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Friday, July 18, 2014

Wildlife Photography - Photo Safari in Alaska

I am off on a photo shoot in Alaska. This state is big and wild, the last frontier of the United States - over 663,000 square miles. It is about twice the size of Texas, over three times the size of California and about seven times the size of the United Kingdom.

Although Alaska is home to lots of glaciers and snow, the summer months can be pleasantly 'warm', by Alaskan standards, of course. Protected by the Chugach Mountains and the Alaska Range and warmed by Pacific Ocean currents, Anchorage, the largest city in the state, has a temperate maritime climate. Summer temperatures can reach into the high 70s. Low humidity also contributes to Anchorage's comfortable climate. However, temperatures can vary greatly depending on the region one may visit.

Every year, Pacific salmon by the millions return to the rivers and streams on the west coast of many parts of North America to spawn. Alaska gets its share of returning salmon along with all the riches a healthy rain forest ecosystem provides.

South East Alaska has the largest temperate rain forest in the world. Its waters are rich in salmon, krill (shrimp-like organisms), herring and small baitfish. Humpback whales return to Alaska every summer to feed on this abundance and they can consume about a ton of food per day, per whale. Brown and Black bears, Sea-lions, Bald eagles, Orcas and other predators, all share in this summer harvest.

I really need to catch a break and get some spectacular wildlife photos. My last two trips to the high Arctic and India in recent months have produced only mediocre images due to the lack of exciting encounters. Wish me luck on this trip. In the meantime, you can follow my travel on Facebook and Twitter and visit my website to see photos from my previous trips.

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