another recommendation for you if you enjoy birds, birding, and are interested in finding out more about the ANWR.  The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is an extremely import migratory gathering point for well over 100 species of birds.  Area 1002 is the proposed drilling area and this area is located on the coastal plain, there would be a large impact (at the least) to caribou and nesting birds and shore birds if this were developed for oil drilling and production.  This is an area richly diverse and biologically expedient to many mammals and birds and the Arctic Ocean is of course, the anchor of the biology here and must be protected from oil spills.  ANWR is a magnificent place (haven’t been there myself yet) and I believe there are other options for acquiring the oil reserves there that are far less obtrusive and invasive.  The infrastructure required for oil drilling and production is sprawling and invasive and brings air pollution, noise pollution and light pollution to these wildness areas and it is first, avoidable and second disruptive to these important links in our ecosystem.   This is an important place to conserve and we can conserve it by being realistic about how we go about extracting the resources that are in the earth while respecting the importance of the resources that are on it; all of them.  “I would drill through a caribous’ head to get to the oil in ANWR” — Glenn Beck

Subhankar Banerjee has devoted the last 8 years exclusively to ANWR and increasing the awareness of it and working to protect it.  He put this book together.  Micho Hoshino’s photograph of a Snowy Owl graces the cover, some might remember him.  Debbie Miller is an essayist for the book and I have another recommendation forth coming on her work, I really enjoy her ability to communicate so vividly about such a place in such a personal way.