Greetings & Best Wishes from Teklanika Photography!
We hope that our annual end-of-year newsletter finds you happy, healthy, and with those you love.
2017 has been another eventful year spent focusing on conservation, nature, wildlife and outdoor photography. In January, we were able to attend the Alaska Bird Conference in Cordova, Alaska, during which Guy presented information about the rehabilitation he and his team at the Bird Treatment and Learning Center provided in response to the major mortality event of tens of thousands of common murres that had occurred in Alaska over the 2015-16 winter season. The winter visit to Cordova afforded unique wildlife photography opportunities, including sightings of coyotes, sea otters, bald eagles, hundreds of trumpeter swans, and many others.
In March, we traveled to the Summit Lake State Recreation Site, not too far south of our home in Anchorage, and snowshoed in with our dogs and some friends to the Manitoba Hut site. We stayed in Toba’s Yurt and watched the northern lights swirl overhead during clear, cold nights. In April, Anchorage welcomed a rare wild visitor – a threatened tidewater bird of the Bering Sea region, an emperor goose! Enthusiastic birders got word and came from all around Anchorage and the surrounding areas to witness and photograph this fellow, who seemed perfectly comfortable mingling with the typical large gatherings of his cousins, lesser Canada geese.
For our sixth consecutive year, we were thrilled to be able to join our friends – human and avian – at the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival in May. One of our annual favorites, this event kicks off each summer beautifully for us. As the weather began to turn and the length of daylight grew, as with every year around the same time, the mamas and babies began to roam the city and surrounding areas. In May and June, we had the privilege of spending quite a bit of time with two black bear families: one sow with two adorable cubs – one of which exhibited “brown-phase” coloration, fairly rare in this area – and another sow mama with three playful and mischievous cubs! We felt empathy for her as we chased our own single cub around all summer.
In June, we were visited by some of our dearest and oldest friends and as with all our visitors, we were overjoyed at the opportunity to show them around Anchorage and beyond. We accompanied them (or sent them on their happy way) to Girdwood, Seward, Hope, Talkeetna, and the Matanuska Glacier.
This adventuring was immediately followed up by a trip to Katmai National Park & Preserve in late June / early July. Guy and his dad were able to spend a week camping among some of the largest bears in the world, quietly observing the incredible animals as they went about their daily lives. Katmai is a special wild place unlike any other, and we can’t wait for our next planned visit in the summer of 2018.
In September, just in time to photograph the peak of Alaska’s fall colors, we embarked on an epic road trip with visiting family and caravanned from Anchorage to Denali National Park, our favorite national park in the system. We proceeded from there to Fairbanks and spent two nights at Chena Hot Springs. From there, we headed south along the Richardson Highway toward Glennallen and then on to Chitina and McCarthy/Kennecott through Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. On the way home, we made our second stop at the Matanuska Glacier this year before arriving safely and collapsing, exhausted back home.
Never known to sit still for too often, in November, we participated in the 23rd Annual Alaska Bald Eagle Festival in Haines, Alaska. Guy escorted two rehabilitated bald eagles from Anchorage to Haines for release at the culmination of the festival. The beautiful and successful release of both eagles was held at the Jilkaat Kwaan Cultural Heritage & Bald Eagle Preserve Visitor Center in the Alaska Native Village of Klukwan, just north of Haines. It was a picturesque and most appropriate setting for the release of these majestic American icons back to the wild. Experts estimate that there were over 4000 bald eagles along the Chilkat River during the festival this year.
Although we will admit some reluctance to welcome back the cold and darkness each year, we find ourselves roused from bed, even when the temperatures drop well below zero, when the northern lights are dancing once again overhead. In late November of this year, we captured some of our favorite photos yet of the Aurora Borealis and we are hopeful that the forecast for the ‘lights’ will continue to be promising to sustain us and entertain us through the darkest and coldest parts of the Northern winter.
In between our trips away from home, we spent hundreds of hours hiking and exploring our backyard in the greater Anchorage area, which offers excellent nature photography opportunities. We hope that you’ll visit the website and also scroll back through our 2017 posts in the Field Journal to see more of what we came across this year.
As we head into the holiday season and the new year, we remain eternally grateful for the opportunity to live, work, and play in this place we call home, Alaska. We are equally grateful for all of you who share in these adventures with us, whether by purchasing a print or calendar, following along with us from your own homes through the field journal, or actually visiting us here. Thank you!
2018 Teklanika Nature Photography Calendar
Our 2018 nature calendars are now available! These glossy 8 1/2″ x 11″ calendars are a welcome addition to any home or office, featuring full color wildlife and landscapes prints – and they’re only $15.00! Every month shows a different photograph accompanied by an inspirational quote. Holidays and significant dates in conservation history are noted.
Visit the Teklanika website!
We’ve been busy updating our website and adding new prints to our portfolio, take a look and let us know what you think!
Teklanika Field Journal
Wilder Alaska, the Teklanika Field Journal, features our day-to-day wildlife and nature photos (many of which never make it into the teklanikphotography.com portfolio). You can sign up to receive Field Journal updates in regular installments (per post, weekly, etc.) right in your email inbox!
2017 Field Journal Video
Once again, we’re excited to share with you a video compilation of some of our moments this year in the field. Click the photo below to access the video.
(For best results, be sure to watch the video in “1080p HD”.)
Copyright (c) 2017 G. Runco / Teklanika Nature Photography