Simon the Adventurer

A Season of Sun
September 11, 2018, 7:43 pm
Filed under: Nature, Photography, Wildlife

The 2018 Alaska Season was busy with life.  I had time to think and grow, and time to learn. Working with a well versed team there is always an overarching feel to the group, this year it was so good.  From boat operators to kayak guides and naturalists, all people were professional and skilled at their craft.  DSC_5952.jpg

Beautiful spring flowers, budding from the shoreline of misty fjords national monument represent the pristine habitat bears prefer.  The Tongass National Forest provides all the things this bear needs.  Fresh grass in the spring berries in the summer and salmon in the fall, it makes me happy to see wild animals in wild places doing wild things.

Stay Wild


What’s up
February 13, 2015, 6:48 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hello friends, I am often aloof on the internet for my own reasons, I don’t need to make excuses, life is more important than facebook.  It is time for a little update.  I live in Anchorage, I have been working at a small whale watching company during the summer season for the last 7 years.  I have become a photographer out of necessity, there is too much wildlife and so many beautiful places.  I haven’t sold many photos but, I have won a few awards, that’s not the point, it makes me happy.  I have worked up to a point of understanding about the world around me, not especially profound, but interesting enough to give presentations on the subjects of my learning.  A profession that has been lost in history is something called a naturalist, the greats John Muir, Henry Thoreau, and John Audubon to name a few.  That is the closest descriptor of what I do these days, study, learn, explore, attempt to understand.  Often I’ll focus on one particular subject at at time, a big stack of books, but of all things I enjoy animal behavior the most.  This study of the animals around me it makes the photographing of them easier by anticipating their movements.  Alaska produces some fantastic surprises and opportunities to explore. Just a little of what is going on in my neck of the woods.

Best wishes,

portage glacier

A spring awakening.

I feel like I made it through the hazing, Southeast Alaska reared its ugly head an gave me a winter of seasonal fluctuations.  Most days went from total darkness to grey and back again, light/dark, light/dark, day in/day out, raven/crow/eagle.

A cold crow puffed up, to stay warm.

A cold crow puffed up, to stay warm.

Water, everywhere, in front, behind, above, below, and next to you.  Seasonal depression is real; when the sun came out it was like an awakening. When dawn and dusk are clearly marked with the shining of the sun it emerges as a gift. A boost to raise you from the pool of water you have been waiting in and finally, if you have the energy, gasping for a breath of air and down again till the next sighting.  Creativity is often stifled into the living room, not much space for a grand idea to blossom.

The fish have come, to ease the stress of fishermen and foragers  alike.

The fish have come, to ease the stress of fishermen and foragers alike.

The wait is over, things are beginning to come back to life.  The herring have finally arrived, and the patient animals gorge themselves on the rich fishes.  The poor birds that were subsisting on trash, handouts and whatever they could scrounge are well fed enough to  think about finding a special friend.  Ravens, crows, and eagles have begun to start their beautiful aerial mating dances.

Herring eggs spawned on sea weed.

Herring eggs spawned on seaweed.

What is the deal?
January 2, 2012, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Nature, Photography, skiing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The light this season has been really nice vivid sunsets, great cloud formations, Sunny more often than not, Wait a minute it’s Winter not Spring!  Colorado has been suffering through a strange winter season, attempting to subsist on awful ski conditions, man-made snow coating most of the runs and thousands of people skiing over it makes for a depressing season.  I’ll be the first to admit, I have a problem, the white powdery substance is the answer to my addiction I really want to go ski.

There are currently two schools of thought among the locals the first is hopeful sighting historic records as a magical tome that dictates relief after a long and patient wait.  “Just wait,” they say “The longer you wait the harder it will hit”
I’ll believe it when I see it.
The second school speaks of the farmers almanac, it is usually accurate stating that this is just a dry year.
Either way this makes dreams of shooting ski sessions really hard, there are few people willing to huck themselves off a rock with no snow to land on.  So it is landscapes and sunsets for the duration of the dry spell, remaining skeptical of the outcome.

The Rain
August 28, 2011, 9:44 pm
Filed under: Macro, Nature, Photography, Places | Tags: ,

Yup it’s raining and there is really no way of getting around it I want to go and photograph but I also have concern for my gear.

It's raining

There are a few minutes between downpours, working quickly I ended up with the above photo.  It seems to fit the mood of the day Gloomy and drippy.  The evergreens of the Tongass National Forest make the best of such rainfall growing big and strong holding steadfast the thin soil that nourishes them.  I live in a rainforest, not tropical by any means, but classified by the amount of rainfall received.  Seattle is called the “rainy city” and they receive around 40-50 inches of rain a year, Sitka on the other hand gets upwards of 100 inches. For more gloom and macro fun check out my website.

Pizza or Diamonds?
March 25, 2011, 8:21 pm
Filed under: Food, Photography, Places | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Decadent and fancy pants it makes anyone feel like a duke or duchesses of exotic locations.   Welcome to the Principessa!  Cooked to perfection in a brick oven, a gentle dusting of herby olive oil on the crust creates a fine start to a culinary delight.  The second layer is a lovely crumbled goat cheese, I hear the treatment of these goats rivals that of the Kobe beef of Japan, daily massages, music, and they don’t even have to be killed, just milked with satin gloves.  The third story of this magnanimous munchie, with a distinct flavor of hope and dreams, is a generous garden of arugula,   Freshness is the key here making a beautiful ground floor to an already cheesy basement.
This pizza could stand on its own in this fashion but will not be out done!  Never cast pearls before swine, cast pizza under swine.  Bacon? A commoners morsel!  Speak to me of Prosciutto, in the finest of Italian traditions this flavor brings about a deep strength of salted and dried meat.  Usually aged from 9 months to 2 years, after a 2 month sea salt rub this flavor might make Gandhi want to break a fast and eat a pig, it’s that good.
I could stop there but the crown jewel has yet to be dashed across the facet of edible perfection.  It’s enough to make Julia Child, blush, rest her soul.  I speak of White Truffle Oil people, the actual Alba madonna smells of feet but what better way of seeking them out then the humble pig and then making that pig into Prosciutto for my pizza.  Tuber magnatum truffles sold for between US$1,000 and $2,200 per pound last year.  Oh food of the heavens!  Often times enjoyed with a rich porter to match, it makes the palate spasm with delight.

Bumming and Booming
March 7, 2011, 7:54 am
Filed under: Photography, Places, skiing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

It seems as though there are times in which we run headfirst into our own mortality.  Repetition in exciting and fun, but potentially dangerous, activities is asking for trouble.  It’s only a matter of time, no matter how careful, we will trip up, it’s human nature, we expect the same result (definition of insanity) a “grandly fantastic day” every time, and the unthinkable happens and we/I end up with a bum leg.  I haven’t skied but once in the past week, I broke my streak at 110 days.  After having moved so very fast down hill I have come to a stand still, moments seem like time is in slow motion.  The usual cooking of breakfast is slowed to a  crawl, the pop and hiss of my eggs appears to be grossly elongated because there is no rush to get me to the gondola line, totally bummed.

But Boom! there are a great many things that need to be done.  Finished my taxes, Boom!  Reorganized my website, Boom! ( check out Steamboat under Landscapes)  I have showered regularly, Boom! (seriously there is a direct negative ratio of ski:shower days)  I’m about to finish reading a book, Boom!  What to do with all the time?  Pretty big fan of making other peoples days it doesn’t take much, Give wine to my coworkers, Boom!

Soon I will heal and be back on the snow, I will cherish the day, Boom!