Friday, November 21, 2014

Foggy Evening in the Chilkoot River Valley

















Here is another image of an eagle and its surrounding environment taken along the Chilkoot River in Haines, Alaska.  This valley was one of the unexpected highlights of our trip.  We knew it would be beautiful, but we had no idea just how beautiful it was going to be!  We ended up going back to this valley on two more occasions and each time we found things that were were well worth the trip, like this eagle perched in the fog.  Alaska has surprises around every corner :-)

Chilkoot Eagle in Spruce Tree

















As much as I enjoy photographing the action of eagles interacting with each other (and don't worry, there are more of those images to come!), I also enjoy looking for scenes of single eagles within their surrounding environment.  The other day we came across one such environmental scene, where this solitary eagle was perched in a spruce tree and the tree was absolutely LOADED with cones!  I thought it made for a fascinating image.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bald Eagle's Morning Reflection


























The past week in Alaska has provided for countless opportunities for creative images of bald eagles.  This photo was taken yesterday morning as the sun was starting to poke through the thick fog that was dominating the valley.  The soft, warm sunlight filtering through the fog made for some nice accent lighting on the eagle.  This is one of my favorites eagle images so far from this trip :-)

Dawn over the Chilkat Mountains

















Here's a little taste of the stunning scenery that we've been enjoying for the past week.  Taken on our way to watch the eagles for the day along the Chilkat River just outside of Haines, Alaska.  The Haines Highway offers countless stunning views of the river and the mountains as you make your way out to the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve.  On the morning this photo was made we stopped at a location where the mountains were reflecting beautifully in the river.  The clouds and colors that morning were superb.  It's going to be hard to leave all this beautiful mountain scenery when we head back home!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Afternoon Flight in the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve


















This is such an amazing place!  I think I've probably already said that before, but I can't help saying it again!  The scenery here in Haines, Alaska is breathtaking with beautiful braided rivers, snow-capped mountains and fjords filled with water that is some of the prettiest blue color I've ever seen.  And, this time of year, the gathering of eagles makes a visit to the area extra-special.  We've been photographing the eagles and scenery for almost a week now and each day we look forward to going out and seeing all the wonderful sights even more than the day before.  This photo was made a couple of days ago in the afternoon within the bald eagle preserve.  This mature eagle flew right by us just above eye-level and I loved the way the sunlight was hitting the bird as it flew by.  We've been getting so many great photos each day its hard to choose just one or two to share with you at a time :-)

Eagle Aurora


















Here is another image from the night of northern lights we experienced early during our stay in Haines, Alaska.  This was my first experience photographing the aurora in Alaska and I've got to say it was pretty amazing!  The Haines boat harbor made for a nice foreground while shooting the aurora-filled sky.  About 3/4 of the way through the event the aurora took on this shape that I thought resembled the silhouette of an eagle with its wings outstretched.  I thought it made for an interesting sign, considering that we are here primarily to see and photograph eagles :-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chilkat Lake Eagle

















The other morning we drove up to Chilkoot Lake outside of Haines just to check it out.  We never expected to have another very cool eagle encounter up there!  The Chilkoot River runs from Chilkoot Lake down to the Lynn Canal and where the river runs out of the lake there were several eagles on the bank of the river.  We saw two immature eagles and a few adults, all of which were eating a fish that had been drug out of the water.  The eagle shown in these photos was perched on a frost-covered tree branch which made for a really nice photo.  I waited patiently with my lens focused on this eagle, as I knew eventually he would swoop down for his turn at the fish.  Eventually he did leave his perch, but instead of going down to the fish he flew across the river and landed in another tree.  I caught him just as he was flaring his wings for a landing.  It sure was another cool eagle experience, and a great start to another wonderful day in Alaska!