This is a rendering of the midnight sun in the Alaskan summer. I took this from the balcony of a cruise ship late one evening as we sailed towards Seward. From my perspective on the ship there were hundreds of miles of mountains as far as you can see. The size of Alaska is so big that much of it is untouched by humans. I don't know that for a fact but given the size, terrain and remoteness it is all but impossible to fully explore. Perhaps Alaska is one of the last remaining frontiers on earth.
We live on an amazing planet and often I find myself without adequate words to describe what I'm seeing. Sometimes a photo will do but I may take liberties to express a feeling beyond what eyes can see. Of course, it's all a matter of interpretation but I do my best. So when I see and experience the vastness of Alaska I am at a loss for words. That's when I turn to art to convey something just beyond description.
Of course none of this is unusual. Case in point is the peoples of the original nations. Their art is prolific and profound and is shaped by the landscape, seasons and spirit of the region. Isn't it interesting how artist seem to congregate in places where beauty is abundant? Obviously there's something to it.
Back in the days of the gold-rush this was the red light district of the town of Ketchikan. Those days are long gone but naturally there are recreated saloons and bordellos along with souvenir shops.
There's a lot of history in towns like this. All I know for sure is that the early settlers of Alaska had to be heart when you consider the hardships required to get here and then make it though a winter. It's no wonder many spent their money here.
I was here in the summer at the peak of tourist season, but I'd be curious to see what it looks like in winter. I imagine most of the shops are shuttered with only a few open for residents. Most of the people that work in the shops are from the lower forty-eight, almost everyone I talked to was from somewhere else. I suppose Alaska and Florida have that in common.
Anyway, these buildings on stilts are typical of the area. I took this as I walked around the town on a rainy day.
I could post pictures of herons every day of the week, but then I'd have to rename the blog, Another Day Another Heron. This is such a common sight here in central Florida that I almost take it for granted; almost, but not quite. I used to live in Ontario Canada and I would travel into the back country. Up there the heron sightings were rare and it was a big deal when you saw one. Not so much here, they basically own the place. You see them along any stretch of water all up and down the coast. And they are territorial so you typically see them alone. I've noticed that other seabirds tend to give herons a wide berth.
The few I saw in Ontario were shy of humans, basically they would move away if you got within a hundred meters. Again, not so here, it seems they've grown accustom to us humans. They'll even take an interested in us if we happen to be fishing. If you have bait or scraps they come right up to you. For me it's quite an experience. It reminds me of feeding Flamingos in a petting zoo, they are even more amazing up close.
Herons fish in the shallow waters snatching fish with their pointy beaks. If you watch them for any length of time you'll note they are extremely patient. They'll remain perfectly still while a fish swims up and then they'll strike like lightning. The prey never even saw it coming. It reminds me of martial arts, quick, precise, lethal.