Glacier through the alley


A view of Kennicott Glacier from an alley at the old mine

I found an old roll of black & white that I shot the last time I was out in the McCarthy area, hiking around the Kennecott Mines. I recently developed the film, so over the next few days I’ll share a few photos of that trip/hike.

Some of the photos are okay, some are just fair, but the old mine is fascinating, and I love heading out there. I do remember that the weather was absolutely wonderful, barely a cloud in the very bright sky, which isn’t always the best when shooting B&W.


Danger in Kennecott


RIP Sam

The actor, and Pulitzer winning playwright, Sam Shepard died on Thursday. Shepard wrote over 55 plays, winning the Pulitzer for “Buried Child”; and acted in over 50 films, getting an Oscar nomination for his role as Chuck Yeager in “The Right Stuff”.

Shepard died of complications from ALS. He was 73.


View from The Dome


Wild Alaska Live

A review:

PBS has a new three part series that started Sunday evening, called “Wild Alaska Live”. The premise of the show, is that producers have several “live” cameras distributed around Alaska, which they then broadcast. The show is a partnership between PBS and the producers of BBC Earth. Living in Alaska, I expect that none of it was actually broadcast live, but maybe it was somewhere.

The first episode centers around the salmon run, and camera footage comes from Tongass, Katmai and Kenai Fjords. I’m not sure who the Kratt boys are, but I assume that they do a kid’s show on PBS. They can be difficult to take, as they constantly wave their arms and talk to the camera like they are talking to a seven year old. Whenever they came into view, I wanted to grab their arms and duct tape their hands behind their backs. Early in the show, the Kratts were standing on a map of Alaska, trying to point out the locations of the cameras, and I found myself shouting directions at the TV, since they obviously had no idea where the Chilkat River was in the state.

Sigh…

From what I’ve seen in the first episode, the pre-recorded bits were the best, and the most informative. The show is worth watching for those parts alone. The footage is quite good, and simply seeing the incredible number of salmon in the streams will amaze viewers who are not familiar with our salmon runs. As for the Kratts, Alaskans will just have to suffer through, and hope that some young viewers get excited about Wild Alaska because of their antics.

The second episode airs on Wednesday.

WAL logo credit: PBS


Welcome to Yakutat

While en route to the Yakutat Lodge, two people in a car were charged by an agitated bear. A warning to anyone contemplating picking up a hitchhiker.


Alaska’s Only Hummingbird


Photo credit: Audubon.org

Alaska has a lot of summer visitors, one is the Rufous hummingbird, the only hummingbird that visits the Last Frontier.

At only 3″ tall, with a wingspan of about 4″, the Rufous is quite the robust traveler. They winter in Mexico, start their crossing of the Rocky Mountain states in late spring, and spend the summer in the Northwest, Canada and Alaska. For many of the speedy flightsters, it can be a 7800 mile round trip.

They are quite territorial over both nesting and food sites, and have been known to attack chipmunks that get too close to their nests. The main, natural predator is snakes, which makes Alaska a wonderful breeding ground.