Saturday, June 21, 2014

Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Our final days and farewell to Seward included stops at Exit Glacier (photo),  scoping the mountain pasture successfully locating black bears and mountain goats.

This eagle, one of many was perched low over Bear Creek filled with splashing sockeye salmon on their journey to spawning beds upstream.

A family of American Dippers had taken up residency at the Salmon tagging weir station on Bear Creek.

The Stoney Creek RV park was filled with the police whistle like song of Varied Thrushes.  A near-by stream had newly hatched Common Mergansers that are taking turns riding on mama's back.

We drove to the farthest south point that you can drive without going on a ferry: Homer Spit, a 4 and a half mile long strand that juts out into Kachemak Bay.   We stayed at an RV camp near the end of the spit with good sea bird activity including numerous low flying eagles.

We saw a number of moose, including this shaggy cow who was #20 on our moose list.  This was seen at Beluga Slough.  We also visited the Carl E. Wynn Nature Center where we found the sought after Chocolate Lily, our target flower.  Looks beautiful but smells like dead moose to attract the pollinating flies.

We found Golden-crowned Sparrows and Townsend's Warblers to be as cooperative as the stationary flowers.

This adult Gray Jay pished in on a blooming cow parsnip for a close photo op.

We were looking for something very special to celebrate our 44th wedding anniversary so on  June 20th we took a flight out over Cook Inlet to Lake Clark National Park.  The pilot told us to watch for bears on the flats below.  Ty called out "there's a family of Alaskan Brown Bears below".  The pilot set the plane down on the beach and we quietly walked to within 25 yards of this sow and her one year old cubs.

We spent over a half hour watching this family go about it's daily life; feeding, resting, and playing.  The ever alert mother kept a watchful eye on a large Alaskan boar headed their way.

As the boar came closer she alerted the cubs that its time to get out of here.  Ignoring us, the trio ran to within 15 yards of us heading into the trees.  That was our cue to leave as well.

The flight continued around Iliamna Volcano and up over Double Glacier, over sterile volcanic ash rivers, over silty deltas and flood plains, then over the oil rigs of  Cook Inlet and back to Soldotna air strip.

Good-bye from the land of the midnight sun, where 20 hours of daylight really messes up the sleep schedule, but seeing God's handiwork is worth less shuteye.
Love & Prayers, Ty & Ida Baumann

1 comment:

  1. Amazing photos! I'm really enjoying seeing the photos and journal of your trip. Hope to see you next winter at the Chula Vista RV Park.