It has been a while since Dave and I came home from Alaska and I have been so happily busy with my awesome clients that I haven’t really had time to sit down and finish editing all of our photos. That being said, I took a look at them tonight and saw that I had actually edited some and just not shared them with all of you! So here it is — my post about one of the ports we visited during our Alaska cruise: Ketchikan, Alaska.
We stopped in Ketchikan on Day 6 of our 7 day cruise. By this time we had done so many amazing things in Alaska and seen so much beauty we decided to stick with our original plan of a simple nature walk as our excursion for the day. It was a pretty short walk, only about 1.2km if I remember correctly – in fact, the bus ride there was longer than the walk itself, though I am not complaining, driving along the shoreline was breathtaking in its own right and we must have seen at least a dozen bald eagles flying around the tree tops.
When we first arrived at the excursion, they split us into groups. There were a few different guides, but Dave and I instantly went towards one in particular who had an amazing handlebar mustache! Seriously, it was awesome – we have a photo of it but I am going to save it for another time, sorry. Anyway, we walked down the path and our guide told us all about the forest and the flora and fauna that called it home. And despite the fact that Dave and I thought we were going on a simple, quiet nature walk during which we would likely not see anything, we not only saw some great bits of nature, we also saw some amazing wildlife!!
The photos I shot during our nature walk in Ketchikan are some of my favourite of the trip – though it is hard to say that as the entire trip produced some amazing photos that are truly breakth-taking. I love the above photo of a fallen log – it is acting as a sort of nursery to the new saplings.
This was the first bit of wildlife we saw during the walk, a woodpecker. Yes I realize it has a better name than that but come on, I was told it nearly 5 months ago and sadly I didn’t keep a very good record of everything we were told during our excursions.
These bald eagles are two examples of the sorts you can find in and around the alaskan ports – truly wild ones and ones that live in captivity. To be honest, there don’t seem to be many of the latter kind (yay!) and this guy only lives in captivity because he can’t live in the wild anymore. He sure is pretty though. The wild bald eagle was really neat to see. The ones we had seen up until this point in the trip were either very far away, or adolescents who did not have the white feathers on their heads.
The markings on this tree show that it is a training tree for bear cubs. Mothers will ‘teach’ their cubs how to climb trees by charging them and moderately attacking them (she may prod them with her claws). She does this so that they learn how to climb trees quickly as it could save their lives should a full-grown male run across them in the woods.
Speaking of bears. We were walking along a path and nearing the end of the nature walk when I started to get a little sad that we hadn’t seen an actual bear. Just then Dave and I spotted a young black bear not too far from us (a nice safe distance). He sat and stood on and near the fallen logs for a little while. Our guide called it in to the other guides on the paths so that they could get a chance to show their guests – unfortunately they didn’t end up getting there before the ‘little’ guy sauntered off into the forest.
After the bear left, we continued walking and we saw that it or another bear had actually been very close to the path and had left these really neat footprints in the mud.
It was also about this time that we saw one of those adolescent eagles I spoke about earlier flying from tree top to tree top. Luckily, I had my camera in high speed mode (normally used for the first kiss at weddings) and got a great shot of it soaring the skies.
This was also when we saw some more common birds. As we were the only Canadians on the walk, our guide poked fun of us as we had come all the way up to Alaska just to find Canadian Geese. I took a shot because – well come on, I had to.
Near the end of the walk there were a few exhibits. There were some about logging and wood carving and there was a spot where you could feed lettuce to some reindeer. Dave and I each fed the reindeer – because, well, when in Rome or something like that.
I am going to end this post with the above shots of this awesome owl. I believe this is a North American Great-Horned Eagle as I am pretty sure they have yellow eyes and the European kind have orange eyes. I could be very wrong about that but I am pretty sure that’s what I was told at the Photo Expo by the Birds of Prey exhibitors. Either way, he was pretty sleepy and only opened his eyes for a brief second and then he went back to sleep. And Dave made the joke that derpy owl is derpy, though in this shot, it kind of just looks like he is winking.