Posts Tagged ‘glacier’

Glacial Ice

“Glacial Ice”
Photo of the Week #42, selected in February, 2020

There’s no shortage of iconic photo opportunities in Alaska, but I felt fortunate to click this pic for two reasons. First, climate change may do away with these massive Alaskan glaciers someday and there’s no guarantee that this won’t be sooner than later. Second, getting a shot like this with a long telephoto lens can be exceedingly difficult. I was about 200 yards away when I heard the eerie groan from deep within the glacier and was lucky enough to guess correctly as to where the ice would be falling. I can’t wait until we can return to the “Last Frontier.”

This photo was taken from our cruise ship in the Tarr Inlet, part of Glacier Bay, Alaska, while sitting near the Margerie Glacier. This glacier was declared a National Monument in 1925, a National Park and Preserve in 1980, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 1986 and a World Heritage Site in 1992. In case you were wondering, the Margerie Glacier extends upstream for a length of 21 miles, is about 1 mile wide and is approximately 350′ tall at the sheer edge, 100′ of which is under water.

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Alaskan Eagle Taking Flight
Alaskan Eagle Taking Flight

“Alaskan Eagle Taking Flight”
Photo of the Week #11, selected in July, 2019

During our Alaska cruise a couple of years ago, it was difficult to get as many striking photos as I’d hoped, the region having been inundated with smoke from vast forest fires burning in Northern Canada. I was able to take a few excellent shots, however, and this bald eagle was the star of our glacier stop. This wondrous living symbol of America, which had been sitting on a chunk of ice floating in Glacier Bay, posed for several minutes as we approached, then took flight, fortunately while I was targeting it with my telephoto lens. The water in the bay was a dull blue due to the silt deposited by the glaciers.

Glacier Bay is the product of the Little Ice Age, a geologically recent glacial advance in northern regions. The Little Ice Age reached its maximum extent around 1750. Since then, the massive glacier that filled the bay has retreated 65 miles to the heads of its inlets. With global climate change, the retreat has accelerated and it is perhaps in the process of disappearing completely, at least until the next Ice Age.

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