Above: Mother moose sheds her winter coat, followed close by a yearling, Denali National Park, May 2, 2014.
My last post was the scenery I encountered during a long and hilly 50-plus mile bike ride inside Denali National Park. There were multiple large mountain passes, hot temperatures and in my case more then 10 pounds of photo gear.
I brought along my telephoto, predicting I would regret not taking it. While I probably could have done without, it certainly got me a few wildlife shots.
Both to my relief and disappointment, there were no bears on this trip. Bears in Denali are common, and traveling solo I didn’t want to see one too close.
These were far from the only instances I saw wildlife, most were too far away to do anything but acknowledge their presence.
Female ptarmigan in a tree, the Alaska State Bird.
Dall sheep in Polychrome Pass.
Male ptarmigan in a tree.
Caribou looks at you.
“Bicycle Beat” is an idea I have wanted to start for some time. And until recently was hindered by winter. Bicycle Beat is my reporting from a bicycle. I have often felt bike riding is the ultimate way to capture great photos. Unlike driving, stopping and turning around is almost instantaneous, and it’s much easier to spot interesting subjects traveling 10 mph rather then 50. Consequently, also much faster then walking, greatly expanding the range of your photographic canvas. Also important is inconspicuous. You draw a lot more attention stopping a car then a bicycle.
I went for a very brief 3-mile bike ride last night and in the short time happened upon two photo-worthy subjects. It’s been a very testy spring in Fairbanks, with multiple inches of snow the last week of May. Greenhouses are opening despite unavailable exterior space. One of them is Plant Kingdom.
Mayday! A sundog is visible on May Day. A sundog is an atmospheric reaction when light deflects off ice crystals in the air, producing a halo effect. They are common to cold weather.
The snow and cold on May 1, producing a sundog, mixed with the open Plant Kingdom sign, is a significant juxtaposition.
A sundog is frames the Plant Kingdom sign on May 1, 2013. It has been one of the coldest springs on record in Interior Alaska.
I slung my camera around my neck and hopped on my bike, only to travel another half-mile before finding another photo.
While I may have stopped a car to take the sundog picture, I never would have seen this young moose right off the bike path. Maybe 15 yards away, it would have been a great opportunity to get a wide-angle shot of a moose. Having a zoom lens however, my first instinct was to zoom in as close as possible. Probably 2 or 3 years old, I did make sure no mother moose was visible before shooting.
A moose munches off Farmers Loop Rd.