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Alaskan Thumb

There is the Thumb Butte here in Prescott, and it turns out there is a thumb in Alaska as well- near the Matanuska glacier.

Forest Fantasy

A little Alaska photo art for you today!

Where the eagles cry, on a mountain high. . .

One of the highlights of our recent trip to Alaska was taking the tram up the mountain at the Alyeska Ski Resort, where our daughter’s family skis. They are all accomplished skiers, but the thought of those little guys up on the steep ski runs at the top strikes terror into this grandmother’s heart! BTW, those are glaciers on the nearby peaks!

Iconic

One of the iconic Alaska views- mountains and trees with fireweed in the foreground. I couldn’t manage to frame it with the Matanuska Glacier as a background (I might have fallen off a cliff. . .), so I settled on this view. Fireweed is just about everywhere in Alaska at this time of year.

Look Up!

When we were visiting Talkeetna, Alaska, we kept hearing a motor over our heads. We looked up to see this guy with a very loud motor powered paraglider (is that what it’s called?) going back and forth over the downtown and river areas. It looks peaceful (and fun!) in this photo- but it was very LOUD.

Before and After Reflections

We stopped at a pullout to walk down to the water after we crossed this bridge in Alaska. I was standing there taking photos when another truck pulled onto the gravel- and then surprised me by continuing on through the water to the other side. I started photographing the now distorted reflections – but then along came another truck. Time to leave!

 

All I want is . . .

Spotted in Talkeetna, Alaska

Green Thumbs!

My daughter and son-in-law moved to Alaska just one year ago and have worked so hard to not only upgrade their house, but to create areas to grow vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers. Here’s a peek at part of what they’ve accomplished:

 

 

 

 

 

Everywhere you look. . .

Yes- it really is this pretty- everywhere you go, everywhere you look! Mountains, glaciers, water, flowers- Alaska is beautiful!

This was taken at the Eagle River Nature Center.

Obscured

When people hear that we have traveled to Alaska, they usually ask us if we went to Denali National Park. Well, no, we say- we’re there to see our grandkids. This time we drove to Talkeetna, hoping to get a view of Denali, at 20,310 feet the highest peak in North America. You can actually see Denali from Anchorage, but we have never managed to catch a good view (similarly, we have never seen a moose or bear in Alaska- which I guess is pretty unusual!). Denali is so high that it creates its own weather- and is most often obscured by clouds.  This time was no different, but if you look closely at the photo, you can see the snow capped peak through wisps of clouds. Don’t get distracted by the darker peaks- those are big, but not gigantic like Denali- look at the top of the clouds, above the space between the two dark peaks on the right that are above the tree line. Yes, you have to look closely- but that’s all I’ve got!

 

 

The Reasons

Here are the two main reasons we visit Alaska:

 

Miles at age 9: bookworm, lego-builder, adventurous skier and mountain biker

Henry at age 6: friend to all, gardener, adventurous skier and mountain biker

These two grow and change so fast- we don’t want to miss a thing!

Travels

We’ve just returned from a two week trip, which included a week in Alaska with our daughter, son-in-law, and grand-boys, a quick couple days in the Bay Area for business, and then a few days in Orange County to celebrate our son’s 40th birthday. It was a wonderful trip, but I’m glad to not be living out of a suitcase right now (although we leave Wednesday for a couple nights in Utah). I also came home with a determination to pack lighter and to look for lightweight luggage with spinner wheels!

I have almost 2500 photos to go through- mostly Alaska, but the last 450 are of a surfing competition in Huntington Beach (one of my most fun photography experiences ever!). No, I definitely did not have the right lens to photograph surfing, but my Nikon autofocus system performed admirably, considering the limited reach I had with my 24-120 f/4.

The view above is from my daughter’s deck in Alaska. I will be posting more photos over the next few weeks as I get them processed.

Fluffy

It is so much easier to capture a bird sitting on a branch than one in flight! I love how fluffed up this little finch looks!

 

Hoverer

More practice with the long lens . . .

I confess to adding a texture, because, despite the long lens,  I’m not really a wildlife photographer. 😉

Bait!

I found this little store across from the beach in Newport very charming. I had an idea of replacing the background with the beach and oceans- and still might someday- but here it is in its (almost) natural surroundings.