Archive for the ‘Flowers’ Category

Nizina Glacier, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
Wildflowers (Wild Sweet Pea, Hedysarum Mackenzii) and icebergs, Nizina Lake and Nizina Glacier, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

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Sunset over the Chugach mountains

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
Dwarf Fireweed on an alpine hillside and a fiery sunset in the Chugach Mountains, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The latin or scientific name for Dwarf Fireweed is Epilobium latifolium and it is classified in the Evening-Primrose Family, or Onagraceae.

Dwarf Fireweed on an alpine hillside and a fiery sunset in the Chugach Mountains, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The latin or scientific name for Dwarf Fireweed is Epilobium latifolium and it is classified in the Evening-Primrose Family, or Onagraceae. Please click on the thumbnail to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s an image I took several years ago on a backpacking trek through the eastern Chugach mountains in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve.  I finally got around to processing it today. The image is a compilation of 4 separate exposures, blended together manually in Photoshop.

This is from a backpacking trip we do from Iceberg Lake to Bremner Mines in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. It’s a spectacular trek, and a real favorite of mine. Last summer, 2009, one participant did the trek with me for his 2nd time. We cross 2 glaciers, traverse 4 high alpine passes, and camp in some of the prettiest spots I’ve ever been to.

Summer’s approaching quickly and I’m looking forward to trudging around the mountains again. I’ll be heading over to Wrangell – St. Elias National Park this week to do some exploring, some photography and soak up some of the big mountain country. As such, I’ll be gone for a while, but hope to have some new photos to post when I return, with some stories to accompany them. Following this next few weeks I’m heading up to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for 2 weeks on the Canning River. Then it’s back to Wrangell – St. Elias for the rest of the summer, before 2 weeks in Katmai National Park in fall to photograph the great grizzly bear. That should be an amazing 2 weeks, for sure. (more…)

Another from Mount St. Elias

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Mount St. Elias and Nootka lupine, (Lupinus nootkatensis) Icy Bay

Mount St. Elias and Nootka lupine (Lupinus nootkatensis) from Icy Bay, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

As I just sold a print of this photo yesterday, I thought it would fit with the recent postings from Mount St. Elias and a little chatter about the movie of the same name. This photo was taken from Icy Bay, from a small island I paddled out to in my now defunct and sitting in the Yakuat landfill sea kayak. The Nootka lupine (Lupinus nootkatensis) were pretty thick on this small island for some reason, much more so than anywhere else in the bay.

I’d have liked to stay on the island longer so I could take some photos in softer light, but (more…)

Mount Saint Elias from Icy Bay, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Mount Saint Elias from Icy Bay, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

After paddling back from the island I wrote about the other day, the light got warmer. The lupine weren’t as impressive back in this area, but still pretty cool. My tent wasn’t quite as close as this photo implies, but this was pretty much the view out my tent door for the night. Suh-weet!

Cheers

Carl

Nootka Lupine photo, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Nootka Lupine, wildflowers, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

hey Folks,

While I’d never look down on anything as beautiful as a flower, I thought this perspective was pretty cool. Here’s a lupine from right near my camp in Icy Bay, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Cheers

Carl

Lupine, Icy Bay, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Lupine, Icy Bay, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

hey Folks,

I told ya you’d see some more lupines. Aren’t they gorgeous flowers? This one in the foreground was not quite in full bloom yet, but I thought the scene worked well. Plus, I do love me some lupine, so I took a bunch of photos of different ones.

Cheers

Carl

Mt. St. Elias photo, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Mt. St. Elias and a field of lupine, Icy Bay, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Here’s another image, pre-bear, from Icy Bay. This afternoon I paddled my still inflated kayak over to this little island and hung out. Beautiful spot for a rest. The lupine just COVERED the island, it was really cool how much more intense the lupine ere on the island than everywhere else. They were awesome. As the afternoon grew, a big storm seemed to be kicking up to the southwest, and I grew concerned about being stuck and not making it back to camp – the boat is not really made for a paddle in rough water. So I packed up and headed back .. sure enough, the storm abated, and the evening grew calmer than ever, and I really wished I’d stayed out to catch some warmer light. But sometimes one takes what one gets.

This is another view of Mt. St. Elias from the Taan Fjord, Icy Bay, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park.

Cheers

Carl

Lupine, Tongass National Forest photo, Alaska.

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Lupine, wildflowers, Tongass National Forest, Yakutat, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

This image I actually took before I got to Icy Bay. I arrived in Yakutat on a cold, drizzly afternoon, and spent the night on Cannon Beach, just outside town, before flying in to Icy Bay the following morning. I wanted some images of the Tongass National Forest while I was in the area, so I spent a few hours combing the beach and the wandering the old ancient forest there. It’s unbelievable. What a powerful place!

Lupine are probably my favorite flower – but I spend most of the summer in the high alpine country of Wrangell – St. Elias, and the flowers there aren’t quite as awesome as the ones on the lush coastal areas. So it was a treat to shoot some of these flowers down here. You’ll see a few more lupine images if you pop in here over the next 2 weeks.

