Southeastern Alaska [Inland Passage] Part II [Natural]

Photo #SE:II.1

When we arrived at the Ketchikan Airport it had just rained, and in the impending darkness [9:00 pm] we took a picture of a rainbow stretching across the inlet from the airport to the town itself. We got Alexander's dark band, but just missed being able to record the secondary band, on which the colors are reversed.

Photo #SE:II.2

The fjord of a "trench-shaped" region carved out by glaciers, which may run 50 miles [80 km] in from the sea. The water in it is usually quite deep [1000 feet or 300 meters], and after a few hundred years it may look like this one.

Photo #SE:II.3

The black bear is hunting barnacles along the shore at low tide, in order to overcome the hunger induced by 6-7 months of hibernation. The fruits and berries are not out, and the salmon are not yet running.

Photo #SE:II.4

The brown bears [sisters about two years old, who were recently left by their mother, according to the Park Ranger] are similarly hungry.

Photo #SE:II.5

Note that the ice on the glacier has a blue-ish color, especially after a piece has just broken off.

Photo #SE:II.6

The bald eagle, along with the raven [similar to, but quite distinct from, the crow] are the most common birds along the southeast coast of Alaska.

Photo #SE:II.7

Ice broken off this glacier is clear, as a result of the intense pressure of packed snow above it, in spite of the fact that it is formed by compressing frozen snow.

Photo #SE:II.8

The ice in this glacier in Glacier Bay is about 1000 feet [300 meters] deep in the water, and at the surface level it noisily "calves" when the ice below it is scoured away by salt water and tides. The noise of calving resembles thunder.

Photo #SE:II.9

Sea lions basking loudly in Glacier Bay.

Photo #SE:II.10

A mother brown bear and her three cubs taking life easy in Glacier Bay. Brown bears are the same species as their [smaller and more aggressive] cousins the Grizzly Bears. They live a happy life, eating fish, berries, and the like.

Photo #SE:II.11

Stuffed brown bears at American Bald Eagle Foundation in Haines, Alaska.

Photo #SE:II.12

Stuffed Moose in Bald Eagle Diorama in Haines, Alaska.

Photo #SE:II.13

Stuffed Wolves in Bald Eagle Diorama in Haines, Alaska. We did not see any live wolves in Alaska, and indeed it is quite rare to encounter them, unless you are a sheep or hare.