Tag Archives: Alaska

Lake Life

Film Friday:

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Camera: Leica M3, 135mm Leitz Lens; Film: Fujichrome 35mm, Velvia 100 

 


The Beaver Cam

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I recently pulled the SD card from the trail camera that I have looking out over the beaver lodge.  It had 747 images on it.

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741 of the images were of ducks.  Sometimes in pairs, sometimes solo, sometimes the ducks had a large party and ignored all social distancing.  I have ducks swimming, ducks scratching an itch (like above), ducks taking off in flight, and ducks preening for the camera.

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There are four images that contain at least one duck and one beaver.  The beavers are quite active, but have not been overwhelmed by the urge to cut down any trees.  They seem to continue to eat on the supply they cut down late last summer and early autumn.

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There are only two images of a beaver without the photobombing ducks.  Personally, I think the Beaver Cam has gone to the beavers’ heads.  Now they just slap their tail in order to get attention.  Once you start to ignore their swimming about, the aggrieved beaver fires off a tail slap.  Who knew beavers to be such prima donnas?

The big male seems to have grown quite a bit since he last showed himself.  The female remains in shape; she’s quite svelte in appearance.  There is at least one kit, that I have seen.  There certainly could be two, but only one has shown itself at a time.


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Fort Richardson National Cemetery; Anchorage, AK


Water Scooper

Film Friday:

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Incoming

 

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Liftoff

 

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Heading back to the fire

Last summer, back in the days when I was volunteering to self-isolate, I was out at a lake cabin and happened to see a wildfire gets its start from lightning.

The following day, a pair of water scoopers showed up at the lake.  They would fly overhead, bank around the lake, skim across the top of the lake, picking up their load of water, then take off again to fly back to the fire.  The two aircraft made the roundtrip from fire to lake to fire, all day long.

Camera: Leica M3; Lens: Leitz 135mm; Film: Fujichrome, 35mm, Velvia100 

 


Peter Pan

Film Friday:

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Peter Pan Seafoods; Naknek, Alaska

 

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Peter Pan Alley

 

Camera: Leica M3; Film: Fujichrome 35mm, Velvia 100

 


The Return to Mount Kennedy

Connecting Generations through ice & snow:

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After the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the people of Canada wanted to honor the slain president.  In November 1964, the Canadian government, following the suggestion of famed mountaineer, photographer and cartographer, Bradford Washburn, elected to name an unclimbed peak in the St Elias Mountain Range, Mount Kennedy.

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RFK on Mount Kennedy

The mountain lies 145 miles from Whitehorse, YT, within Kluane National Park, and less than 10 miles from the Alaska panhandle.  Mount Kennedy forms a triangle with Mount Alverstone and Mount Hubbard.  At the time of the dedication, the mountain was the tallest (13,944 ft) unclimbed peak in the St Elias range.

National Geographic put together a team to make the first ascent of Mount Kennedy in 1965.  The team was led by Jim Whittaker, who had been the first American to climb Mount Everest, and was made up of mostly experienced mountaineers.  Also making the climb: Bobby Kennedy, to honor his fallen brother.

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Jim Whittaker & Robert Kennedy on the summit

On 24 March 1965, the climbers made for the summit.  This was Kennedy’s first taste of mountaineering.  To add to the tension, RFK was no fan of heights.  The other climbers insisted that politics was far more dangerous than climbing mountains, which would prove prophetic.

Crossing the Cathedral Glacier, Kennedy fell into a crevasse.  Luckily, it was a narrow one, and he only went in to the waist, and quickly scrambled out.  The final run to the summit is the most risky, as the climber has to traverse a narrow ledge with a sheer one thousand foot drop.

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Photos credit: Whitehorse Star

Jim Whittaker and Bobby Kennedy would become good friends on the climb, a friendship that would last until Kennedy’s death.  Whittaker would name one of his sons after the U.S. Senator.

50 Years Later:

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The Whittaker Brothers

Fifty years after the original ascent of Mount Kennedy, the two sons of Jim Whittaker wanted to honor their father and his friend Robert Kennedy.  They decided to climb the mountain themselves.

Leif Whittaker is an experienced climber like his father, but Bobby Whittaker had more experience in Seattle’s Grunge Scene than summiting mountains.  Christopher Kennedy, the son of RFK,  would join the Whittakers on the expedition.

Return to Mount Kennedy is the documentary about the two ascents.  The footage from the original climb is pretty impressive to see.

I saw a screening of the documentary prior to the Coronavirus outbreak.  It was put on by REI, the outdoors store, which had Jim Whittaker as its early CEO.

The documentary is available on several streaming platforms.  The original National Geographic story can be found in the July 1965 edition of the magazine.

Trailer: Return to Mount Kennedy


The Hilton: Naknek

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Camera: Leica M3; Film: Fujichrome 35mm, Velvia 100

 

 


One Lonely Tree

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Along Kvichak Bay; Naknek, Alaska

 

Camera: Leica M3; Film: Fujichrome 35mm, Velvia 100 


Bear Rated

On The Lighter Side:

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Tundra Comics by Chad Carpenter

 


Griz along the Dalton

Film Friday:

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An old shot, but in keeping with wildlife week here between The Circles, I dug it out of the archives.  This was on my first drive up Alaska’s famed Haul Road, also known as the Dalton Highway.

Camera: Canon Canonet 28; Film: Kodak 35mm