Soar over the Aleutian Range, and take in the incredible textures of Becharof National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Alaska. Adjacent to Katmai National Park & Preserve, this wonderland nurtures one of Bristol Bay’s largest sockeye salmon runs, part of the foundation for the local economy. Some six million sockeye salmon run here annually, supporting a wide array of wildlife while contributing to ancient cycles. At a size difficult to comprehend, the refuge protects 1,157,000 acres and includes an active volcano, unusual geological features, historically significant landmarks, and a federally designated Wilderness. Photos by Jeff Jones, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Some of the best times to see the Northern Lights are typically in the early fall and late winter, and some of the best places to experience this incredible lights how are on the nearly 72 million acres of Alaska’s public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The amazing natural spectacle is created when particles ejected by sun flares collide with Earth’s magnetic field. You don’t need to know the #science to appreciate the beauty, though. Photo by Jeremy Matlock, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).
Whoo whoo’s ready for Halloween? As the sun sets and costumed candy hunters emerge, so will owls like this great horned owl @mypubliclands Marion Creek Campground in Alaska. Great horned owls are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. Their excellent night vision, acute hearing and silent flight makes them practically magical. Their eyes don’t move in their sockets, but they can swivel their heads more than 180 degrees to look in any direction, making them nature’s perfect, lovable creeper. Just remember: even when you’re not watching wildlife on public lands – they’re watching you. Muhaha! Happy Owloween! Photo by Kerry Howard (www.sharetheexperience.org).
I think he likes you. Fall is the season for romance for moose at Denali National Park in Alaska. In fields the color of flames, bull moose are hunks of burning love, battling other males and aggressively courting females. They can stand more than six feet tall at the shoulder and are crowned by massive antlers, making them especially formidable during rut. Once the season passes, so does their urge to mingle. Moose tend to be solitary creatures most of the year. Photo by Hongxun Gao (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Have you ever been to Alaska? Officially transferred from Russia to the United States on this day in 1867, Alaska is a vast land of epic natural beauty, incredible human history and some of the best wildlife viewing on Earth. Brown bears swipe salmon from pristine rivers, huge herds of caribou roam across the tundra and cute sea otters float together off endless stretches of gorgeous coastline. Some of the best places to enjoy Alaska are on public lands, like Alaska Peninsula and Becharof National Wildlife Refuges. They’re otterly fun! Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A hub of activity at Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, the Exit Glacier area offers visitors a chance to witness up close the power and beauty of a massive river of ice. The nearby Exit Glacier Nature Center continues your education and the trailhead for the Harding Icefield Trail is your gateway to an incredible experience on a frozen landscape. Summer and fall are the best times to visit, as colorful streaks of wildflowers and changing leaves perk up your photos and memories. Photo by National Park Service.
I like fat bears and I can not lie. In preparation for the long, harsh winter, brown bears at Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska have been spent the last months stuffing themselves and packing on the pounds. The chubbiest bears are the ones most likely to emerge healthy next spring. Every year, Katmai features before and after photos of some of the park’s bears so that the public can vote for their favorite husky bears. The competition starts tomorrow on their Facebook page. Do yourself a huge favor and check it out: www.facebook.com/KatmaiNPP Photos by National Park Service.
Fall is a wonderful time of year. It’s the season for crisp mornings, colorful leaves, football and pumpkin spice everything. Autumn also reminds us of school pictures. You’d dress up nice, line up with your class, strike a thoughtful pose and try not to look goofy in front of a random background. This young fox at Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska knows what we’re talking about. Photo by Kristine Sowl, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Fall colors are already spreading across Alaska. It’s a great time to be a photographer there, spotting wildlife and snapping scenery. Photographer Nate Luebbe says “Lake Clark is by far my favorite National Park. Massive, glaciated peaks tower over turquoise lakes, while bears, eagles and moose roam the forests. There’s nowhere else I’ve been that has such amazing photographic potential in every direction.” Photo at Lake Clark National Park courtesy of Nate Luebbe.
Wanna go to brunch? How about thirdmeal? Let’s grab a snack! This time of year, brown bears are going into a process called hyperphagia – an overwhelming urge to eat as much as possible to prepare for winter and hibernation. The bears that pack on the most pounds are the bears most likely to survive the dark, cold months ahead. So when you look at this picture of a bear at Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska, remember that a fat bear is a healthy bear. Photo by National Park Service.