Lily

Another Alaska photo- from the Anchorage Botanical Garden- a Turk’s Cap Lily, the sign said. We had so much fun wandering around with the boys. We had been there before- last time we saw a bear!- but it was great to go back. Their plants and displays are beautiful and so different from the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. I’ll post more in the future- all taken with my Lensbaby.

Wings

I have been doing intentional camera movement (ICM) for many years off and on, but I have never enjoyed it as much as I have when photographing birds this summer. The image below is gulls over Alaska’s Kasitsna Bay near the cabin on the MacDonald Spit where we stayed for our fiftieth anniversary.

Gull Island

One of the highlights of our Alaska trip was a two hour boat trip to Gull Island in Kachemak Bay. We enjoyed it so much that we actually returned the next day!

Gull Island is the breeding ground for several types of sea birds who return every year to make (and reuse) their nests and lay their eggs. There seemed to be many more kittiwakes (the white gulls) than the other species, and you can see them flying around and dotting the cliff in their nests. There were also many common murres and some puffins. A few eagles were sitting on the tops of the cliffs. Otters played in the waters below.

Moose!

We returned yesterday from Alaska- arriving at 6:15am in Phoenix after a smooth but excruciating overnight flight from Anchorage. It was a smooth flight with the potential for a good night’s sleep in the darkened cabin, BUT. . . the lady behind us had brought her CAT which yowled continually the entire time! Sleep was beyond reach for me- I watched a movie and tried to calm my frazzled nerves by playing a meditation album on my iPhone and taking photos out the window. Lonnie actually managed to sleep for a few hours.

None of the above diminished the joy I felt from our wonderful reunion with our daughter and family and our 50th anniversary vacation within a vacation! It was perfect!

I’m posting an iconic Alaska photo first, because previously I had managed to travel to Alaska at least 5 times without capturing a moose image! It was raining lightly as we drove along the Seward highway as we were leaving Anchorage. We spotted a small group of moose, pulled over, and managed to get a shot of this young moose before he turned back to resume eating. The others had already disappeared into the brush. I love the look in his eye as he spotted us!

Alaska Bound!

We will be in Alaska for the next two weeks! I am scheduling a few posts of some photos from previous Alaska trips to publish while I’m gone. We’ll be seeing our Alaska family for the first time in a year and a half; their youngest, Henry is now 10 1/2 and Miles is a teenager- 13 1/2! AND we will be celebrating our 50th anniversary!

Here is where we’ll be celebrating- Homer, Alaska!

Heavenly

Last night we went out to grab a quick salad before settling down to rewatch one of our favorite Brit TV series- Scott and Bailey (we just can’t seem to get enough of these fascinating characters!). After dinner, the sky put on an amazing display for us, complete with God-beams highlighting Granite Mountain! I managed to capture several shots with my iPhone through the windshield as we drove towards home.

After we had been home for a bit, we heard the pitter patter of gentle rain, which had been predicted for earlier in the day. We ran outside and watched, and, unfortunately, the rain stopped after about ten minutes. The drought here is getting scary- our lakes are drying up and there are wildfires burning. In fact, it is likely that the some of the clouds and haze behind the mountains in this photo are actually smoke.

Calm

We spent a few days in California this last weekend, and I was able to get out on the beach with my camera for a couple hours. Watching the waves always brings me peace, and this time I decided I would only use slow shutter speeds and a bit of intentional camera movement to convey that feeling in my photos. Although I’ve used these techniques before, this was the first shoot where I ONLY used them. The results were mixed, but here is a quick edit of a gull in flight, which I hope captures the peace and calm I was feeling as I took the photo.