L’éclaircissement of the forest

Above: Fog rises from trees as smoke from a fire, a forceful wind whisks away the previous night’s downpour. Taken at Mountain Lake on Orcas Island, Washington.  I learned a new French word the same day I took these pictures, and it fits perfectly. Éclaircissement: a clearing up of something obscure.  The dynamic and fluid scene changed rapidly. I struggled to find an element to incorporate into…

Fog lifts from a hayfield

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Happy Place.”   My happy place is a state of being — the culmination of numerous factors. A breath of fresh air in sun or snow. Freedom to run through the woods, twisting along a skinny trail. A beer and a dance floor with great live music, or a slow sunday with a cup of…

Catch of the day

Above: Expect more of a “fishing perch” than a “fishing hole” when dip-netting the Copper River in southeast Alaska. Spirit Mountain pokes above the big and fast glacial-fed river that’s full of silt and very cold. Copper River Reds, the salmon in the net, are some of the most sought after in the world.  The river is also an excellent of the Weekly Photo Challenge of…

Tracks Diverge

Tracks diverge — one true, one to the right — distances diluted by Georgia’s morning fog.  Sky blends with river and birds take flight in anticipation of morning light.  Soon, sun cuts the clouds.

Fall around Fairbanks

Above: The University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute, with a satellite-receiving dish on the roof, sits tucked among trees as a runner makes her away along trails far below, visibly only by a bright blue jacket. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game the boreal forest, that which is found around Interior Alaska, is largest terrestrial ecosystem on earth.  Interior Alaska’s fall comes fast, and…

Sun streaks through smoke

A sunset on Orcas Island, Washington, illuminates smoke from a nearby campfire. I like how the qualities of the above photo mesh with the two following abstracts photos: grass floating in water. All three pictures have a smooth quality and share cool green tones. The sun streaks, a more literal picture, still offers plenty of room for the imagination to wander. In contrast the two grass pictures offer…

Sunset atop San Juan’s Mt. Constitution

Mt. Constitution sits atop Orcas Island and is the highest point in the San Juan Islands, Washington. Views on a clear day are spectacular! Washingtons’s Mount Baker is the prominent peak in the upper-right of this photo.

Scenery and a sandpiper

Above: The Eastern Alaska Range backdrops the Delta Clear Water, a spring-fed river in Interior Alaska. A small canoe can be seen in the lower third of the photo, The Delta Clearwater is an Interior Alaska river true to its name: clearwater. An early summer float trip provided astounding views and some small wildlife.

Night hike of Granite Tors

Earlier this summer three friends and I took advantage of Alaska’s 24-hour daylight to night hike Granite Tors in the Chena River State Recreation Area. We started aaround 8:30 p.m. and finished the 15-mile loop trail around 3 a.m. We ran as much as possible of the challenging trail and took one or two snack breaks. Two benefits are immediately noticeable when night hiking. Catching…

Skiing World Class Thompson Pass

Above: Mt. Diamond backdrops Eli Sturm as he skies down a couloir in Thompson Pass, where the scenery and snow are world class.  The 2,805 foot Thompson Pass pass is outside the coastal town of Valdez, and averages more than 550 inches of snow per year. Skiers and snowboarders travel from all over the world to make turns in Thompson. Copious runs are accessible right…