"With only a few short weeks left in power, the Bush administration is handling out favors to Big Oil like candy," said Rebecca Noblin, staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) in Anchorage. "Despite increasingly dire threats to the Arctic from global warming, the Administration is charging full steam ahead with ill-conceived drilling plans that could drive polar bears and other struggling Arctic species to the brink of extinction."
A report from the CBD published by the Environmental News Network, December 16, 2008, stated, "The Department of the Interior released plans this week to open up more than 70 million acres of polar bear habitat in the Beaufort and Chuckchi seas of Alaska to oil development. The proposal, contained in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement released by the scandal-plagued Minerals Management Service, would auction off this important habitat to oil companies th[r]ough four lease sales scheduled between now and 2012."
These a couple of images from last month's Bald Eagles of Alaska photo adventure, as I promised in my last post. In addition, between now and they end of the year, I will be posting more images that I made during 2008, a couple of which are appear below the eagle images. Sooo, check back frequently . . . and, I would love for you to post your comments.
This Bald Eagle was perched in a tree,
perfectly framed by snow covered limbs,
during a snow storm.
Early morning fog in The Valley of the Eagles.
I photographed these Horned Puffins during my company's
The Chilkat Valley where we photograph the eagles is known for its short days and overcast skies during the time of our visits. Because of this, I am often asked 'how much sun we get?' My typical reply is "About 45-minutes."
This year was certainly an exception. There were several days when the sun peaked from behind the clouds for several hours; and believe it or not, we experienced an entire day during which, there was not a single cloud in the sky. Temperatures ranged from the mid- to upper 20s (F) on most days, down to mid-single digits and teens a couple of days. The valley and surrounding mountains were blanketed in snow, which makes for great backdrops when photographing the eagles. In fact, it snowed all-day long one of the days during our visit, which added the the variety of conditions.
As you can see from the attached images, Bald Eagles were not our only subjects. Several ermine (AKA: short-tailed weasels, or stout) provided numerous photo opps for my group. That's not all, Trumpeter Swans, Common Mergansers, Common Goldeneye, Glaucous-winged Gulls, Common Raven, and Black-billed Magpies also provided plenty of action. I will be posting more images as time allows.
I want to take this time to thank you for visiting my blog and wish all of you a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING.
The last week of September found me leading a photography workshop in Rocky Mountain National Park. A week later, I was in northern Maine, leading another workshop and photographing moose.
The photo opps for elk in Rocky are always good during the rut and this year was no exception. However, we also came across a small band of bighorn sheep along Trailridge Road one morning on our way to the park's west side to photograph moose. That's two years in a row for bighorn rams. We also had the opportunity to work a group of mule deer, one of which was a fairly nice buck. There was not much in the way of fall color when the week started. However, by the time the week was over, it was a different story.
The moose photography in northern Maine was the best since my company first began offering workshops there some five years ago. Everyone in my group was "blown away" by the numerous up-close-and-personal photo opportunities experienced during the week.
Fall is just around the corner in the mountains of Colorado, where I live. It rained yesterday and throughout the morning in Allenspark, most likely dropping snow in the higher elevations.
The bull elk are already bugling and gathering their harems. I will be out in the field tomorrow, leading a workshop and photographing them. The afternoon will find me and my group indoors, where I will be teaching the digital equivalent of the dodging and burning techniques used by Ansel Adams.
I made these images during my High Country Wildlife photo workshop that conclued earlier this week on Mount Evans, located west of Denver.
During our first morning in the field, we had been working a small herd of mountain goats for an hour or so, when I heard a familiar "call." I began looking, but did not see anything. Knowing who had made the call, I continued my search. Suddenly, one of them materialized, then another, and another. It was Nature's Master of Disguise . . . an entire flock of White-tailed
Ptarmigan, less than 20-feet away. They had come to us. I began circling around them in order to place the light to better advantage. In the process, I almost stepped on two "stragglers" that trailed behind the main flock.
In all, we encountered a variety of wildlife, including mountain goats, bighorn sheep, yellow-bellied marmots, pika, long-tailed weasels, and the White-tailed Ptarmigan. One day, a Golden Eagle even checked us out as it circled effortlessly overhead. The weather was fabulous and so were the photo opps.