Goodbye Alaska

I knew this day would come eventually. It’s been pretty much written into our story since before we even got to Alaska. Eve as the years ticked by here the inevitable goodbyes always seemed so far away.

The day after New Years the movers came and packed up our host. The took most of our belongings to port and shipped them back to the lower 48. Three days ago we packed up the Jeep, hugged our friends goodbye, and set our sights on a place far, far away.

We managed to knock out the trip in less than 72 hours – a feat I would not again recommend – but I also wouldn’t recommend driving in -35 degree temps either.

A few snaps from our last few days in the house and our travels through Canada.
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I’m going to miss you Alaska… but damn it feels good to be home.
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Boudoir

After a successful maternity shoot with my co-worker Malissa, two friends pulled me aside and asked if I minded doing an outdoor boudoir shoot for them. Their husbands recently deployed & they wanted a fun surprise to send to them while they’re overseas.

This was another first for me. I seem to be having a lot of them lately and I’m completely okay with that. I like being pushed outside my comfort zone and look forward to more opportunities.
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Final Farewell

It’s been a revolving door of friends and family the past few years but now that Heather & Chris are safely on a plane headed back to the lower 48 I can [with great sadness] say I’ve said my final farewell to my Alaskan visitors.

Even though I’ve tried to remember, I can’t honestly tell you the last time I saw my cousin Heather. One of us was probably in high school – although with us being 4 years apart I’m not sure which one of us that was.

The weather seemed to hold out for the most part (a rarity this time of year in Alaska and something that seemed to be even more rare this summer in particular) and I think it’s safe to say they had a pretty good trip and got to experience a good chunk of Alaska. They slept in a different bed almost every night, traveled several hundred miles and still managed to squeeze in some quality time with Brian & I, not to mention an impromptu camping trip. We’ll be stopping in to visit ya’ll in PA soon enough! xoxo.

Zoo

My friend Steve and I met back in college @ DelVal. We were both in the Zoo Science program and fancied lacrosse. Since then he’s gone on to an impressive career as a keeper with the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and has been known to pick up a camera from time to time to document the animals he works with and around. His photos, which you can check out HERE, are a frequent reminder of a life and passion I’ve left behind. Seriously, you should stop what you’re reading and go check them out. He does great work and I can promise you they aren’t even in the same league as the photos you’re about to scroll down and see. Go!

Feeling inspired by Steve’s work, I found myself wandering about the tiny campus of the Alaska Zoo this afternoon. It was one of those overcast days where the sky couldn’t decide if she wanted to pour down on you or let the sun shine forth, so it stayed in a constant limbo all day. For me, that is the perfect kind of day for viewing wildlife and keeping the hoards of mosquitoes at bay. A few of my favorite shots:

Thanks for the inspiration Steve. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Municipality of Anchorage Greenhouse

Recently, at a park very near our house, I discovered a greenhouse owned by the Municipality of Anchorage. It’s free to the public and open 7 days a week. While I am here in early June taking in the beauty of all the flora grown inside, I look forward to coming here as a refuge from the cold during winter as well. It will also be neat to see what plants are in bloom throughout different times of year here too.FlowerpokieRJPBotanicalGarden-1RJPBotanicalGarden-2RJPBotanicalGarden-3RJPBotanicalGarden-4RJPBotanicalGarden-5RJPBotanicalGarden-6RJPBotanicalGarden-7RJPBotanicalGarden-8

Springtime at Potters Marsh

In 1917 construction of a railroad embankment unintentionally created a 564 acre marshland. That man made accident has since become home to a plethora of creatures that call Potters Marsh home, even if only for a short while each year.

100 years after it’s accidental creation creation I find myself sitting along the edge of this wetland, camera in hand, observing the wonders of nature so you too can observe with me for a while too.

Thirteen moose wander about the opening, gorging themselves on the plant-life at the bottom of the shallow waters.  In the water in the foreground a pair of Tundra swans float about, napping intermittently. They have made their way to these waters for years and will continue to do so for the rest of their natural lives. PottersMarshMooseMadness-1PottersMarshMooseMadness-2PottersMarshMooseMadness-3PottersMarshMooseMadness-4
A car gunning down the highway to my back thunders down the road and scares off all the moose closest to me. They flee into the cover of nearby treesPottersMarshMooseMadness-5PottersMarshMooseMadness-6PottersMarshMooseMadness-7PottersMarshMooseMadness-8PottersMarshMooseMadness-9PottersMarshMooseMadness-10PottersMarshMooseMadness-11PottersMarshMooseMadness-12PottersMarshMooseMadness-13PottersMarshMooseMadness-14
When I pull my head back from the camera again, a pair of mallards drift by just a few feet in front of me. They waddle up onto a chunk of ice and make themselves at home there until a bald eagle swoops into the scene nearby. PottersMarshMooseMadness-15PottersMarshMooseMadness-16PottersMarshMooseMadness-17PottersMarshMooseMadness-18PottersMarshMooseMadness-19EgerFlyin-1
There is so much to watch in one little place, but as the sun sets this time of year it signals bedtime for me, so off I retreat to my home across town.