Hours Of Entertainment………

Ressurrection Bay, Seward AK

Ressurrection Bay, Seward AK

Ressurrection Bay, Seward AK

Ressurrection Bay, Seward AK

Ressurrection Bay, Seward AK

        The docks of Seward Alaska can provide hours of entertainment.  The Sea Otters often come in quite close and these clowns know how to have a good time.  There are mussels growing on the docks and the Sea Otters will come in to feed on the mussels.  They hang around to take a bath and watch the people who often gather to watch them.

      As you can tell, they are not above swimming right up to the docks and checking out the funny looking people making that odd clicking noise.   They simply seem to enjoy life and their curiosity is limitless.  I know they have provided hours of entertainment for me and I think I may have provided them with some entertainment as well.

     I hope you enjoy the images.

    

Posted February 19, 2011 by picclicker in Wildlife Photography

Board Meeting

      This is my kind of Board Meeting.  Of course there is always likely to be disagreements in any “business”. 

 These are my photos of the day.  I hope you enjoy them.

 

Posted February 16, 2011 by picclicker in Wildlife Photography

British Columbia Bears

    There are many well known places to photograph bears where you can be one of the big group of people photographing the bears.  This is a very safe way to get some nice shots but if you are one of those people who wants to get images away from the crowds with some different composition then your looking for some different options.  One such option is driving through British Columbia.

I have made the trip many times and while I’ve spotted bears every time, I have had the best luck during the spring May & June specifically.  The dandelions are out and the Black Bears and the Grizzly’s find these a spring treat.   The bears are quite intent on their spring meals and will generally ignore you, if your nervous, you can remain in your car.

     

     I enjoy keeping track of the separate bear sightings in each day.  My personal record was 12 separate bear sightings, both Black Bear & Grizzly.  The different settings made for some great composition choices and the different  bears gave me a great chance to study their different personalities.

     This blonde grizzly was enjoying herself and I was able to spend several hours photographing her.  Most of the time she ignored me but she did sit down and watch me photographing her for awhile.

  This big bore was not impressed with being photographed and gave me only one shot before he walked off into the trees.

     The bears are as varied as their personalities.  This is a young bear who is still a bit scruffy looking  but he gave me some great shot opportunities.

   The sows with cubs require more care but you can still safely get some images before they move on.

       I try to make the trip through British Columbia at least 2 or 3 times per year.   The drive normally would not take very long but as much as we stop to photograph the bears the trip generally takes at least 6 days.    If you enjoy photographing bears this is a trip well worth your time.  I would a large lens if you want to get some of the close up shots that I show here.

    I hope you enjoy the images and I hope you get the chance to make the trip yourselves.

 

Posted February 12, 2011 by picclicker in Wildlife Photography

Valdez, AK

 

The summer in Alaska brings the Salmon runs and the Salmon runs bring the bears and more.

All of the rivers that have salmon runs have bears but Valdez is just a bit different.

Don’t get me wrong, the salmon run in Valdez and in some areas around Valdez it looks like every other salmon filled

river in Alaska.  The difference is that the salmon are thick in the Port of Valdez and they come up the river

right next to the Solomon Gulch Hatchery.  The Hatchery does both Caviar and Smoked Salmon but many of the salmon

go on up the river.

The bears in Valdez are sure to be there for the feast but I noticed that the Hatchery was not the only

ones who were interested in the Caviar.  I photographed the Black Bears grabbing Salmon out of

the Port of Valdez and noticed that they were not eating the Salmon.  The bears would lay the fish down

and with a paw on both ends of the fish, they would squeeze just like a tube of toothpaste with a hole in

the middle.  When the eggs came out they would eat the eggs, then when the fish was “empty”, they

would leave the fish laying there and go get another.

Nothing goes to waste though as there are plenty of willing Sea Gulls ready to clean up the left overs.  In fact this feast

is shared by all types of animals.

The Sea Otters have to fend off unwelcome dinner guests who are pushy about trying to get a place at the dinner table.

It’s hard to have a leisurely meal.

Seals make a quick meal of their catches.

Even the River Otter families come down for an easy meal.

Even the youngsters can get a meal easily when the fish are this thick.

Valdez is a wonderful place to photograph Wildlife and offers a wide variety.  I will be going back and I would recommend

a trip to Valdez during the Salmon runs.

Posted February 2, 2011 by picclicker in Bears, Wildlife Photography

Top of the Food Chain

This coyote was trying to claim this carcass but the Ravens were not listening.  They would work on the carcass

where ever the coyote was furthest from.  The coyote went on the offensive.

