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Gorgeous golden light on the tors and surrounding hills at Angel Rocks
Winter at Angel Rocks

I wanted to share some photos from a day hike Jenn and I took this winter at Angel Rocks. I've hiked Angel Rocks in early spring, summer, and fall, and walked out one dark night to shoot aurora, but I...

Photo of the Week — “4 Trees in the Light”
Photo of the Week — “4 Trees in the Light”

4 Trees in the Light" - Photo of the week ending January 31, 2015 The light was excellent in the early afternoon as the sun hung right over the hills behind us. We were walking through beautiful taiga for a...

Sunrise over the Tanana - Along the Richardson Highway north of Delta Junction. We were on our way from Fairbanks to the Delta Mountains - Eastern Alaska Range.
Castner Creek to Castner Glacier

Looking for a hiking guide to the Castner Glacier? I don’t usually start venturing into the Alaska Range until March. The temperature becomes a bit warmer, the snow is deeper and more supportive, and we have much longer days. But,...

Northern Lights – February 1st, 2015
Northern Lights – February 1st, 2015

Jenn and I managed to do a bit of aurora watching in mild(er) temperatures early in the morning on February 1st. I had been keeping my eye on the real-time aurora cameras, and the northern lights seemed to be turning...

-40 degrees in front of the UAF sign
Cold, Ester Dome, Chena Lake, and Tors

One of my best friends, Jenn from New Hampshire just made her second visit to Fairbanks, this time braving the bitter winter temps in hopes of seeing the aurora. After I picked her up at the airport, we stopped by...

Photo of the Week — “Spruce Ballroom”
Photo of the Week — “Spruce Ballroom”

“Spruce Ballroom” — photo of the week ending January 24, 2015 | Purchase Print Snow-clad spruce trees at sunrise. Sunrises have to be one of my favorite things about Fairbanks, next to the aurora, and the mountain range to our...

Boreal Winter – Black and White, Day and Night
Boreal Winter – Black and White, Day and Night

Welcome to the Alaska interior, and welcome to the boreal forest. This is a unique biome. Coniferous trees dominate the landscape, yet stands of birch and aspen remain plentiful in many places. The leafy trees love the sunny southern slopes....

Photo of the week — “2 PM”
Photo of the week — “2 PM”

Fairbanks winter sun at 2 pm

Photo of the week — “Northern Lights”
Photo of the week — “Northern Lights”

“Northern Lights” — photo of the week ending January 10, 2015 | Purchase Print After about 20 minutes of bright aurora bands filling the sky, it seemed like the display was fading, the brightest bands dwindling off into the southern...

The week when the northern lights wouldn’t quit
The week when the northern lights wouldn’t quit

Aurora Blog Purchase Print Where do I even begin? I mean, the title kind of says it all. As I sit here writing, I am purely exhausted. I was driving to the post office this morning and heard a piece...

Aurora borealis and a full moon
Aurora borealis and a full moon

Sitting at the computer last night, I had given up any hope that we'd have any good aurora this weekend, so I started writing a trip plan for 2015. I flipped to my tab with the RGB real-time camera stationed...

Winter in the Alaska Interior is all about the extended "blue hour". We have over 3 hours of twilight on either side of the sunrise and sunset. Recent snow has been caked to all the branches.
Photo of the Week — “Snowy Blues”

My last "photo of the week" for 2014 . . . I'm crazily excited to see what 2015 will bring! The "blue hour" - that period of twilight before the sun rises and after it sets; there's still enough sunlight...

Either an immature male or female pine grosbeak
Pine Grosbeak

This is the first year we've had pine grosbeaks regularly at the feeder, sometimes up to 6 at a time. It's been at least 8 days in a row now, so I'm hopeful they'll be hanging around for the winter....

Low auroral band and the big dipper over rock outcropping and spruce.
Photo of the Week — “Big Dipper and Aurora”

The big dipper and north star is the subject of the Flag of Alaska (designed by 13 year old Benny Benson in 1927, when Alaska was still a territory). I thought it would be nice to have an aurora photo...

Winter Solstice Light

Fairbanks is dark in the winter. The official length of the day on the winter solstice is 3 hours, 41 minutes, and some change. Luckily, we benefit from having a lot of twilight, long sunrises and sunsets, and the northern...

A two image panorama of the aurora over one of the rock outcroppings on Murphy Dome. It was a nice, warm night to go snowshoeing, but really windy.
Aurora and Milky Way from Murphy Dome

Last night I strapped on my snowshoes to take a walk around Murphy Dome. It's not really my favorite spot, but it's a convenient location with a good view and a mostly dark sky. It's been overcast almost every night...

A bit of aurora shortly before the clouds rolled in - trees illuminated by the moon.
Photo of the week — “Aurora before the clouds”

It seems like every night the clouds roll in fast, no matter how nice of a day it may have been. I still managed to catch some brief glimpses of the aurora before the clouds filled the sky. We had...

