Most Memorable Photography Experience

I was given a challenge from my friend Lisa Langell, to post a picture and story of my most memorable photo experience.  By far my trip to Alaska with her for my 50th birthday year hoThe whole trip was memorable as you know from reading my blogs.  This Orca picture wp-1531028557731..jpg is the one that is the crème for my memories.

I have always been fascinated with killer whales; I had to see one in the wild.

Back story about me and what led up to this picture.  I had a small mid-life crisis and in 2007 I joined the Army (what was I thinking).  I served until 2009 because in 2008 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  Those who know about the disease know it affects balance as one of the symptoms. (Keep this in mind for later).

In 2016 Roy and I decided we wanted to go to Alaska and drive there.  We purchased an A-frame trailer to do this in. On one of the shake down cruises to prepare for the trip we attended a rally with other a-framers, this is where Lisa Langell enters the picture.  Camped next to her we get talking and I find out she is a photograph, she loves Alaska and she does workshops in Alaska. (Add to bucket list).

Fast forward 2 years to 2018, I’m now 50 and have been dealing with MS for 10 years.  I made it and wasn’t in a wheel chair which is another thing that can happen if you have MS.  I was celebrating because a doctor once mentioned that if you are not in a chair by 50 its likely MS will not put you there.  I am starting to show some signs that I’m not all ok when it comes to balance issues, I look like I’ve had one too many some times. So the perfect storm came together I had a husband who loved me, a friend who did workshops in Alaska, not in a wheelchair and turning 50.

The picture of the orca is just the fin, I have a few others from that day but seeing them in living color was the best part the photo was a plus.  We were on a boat outside of Seward Alaska on Resurrection Bay not a calm body of water. I mentioned that my balance was off because of MS I came to a realization because of this, I think when I am on dry land I feel a little like I’m on a boat.  So my brain tried to over compensate for the motion of the ocean (this did not bode well).  The end of the day the brain lost that battle and seasickness won.

Picture the fact that my bucket list involves seeing orcas, the mind and body was saying it’s today or never again because boats and me are not a good match.  I keep pestering Lisa asking are we going to see one, I need to see, she made no promises.

Well what to my watering eyes I think I see an orca pod. The boat slowed and I gingerly made it up to the bow of the boat.  Once there the other people in our small group made room for me, to squeeze in even though I was turning green.  This was an amazing site and the orcas were so close we had a baby breach right next to the boat. (I don’t think anyone got a picture.)  We are bobbing in the water which is not going to work for me.  I am getting ready to head back to the stern when, the fin appeared right in front of me.  I snapped the photo and immediately headed back to the stern to embrace a pail and begin the dry heaves.

The whole trip was memorable and I’ve taken other pictures that are also memorable.  This picture taught me a few things

  • Never give up
  • Take time to enjoy the scene and not worry about the pictures
  • Stay off boats.

Buki’s Road Trip

for a cat who did not travel well he has had a lot of adventures through this blog. This year he will be able to join the trip in spirit. We have his ashes and will be taking them with us, I have set him up in a travel case. Side note is we won’t have to be concerned about curvy roads, ashes DO Not get car sick. The memories involved with road tripping with Buki are many. One of my favorites is the fact that he knows you do not drive at night it is for sleeping. So if the sun set at 5pm he thought for sure we needed to be at our destination. The other thing I remember the most is curvy roads disagree with tummy, (I have to say will not miss this). His own personal hidey hole an used disposable litter box. Our road trips with Buki have always been an adventure, both Roy and I will miss him. He is in a better place and did not have to endure to much pain on this side.

I am sharing just a few of the many cute pics of him.

Still My Favorite…


The bald eagle will always be my favorite bird to shoot. It was day 6 of our photo adventure, the morning was Skilak Lake and this was another morning play hooky. It just was a choice, I knew eagles were more of a sure thing.

Lisa and Len took us to the secret spot just as the rain stopped. I started to get disappointed because parking would have required a walk. Never fear Len drove right on the beach. This gave Dee, Wendy, and me great position. It was amazing to see a zillon eagles everywhere fish scraps do the trick.

The other interesting thing was to watch the pecking order for food. First mature bald eagles, then juvies, and at the bottom gulls.

This guy is not sharing.

I think this little guy hasn’t figured out you can’t eat seaweed.

Walking along the beach I took pictures of shells, kelp, fish bones, and coal which washed up on the beach.

This year the gulls were waiting their turn by playing a game of follow the leader.

Here’s Proof More then Orcas

On the way over to find orcas the group stopped by to take some landscapes and reflections. Here is one and it is not upside down.

As we were leaving the harbor in Seward Alaska, this grand bird gave us a wave.

Those who remember when we stayed right on the water in Seward here is the view of combat camping from the water.

Here is the man made waterfall to control flooding.

The picture with the baby sea lion has been edited let’s just say the shell was not placed to cover anything. I did think it was cute that they really do hold sea shells.

On the way home we stopped by a fish weir and I was able to catch a jumping fish. On the way out of town we stopped by to take pictures of a local bird lady, here’s a small woodpecker.

These Pictures Are For The Birds

The boat trip up the Kenai was not bad. I was able to get a few pictures of the birds along the way.

This squacky duck is a grebe they had to rebuild their nest due to fast rising water.

The pair were quite loud.

We saw this set of gulls floating down a river moving at about 7 knots

We never did get super close to this pair of trumpheter swans, but my zoom did.

The cool thing is watching how the swan will take a drink by winding his neck down to the water.

All About The Moose Pictures

The day I played hooky from the bears we still went and shot in the evening. This mama had a very young baby near her. I was not able to get a picture, I did see her though.

She enjoyed showing off for us but did get a little restless which was our clue to leave.

Driving through the area we ran across another mom with a calf who decided to play hide and seek with us.

We were so lucky to see so many babies

Cuteness Overload

Homer was filled with moms and babies causing cuteness overload. Here are the baby moose, twins I say. Mark this one off the bucket list.

Pulling out of the harbor I saw the ferry we took two years ago.

On the trip the gulls were getting their fill of tiny fish, I call this a fish ball.

Also in the mix was a Tufted Puffin.

I have never seen so many otters with pups.

Of course there always has to be one,

On the way home we stopped by the Russian Orthdox Church here’s a cemetary shot.

The cherry on top was two hours of an eagle baby being fed. AMAZING

Wet Pictures

We were not able to spend much photo time on day one due to weather. Here are 4 photos. A float plane from Lake Hood Float Plane Airbase. This is the largest base in the world. A loon lives here.

We stopped along the way to take pictures of water falls

We were able to photograph Sandhill Cranes with a baby and one moose. Both were from a distance.