Saturday, September 6, 2014

The world through my eyes: Mendenhall Glacier, Whales and Juneau, oh my!

Juneau is a city I could live in. It clings to the edge of the sea and the mountains. The streets rise precipitously and everything is lush and green, at least in the beginning of September. Considering the city is in Alaska, it gets surprisingly little snow.

I took a an excursion led by a local and saw some stunning wildlife and views, so this is a picture heavy entry.

If you're interested, I've also posted about Vancouver and the Inside Passage and Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point.

I mentioned in a previous post that I'm just blown away by the tenacity of salmon.
Here are some salmon at the end of their journey, spawning, fighting and dying. 

Juneau is in a temperate rain forest. The flora is just amazing. 

90 years ago this area was under the Mendenhall glacier. As it receded it left behind glacial erratics (rocks). This picture shows you some of the mossiness of the area.

Another berry I cannot identify.

I wish I could properly capture the colors of the glacier, I don't know how yet. But this gives you a sense of size. Kind of. It's HUGE.
I was surprised by how dirty it was, but that makes sense when you consider how glaciers churn everything up.

Maybe this helps convey the size.

Note the blues in the ice. 

Icebergs and blues

By the shores of the lake at the foot of the glacier. Yes, the water is cold.
I sprinkled a little of Kevin's ash here. He would have hated the cold but loved the view.

These are called bane berries. So named because eating 3-4 will kill an adult. So don't do that.

A jellyfish, just minding its own business.

While the harbor seal was keeping an eye on me.

Humpbacked whale, diving. 

This whale is named Spot because of the markings on his tail.

Bald eagles were everywhere. These two clearly were flouting the sign.

I wasn't expecting to see this eagle in flight, so I didn't have the right settings on my camera.
Nonetheless, I like this photo.

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. What a trip, what beautiful sights! It really opened my eyes to the beauty in the world. I'm so amazed by your photos that I'll have to make Juneau a place to visit one day. He would definitely have loved the view and its great that Kevin was there too. :)


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