He raced after the Ravens as they scattered, intent on chasing them away from his prize.

He had them flapping and scattering with his impressive show of aggression.

When he stopped and looked around the Ravens had circled back and were eating at the carcass while he stood off away from it.

In the end, the coyote ate his fill while the Ravens ate their fill.  When the coyote was done, he left the Ravens there at

the carcass and headed off.

This coyote is quite healthy and still had to share his carcass. It got me to thinking, I really enjoy photographing

the predators, Bears, Wolves, Coyotes ect…

It doesn’t matter how high up the food chain you are though.   Ravens are no respecter of size or fierceness.  I have watched

Ravens go after wolves, this Raven was grabbing the hair on this wolfs back side and pulling it.   The Raven would

get the tail and pull.  The wolf tried his best to catch the Raven but had no luck.  I’ve seen these Ravens do this with

bears and eagles as well.  I used to wonder why the Ravens would harass these other animals but I was thinking

about it in the wrong context.  Animals look at everything from the angle of survival,ensuring their claim on food is

a big part of ensuring survival.  The wolves will pull down an animal, the Eagles will pull salmon out on to the river

banks, bears may pull down an animal and the Ravens know this.  They want a share whenever they can get it.  If

you cause an Eagle to drop a fish, you might get some.  A flock of Ravens will keep a wolf, coyote or bear running

until the animal gives up and the Ravens get to eat at the carcass as well. Normally the biggest and the baddest are

looked at as the Top Of The Food Chain.   In the end,  survival is everything and bigger, stronger and meaner may

not always be the determining factor in survival…..

Posted January 30, 2011 by picclicker in Wildlife Photography

Wildlife in Winter

I have been getting out  more this winter to photograph.  The cold weather can be a challenge and extra batteries kept in a warm pocket is a good idea as cold weather can really drain the batteries quick.

I have been really pleased with the wonderful variety of animals that I have found.  Big Muley Bucks are never easy to come up with and this guy was huge.  He wasn’t very concerned with our presence, stopping to look at us on occasion but mainly just continuing to eat.

It was a great chance to try different settings with the light and experiment with my compositions.

I would have been pleased if this had been my only opportunity that day but some days everything just falls into place.

On my last trip I had gotten images of a sick Bull Elk and sure enough two days later he was dead.  There were some Coyotes that had found the carcass and were enjoying a Christmas feast.  The Coyotes would feast for over a week and still check out the bones sometimes.   It is a harsh reality of Nature but the death of One can mean the life of many.

The Mule Deer Bucks were out in force that weekend and those were some of my favorite images.  I really enjoyed the compositions in the snow.  This is just a small sampling of the images from that weekend.  I hope you enjoy them.

Posted January 11, 2011 by picclicker in Wildlife Photography

Yellowstone In Winter

Yellowstone Natl. Park offers numerous photographic opportunities even in the winter.  We headed out Saturday morning with the weather cooperating just enough to give us some nice light.  The wildlife unfortunately did not cooperate as we would see Doe’s, Cow Elk and Coyotes.  The Coyotes were all at a distance which meant fun to watch but to far to photograph.

We knew not to become too disappointed though as changing times of the day changes the activity level of the animals.  Sure enough as we headed back we first came across some coyotes that were far more accessible.  They were laying around and gave us some nice shots even though they weren’t very active.  The Coyotes are looking quite healthy for this time of year.  They are always fun to watch and especially when they are hunting for mice.  The alert attention as they listen for the voles and mice under the snow followed by a sudden leap into the air coming down with forelegs braced to break through the snow and mouth ready to grab their targeted meal.  We spent a large amount of time with the Coyotes in different areas but did not get lucky enough to catch them mousing.  They were more inclined to relaxing and enjoying the sunshine, than to mousing.  The luck of the draw so to speak.  We headed on out and were lucky enough to catch the Bighorn Rams in a spot that allowed us to get some really nice shots of them.  They are all working on digging the snow away to get at the frozen grasses.  They seem to always tip their head to the side and then let go with a foreleg.  This behavior is quite interesting to watch.  I am not sure why they always do the head tilt but I have seen the behavior  in Bull Elk, Mule Deer Bucks and Bighorn Rams.  Buffalo seem to just use their massive heads as a shovel.    It just goes to show that even with a slow start a trip can really pick up.

Posted January 9, 2011 by picclicker in Wildlife Photography