Alaskan Wildlife


A huge pod of Orcas showing off.

A huge pod of whales showing off.

Who doesn't want to see a real whale tail?

Who doesn’t want to see a real whale tail?

Last week I finished my blog post with a promise to post wild life photos taken in Alaska. Well, I keep my promise but these photos are a tiny fraction of what Alaska has to offer. Also, all of these were taken in their natural habitat. They were photo opportunities, lucky happenstances of being someplace at the right time with a camera ready to point and shoot.

Boreal Owl Denali NP

Boreal Owl Denali NP

I hope you enjoy them.

One time I was on a tour of Resurrection Bay, near Seward, AK, and a huge pod of Orcas swam very close. The captain cut the engines and announced we couldn’t move again until they left. The day was cold and drizzly and very overcast. Most of the passengers stayed inside the cabin drinking hot coffee and cocoa.

I’d brought warm rain gear and headed out to the deck and watched that family of about 15 Orcas of all sizes romp in weather they obviously enjoyed. Never got a photo. Too entranced with the show. That lasted for about 40 minutes until they did something like a synchronized “farewell” and took off.  AMAZING!!!

Dahl sheep enjoying warm temps at the roadside in Denali.

Dahl sheep enjoying warm temps at the roadside in Denali.

As I mentioned last week, photos such as these and lucky happenstances while traveling or in life can be the fodder that feeds a writer’s creativity. For those not writers, these sightings and memories of them either captured in our brains or by a camera, might inspire a painting, a collage, a mosaic, a screenplay.

Or perhaps most special of all—inspiring others with your memory and retelling. I think that’s part of why I was so happy to learn my friend and her sister loved their trip to Alaska and at least my friend hopes to go again. I’m sure she will. I’ll bring her with me.

And that concept inspired elements in the first two books of my Dessert Dames series, but most especially a chapter near the end of the second book, More Than a Trifle, that takes place in Alaska, in a very special place one of the friends decided would be the perfect place for her second marriage—starting it in a place new to both Katy, the friend getting married and her future husband Aidan.

You can see bears anywhere, even in Anchorage.

You can see bears anywhere, even in Anchorage.

But Katy brings her closet family and friends with her to share the beauty of that place and her second chance at happiness. I loved writing those scenes and all the time I wrote them I was surrounded by photos I’d taken of that place on several different visits to Alaska.

Have you ever listened to a friend or family member talk up a place they visited and then got lost in their photos? What did you do with that feeling? Those memories the photos or story embedded in your brain?

Caribou near Fairbanks

Caribou near Fairbanks

Bald eagles are abundant and always hungry.

Bald eagles are abundant and always hungry.

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19 Comments on “Alaskan Wildlife”


  1. Ah, Casey … they too precious. I keep them like a treasure. The first kiss. The picture my dad when he was an Italian merchant seaman. The picture of me and my middle brother when I got exactly what I wanted wanted for Christmas. Memories … images and sounds that follow me, that sit with me daily, nightly. All of them dear. Each of them waiting their turn to dance in the sun.

    And OMG … what increditle phots. I wish I could reach sit and watch those eagles, the sun on the water and nature in one of the few places where she reigns supreme over Her kingdom. Thanks 🙂

  2. Edie Ramer Says:

    Love your photos! Everyone I know who’s been to Alaska raves over it. It’s on my wish list.


  3. Very cool pictures, Casey. I’m an avid picture-taker, always wanting to “save” that moment for the future.

  4. Nancy Kaye Says:

    Great pictures. I hope you can go to Alaska soon.


  5. Great photos, Casey. Rick and I checked Alaska off our bucket list in 2009. It was the greatest trip ever!


  6. Florence,

    I love your responses almost as much as your posts. You feel about memories the same way I do and one of the best parts of having birthdays pile up is the memories increase a thousand-fold.

    So glad you like my choices for photos.


  7. Edie,

    You must get there. With your quirky wonderful style of writing you’d find a wealth of new ideas just by people watching. The state is filled with individuals and they are proud of their uniqueness.

    I hope you and hubby get to take that trip soon.


  8. Patti,

    I take lots of photos also but I’m finding I don’t take as many of people as I used to. I really should. They have great memories also and I’ve surrounded myself with photos of people who have been and are important to me. Memories…


  9. Nancy,

    I really have to get back there soon. I feel that need in my bones.


  10. Val,

    So glad you got to Alaska, and in doing so, were able to cross off an item on your bucket list. Thanks for stopping by.


  11. I have always wanted to go to Alaska. Now I just want to go even more. Thanks! 🙂


  12. Alaska is a dream vacation for hubby and me. Thanks for the awesome photos, and some day I’ll have some to share, too. 🙂


  13. Lorna,

    Whenever you go, if you go, you will be impressed.


  14. Stacey,

    When you make your next million, you and Wayne can take a trip you should both love. Really. 🙂


  15. Terrific postings, With thanks!


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