Sunrise over a snow-covered boreal forest after 11 am in Fairbanks, Alaska.
December sky and snow – 2014

Early last week I took a photo-walk downtown, shortly after we finally had our first significant snowfall. There has been some snow on the ground since early October, but things were beginning to look a bit brown and gray -...

The big dipper over road through boreal forest. Very faint aurora on the horizon. North of Fairbanks, Alaska.
Photo of the Week – “ALASKA”

It wasn't very easy to see the stars when the moon was shining so brightly, but you can still make out the big dipper over the road. The big dipper is the constellation on the Alaska State Flag, so I...

Fairbanks in Black and White
Fairbanks in Black and White

From October until April we live in a mostly monochromatic world. The sky makes some pretty dramatic colors at sunrise and sunset, but in the middle of the day (for all 3 hours of it) there's not much to look...

Photo of the Week – “Beautiful morning sunrise”

Beautiful Morning Sunrise - Monday November 24, 2014 Full disclosure -- I didn't take many photos this week. I slept in late on Sunday after my Angel Rocks trip, then spent the week cleaning, shopping, and preparing food for Thanksgiving....

Aurora Borealis – November 21, 2014
Aurora Borealis – November 21, 2014

With little to no snow on the ground I packed up my winter hiking boots instead of my ski boots and hiked slowly out to Angel Rocks (about 50 miles from Fairbanks). I had hopes for aurora, but was mainly...

Photo of the Week – “Aurora Breaks the Horizon”

"Aurora Breaks the Horizon" - Saturday November 21, 2014 See it in the gallery | Buy a print This wasn't the best aurora on Saturday night by far, but I felt it perfectly encapsulates the evening. I hiked out to...

Drive to Valdez and Stan Stephen’s Cruise

Valdez is a quaint harbor town of 4000 bordered by the beautiful Prince William Sound, the majestic Chugach Mountains, and enormous glacier-fed waterfalls. In the summer it's full of tourists, drunk fisherman from Washington, and little feral bunny rabbits (referred...

Photo of the Week – “Peak Sunrise”

"Peak Sunrise" - Wednesday November 12, 2014 - see it in the gallery / buy a print This sunrise photo was taken on the mushers trails about a mile north of the Creamer's Field farmhouse. I think what I love...

Aurora Borealis – November 14, 2014
Aurora Borealis – November 14, 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYjjI0WdZdg Well . . . last night was incredible. The aurora was out shortly after nightfall. Diffuse bands filled the sky between 8-11 pm. Shortly after 11 pm the sky exploded. I've never seen the aurora move so fast. It...

Crossing a stream on the Canwell Glacier
Exploring the Canwell Glacier

Hiking Guide to The Canwell Glacier Below A water carved canyon along a lateral moraine on the Canwell Glacier - gallery | prints Living as close as we do to enormous glaciers that could only exist on the highest peaks...

Aurora Borealis – September 26, 2014
Aurora Borealis – September 26, 2014

Aurora in twilight - gallery | prints I love eating dinner, then walking out our door to sights like this. Any night I don't have to stay up until 4 am to watch the northern lights is a good night...

Hiking the Thoro Ridge

This is the view to the north and east from the Thoro Ridge, a bit west of the Alpine Trail near the Eielson Visitor Center. This summer I went hiking on the Thoro Ridge in Denali National Park with my...

Highly Anticipated Aurora

Aurora band from US Creek Road overlooking the White Mountains. My mother and father in law have been to Fairbanks four times, including two very cold winter visits. To our dismay, over twenty nights in Alaska they had yet to...

A stream in the Rainbow Basin between the Canwell Glacier and Rainbow Ridge in the Eastern Alaska Range.
Camping in the Rainbow Basin

Driving through Red Rock Canyon is a slow kind of exciting. I barely reach 10 miles per hour as alders scrape both sides of the car on the single lane, windy road in the Delta Mountains. The road traverses a...

Blue stream on the Black Rapids Glacier in the Eastern Alaska Range
Black Rapids Glacier: Summer 2014

The theme of this season was certainly "precipitation". I kept thinking about the Forrest Gump quote, "One day, it started raining, and it didn't quit for 4 months". Luckily we were only there for two weeks. We earned bonus points...

Spring marches on

Since it's been a while since I last posted and next week I'll be leaving for field work on the Black Rapids Glacier for two weeks, I thought I should share some of my images from late spring. This coming...

Silhouettes of Granite Tors in the Chena River State Recreation Area at sunset.
Finally, Granite Tors

Every year that I've been in Alaska I have wanted to hike out to the Granite Tors. Every year I haven't gone. My friend Jason has done the same. Until this year when a fellow grad student finished her M.S....

On the verge of green at Angel Rocks

Over the weekend the birch trees greened up here in Fairbanks, a bit early this year. It probably helps that we've had a few days in the 70's already. The mosquitoes have also come out in an awful way already....

Welcoming Spring in Fairbanks

An absolutely gorgeous day on Smith Lake. If you have a big monitor it's worth clicking on this to view in lightbox. Small screens won't do this panorama justice. The snow is melting fast. The Nenana River went out sometime...