Cheers

Carl

Grizzly bear, Icy Bay Wrangell – St. Elias National Park

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Grizzly bear in a field of lupine, Icy Bay, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Part 3 of the disaster at Icy bay. So I get back to camp, and the bear’s still trashing my gear over in the woods nearby. I don’t know the full extent of the damage to my gear yet, and I don’t know what he’s planning on doing next. I don’t know what he did with one of my (hopefully) bear resistant cannisters of food, my stove and cookware. Fortunately, I carry a satellite phone with me on trips in to the backcountry now, and I decide it’s a good move to call the pilot who flew me to Icy Bay and ask him to come get me. It’s a tough decision to make, because it’s such a pricey trip to make and have to cut short, but I didn’t have a backpack with me, so I couldn’t really feasibly move my camp gear too far, and the bear has made it clear he’s not leaving, and that he’s unafraid of me. I figured he was moving along the beach when he found my boat and trashed it, and is most likely to continue with that once he’s done with the gear. Which likely means he’ll be heading my way before too much longer.

I called the pilot, explained the situation to him, and he said he’d come get me if I wanted. I wanted. He asked how soon, and I said ‘well, now’s a good time if you’re available’. He was, so said he’d see me in an hour or so. I packed up all the gear in my tent, and was just putting my camera gear together in a pelicase when movement once again caught my eye. The bear was coming along the beach, on the edge of the woods as I thought he might be) and was about 40 yards from me, 20 yards from my tent.

I’ve written on my guiding website how much I like my Mountain Hardwear Skyledge 2, and I really wasn’t in the mood to lose more gear, especially my beloved tent. At the same time, I wasn’t sure what I could do about it. I called to the bear, once more “Hey Bear” and he agreed to detour around the tent. By about 5 yards. He walked by it, thru a little stand of alder, and into a little field of lupine, where he took a few bites of the grass growing there. How could a photographer skip a chance shot like this? So I snapped off a frame, and asked him to leave – that’s the photo above. Instead, he started to approach:

grizzly bear, approaching, wrangell st. elias np, Alaska.

Which was kind of a bummer. I didn’t want him too close. And I decided he was too close. I backed up a little, and he kept coming closer. For the photographers out there, these images were taken at 200mm focal length (the first one at 100mm). That’s pretty close. He stopped and looked at me. I was already stopped and looking at him. We talked a minute, but couldn’t come to an agreement. I thought he should go away, and he thought he should not go away: an impasse with 500 plus pounds of grizzly bear. I told him I was going away, shortly, if he didn’t mind waiting. He said he didn’t want to wait. I stepped back, and he stepped forward. I stopped, and he stopped, his nose just a twitching. I was twitching too, but it wasn’t my nose. At this point I was a little uncertain what might be a good option for me. I knew the plane was still at least 30 minutes away, and wondered if the bear and I could sit and stare at each other for 30 minutes ….. hhhmmmmm?

All the while I kept talking with him. Finally, I decided I’d try something I never thought I’d do. Throw a rock at a grizzly bear. He clearly wasn’t leaving otherwise. So I slowly bent, picked up a hefty rock, and told him if he didn’t leave, I’d throw a rock at him. He didn’t leave. Bummer. I plucked up some gumption from somewhere, and tossed the rock into the brush in front of him. The bear turned and raced away immediately. I told him not to come back again, or I’d do it again.

Actually, one thing that was interesting to me was that he didn’t actually run ‘away’. He ran straight back over to his new kayak and dry top. I could hear him in the woods as I packed the rest of my duffel, and moved all my campsite gear down the beach to where the floatplane would arrive. Hopefully real, real soon.

It seemed like about 6 weeks later when I heard the drone of the engine, but I checked my watched and it was only 15 minutes or so. The pilot was hauling a**. He flew low over the area a few times, buzzing it loudly, and this seemed to run the bear off – I couldn’t hear him any more. The plane landed, and we loaded my gear into it, and then the 2 of us walked into the alder where the boat was. No bear. Cool.

I threw all the trash into a duffel, and hauled it to the plane, and the 2 of us hauled the boat out as well. I searched high and low for my second canister and couldn’t find it in the woods – I began to wonder if he’d eaten it. 🙂 Seriously, I knew he couldn’t eat it, and a gnawing thought in the back of my head told me exactly where it was. Sure enough, a walk to the edge of the brush and a look out over the bay told the story – there’s this little black thing bobbing in the ocean a 100 yards off the shore. We packed the rest of the gear, and then floated the plane around to that area, and by now the canister was on shore. It may be ‘bear resistant’ but it’s not ‘bear proof’. The lid has a hole in it where a really big sharp pointy canine tooth punctured it, and the canister had half-filled with water – salty dinner for me! I was glad to find the canister, but kinda bummed that the bear threw it in the ocean. Who knew bears were so vindictive?

Next up, fly back to Yakutat and check out the damage.

Cheers

Carl

Yellow Paintbrush Photo, Wrangell – St. Elias NP, Alaska.

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Yellow Paintbrush or Coastal Paintbrush photo, wildflower, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Here’s a photo of a Yellow or Coastal Paintbrush (Castilleja unalaschensis). Taken in Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska. I’m eagerly waiting spring this year here to really get some more photos of the flowers in the area. The flowers don’t really hit the high country until July, but hopefully I’ll get some opportunities in the lower country, in the forest, in the spring.

Cheers

Carl