It is always beautiful here, but things looks even better with a dusting of snow. This is Mud Bay, not too far from our house. I feel so lucky to have landed in such an amazing place!
Each season brings new things to point my camera at, and now it is the eagles at the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve which isn’t far from Haines. The river doesn’t freeze here, and the salmon runs provide a food source luring 3000 or more eagle to the valley from October through February. It is worth bundling up to go out and watch them interact!
I have been online way less than I use to be, but will try to post now and then. There is so much to do here, and I want to get out and enjoy it! Also, I am trying to slow things down and enjoy the little things in life. I love having tons of information at my fingertips, but don’t like having virtual life take over real life . I am experimenting with backing off from all social media and spending less time on the computer. While I might come back in a limited way eventually, it feels good to get things back into balance.
After a summer of traveling in Alaska and the Yukon, then moving to wonderful Haines Alaska I am slowly getting back to processing photos and have more time online. I will eventually post photos from summer, but this was taken on a recent day trip to pick blueberries. The young shaggy manes were wonderful with pasta! The mushrooms in the mossy woods near Haines surpass Northern California and we are enjoying many mushroom feasts. This is an amazing place with glaciers, bears, ancient unlogged forests, and true wilderness. I feel like I have come home.
We are heading out early tomorrow morning on our first road trip of the season. Since we camp out when we travel, we wait until the night temps are mild enough for comfortable camping. Early summer is the best in some ways since there are fewer mosquitoes and fewer people. We have to plan trips around rain storms, and this week should have some nice sunny days and my fingers are crossed for good clouds! We will stick to the Kenai Peninsula on this trip and revisit some of our favorite places.
Reports said this would be a good season for aurora borealis (northern lights), and it was but they didn’t come when expected. We get e-mailed alerts, and often the lights didn’t show up when predicted but often a few days before. It is fortunate that we are night owls, since they often didn’t start until 2 am. Last week we had another surprise show which lasted a few hours, and this will probably be the last one since the night sky is getting lighter and it will be harder to see them.
We are signed up for email aurora alerts, but we did not receive an alert for this past Saturday night. Being a night owl, I happened to glance out the window at 1 am and saw a glow, otherwise we might have missed the show. We bundled up and grabbed our cameras. The northern lights got better and better, going from glowing patches to streaming, pulsing clouds with interesting patterns overhead and covering the entire sky. The following night we did get an alert, but the lights did not show up. I would like to drive and get something more interesting in the foreground than spruce trees, but there is no telling when we will see them, or if we will see them. Sometimes they are very brief and disappear before I can even get my camera out, and sometimes they go on for hours. If we head for the car, we might miss it all together. The elusive nature makes it even more special when we get a really good show!
Wikipedia says that shorebirds and waterfowl leave the Kachemak Bay for the winter, but we have been seeing more of them than ever before! This photo was taken in February, but we started noticing more birds even in January. Flocks of them fill the air and float on the water. When there is a ‘bait ball’ of small fish, they swirl around it to feed. Islands and Oceans visitor center in Homer has good information about shorebirds in this area.