Sharing moments in time…

Archive for August, 2012

Alaska – How cute is this?

Before we went to see the bears, we spent some time on the bay near Homer Alaska in our friend Jay’s boat.  We had the opportunity to spend some quality time with these delightful creatures – the sea otter.  I’m not sure there is a better definition of cute than a picture of an otter (okay, maybe a koala bear works also).  We saw many in singles or small groups but we never did see a “raft” (that really is the plural for otters) of otters that Jay told us were plentiful in the area.  Here’s your quota for cute for today!

“Hey, look at me – handsome, huh?”

Alaska – Young Eagle “Final Approach”

Another from Anchor Point – a juvenile bald eagle flaring for his landing among the gulls.  Beautiful with the color variations on the wings.

Glide Path

Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

Here’s my entry for the week – taken in December of last year in New York City at about 6 in the morning.  I really enjoyed my quiet, and cold walk along the East River and watching the city come alive.

Urban morning dog walk

Alaska – Water Wings (Bald Eagle)

Another shot from Anchor Point near Homer, Alaska.  This guy had just taken off from the beach and was clipping his wings in the water as he got up to speed.  Again, this place was an amazing area for Bald Eagle watching and photography!

Wet Feathers!

Alaska – Anchor Point (Bald Eagles Everywhere!)

After we left the Bears in Hallo Bay, we flew back to Homer for a quick overnighter before heading onto the next part of our trip.  We only had a few hours but my “bear mates” had told be about an area outside of Homer which was incredible for getting good close shots of bald eagles on the beach.  We borrowed a car and headed out there and it was as advertised.  Bald eagles in the trees, on the beach, and flying over the water.  There were probably 20-30 of them at any given time and they didn’t seem at all skittish at our presence.  This first photo, which is one of my favorites from the entire Alaska trip, gives an idea of the place – an adult bald eagle sitting with a juvenile eagle and a gull. They allowed us to get very close to get this kind of shot.  Hope you enjoy!!

Birds of different feathers

Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

I took a long time to decide on a photo for this challenge – mainly because I don’t think I have a great example.  In any case, here’s my entry taken in Fiji earlier this year.  I think it “could” pass for a merge of urban and rural cultures OR it can be interpreted as a merge of modern life and days gone by (or not).

“when is this light going to change?”

Alaska – Favorite (and last) Bear

I thought I’d post this photo of one of my favorite Bears from our trip.  This guy was out all by himself on the tidal flats clamming as we were waiting for airplane to come pick us up from the beach.  We first walked out without cameras just to spend some time with the bear before we left.  After about 10 minutes we all realized that this was a special bear – both very photogenic and very cooperative in posing as he was going about his searches on some of the rocky areas of the flats.  We ran about a quarter mile back to the beach to get our cameras and spent about 20 minutes with him before the tide started coming in (quickly).  It was a great way to end our stay with the bears and the perfect bear to provide the final fond memory of our week.

What a great Bear!!

Alaska – Fox of a different color

Last week I posted a picture of a red fox on the beach.  We also saw this guy – first in the weeds and then out on the beach.  If you compare the two, they have entirely different coloring with this one being kind of a chocolate brown.  I looked for pictures to match this one and came across a “cross fox” which I found differing opinions on – whether it was a red fox with a seasonal coat or whether it is a different species.   In any case he was very daper in his different colors and he gave us quit a chase before we got any photos of him.

A darker shade of fox

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wrong

I apologize for using this photo again as I think I posted it about a year ago.  In any case, it is my most obvious choice for “Wrong”…. 🙂

Just Wrong!

Alaska – Play fighting bears

We didn’t get to see any serious bear fights in Alaska as we were past the prime mating period.  We did however, get to see a couple of play fights among sub adult males.  These two went at it for quite a while including chasing eachother from one side of a stream to the other and then re-engaging.  They were fairly rough but you could tell that it didn’t have the intensity or the intent that a real fight has.

Bear Bite

Alaska – the Lone Wolf

We had been hoping that we would have some good opportunities to see wolves while in Hallo Bay.  As it turns out, we saw lots of “evidence” of wolves but not many wolves in the flesh.  In fact, I think we only really saw one wolf – but we saw him twice in the same place.  Our guide had told us he had seen wolves along a string of tidal driftwood in the meadows.  While near there, I caught a glimpse of what I think was a large grey wolf but he disappeared very quickly and did not reappear.  While keeping a lookout for that wolf, we found this youngster sitting atop a rocky outcropping just surveying the meadow.  We took a long and circuitous route to approach him without disturbing him and we were able to get some decent, long distance photos.  This is my favorite, with him just relaxing and watching us from his perch.  It was a great thing to see and capture in the wild.  I hope you enjoy!

Lone Wolf Stare

Just so you can understand the distances, this photo was taken at 60-70 yards away and is cropped to highlight the wolf.  When we first saw this wolf he looked like this (through a 500mm telephoto lens) at a LONG ways away…

Wolf at a distance

A gentler view of Bear relationships

Last week I posted a photo and description of Brown Bear sex lives.  I thought I should also mention that we saw another instance where a male bear approached a female and just kind of gently nuzzled her before just wandering away.  I know that I am probably humanizing this behavior but it appeared to us that this was a kind of show of affection.  It only lasted for a few seconds but I did get this photo showing the two together – you be the judge….

Affection? – or just a passing sniff?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

I had a tough time finding something I liked so I settled on this one.  It can be interpreted as growth as in mother and child OR it can just be considered a very strange growth on the underside of this monkey in South Africa….

Growth or growth?

“Ted” the movie – any resemblance?

I went to see the movie “Ted” yesterday afternoon – enjoyable but not great.  All through the movie I was picturing the Bears of Alaska compared to the live action Teddy Bear in the Movie – what do you think????

First the real thing…..

Ted in the wild?

and the poster from the movie – pretty good likeness?

“Is that what I’m supposed to look like?”

Alaska – The secret sex lives of Bears

While walking across the meadow one morning, we saw two bears locked in their mating embrace off in the distance.  We started to head that way, anxious that we were going to miss this “event” but when we arrived (at least 5 minutes later) things were still in progress.  It was apparent that this was neither a quick thing nor a tender engagement.  It was lengthy, rough, and particularly unpleasant for the female.  The male was much larger and easily manhandled (bear handled?) her in any way he pleased.  He would also get a jaw lock around her neck to ensure her compliance.  We watched the proceedings for at least 10-15 minutes before the couple finally parted and the female escaped the scene.  While it wasn’t a particularly pleasant thing to watch, it was interesting to see this facet of the Bear’s lives.

One of the gentler moments….