June 24, 2015 Homer, Alaska

Homer Spit From Skyline Drive
Homer Spit From Skyline Drive

Waiting it Out in Homer

( This is a little out of sequence, but I just noticed this older blog post never was published, so here it is. Better late than never. )

Not much to report or show here as I wait out a spell of poor weather here on the Homer Spit. In the image above, I am camped about two thirds of the way out on the Spit, on the beach, facing down towards the end of the bay ( to the left ). The combination of gray, overcast weather, the forest fires and their smoke in the areas that are next on my list of destinations, and the worry about traveling, and finding a place to camp, during the busy fourth of July holiday period, made me decide to just sit here on the Homer Spit and wait it out. The rainy weather should help the firefighters to bring the fires north of here under control and maybe the smoke will be cleared out by next week and I can proceed north through Anchorage and up to Wasilla and Willow. And since I am already camped in a pleasant location and can stay here through the holiday weekend, I have decided to do just that.

I haven’t been able to get out and do any photography with the lousy weather conditions so I have been plowing through my small library of paperbacks, three in the last five days.

Glaciers Across Kachemak Bay
Glaciers Across Kachemak Bay

I have been able to get a few shots from up on the Skyline Drive high above Homer, but unfortunately, the only time there have been any nice blue skies have been at the worst possible time of day for photos, only when the sun is high in the sky at midday. And even then there is still a heavy hazy air layer over the bay making the spectacular mountains and glaciers across Kachemak Bay impossible to clearly define. It seems every day when the light is best at dawn or duck, there is a marine layer of clouds and fog hanging over the bay and obscuring the mountains on the far side of the bay.

Kachemak Bay Pano
Kachemak Bay Pano

So for now, this is the best I can do with these breathtaking scenes, and I’m afraid it’s not very good. But, I still have a week to go, and maybe there will be some better conditions to come. I am also beginning to run out of hope that the fireweed will bloom in time for me to get any shots of the solid pink meadows above Homer

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Looking Down on East End Road
Looking Down on East End Road

I have to confess to being a fan of the Discovery Channel’s ” Alaska, the Last Frontier ” reality series. As any of you would know if you watch the series, the Kilcher family homesteads 600 acres along Kachemak Bay off of the East End Road outside of Homer, and the series shows all the joys and challenges of the homesteading life in the Alaskan wilderness. Well, it turns out that “wilderness” might just be a bit of a stretch. The image above pretty much shows what that wilderness looks like. After driving out to see if I could actually locate the Kilcher homestead, it turns out that one of the worst wilderness struggles the Kilcher family faces would be the often times heavy commuter and tourist traffic on the East End Road. Though a little disappointing to find out that they don’t actually live in some remote Alaskan wilderness, i think I’ll probably still continue to enjoy watching the show, they are a bunch of interesting folks.

Bald Eagle Portrait
Bald Eagle Portrait

My Daily Eagle Fix

Every day i am coaxed out my reading chair, rain or shine ( and it is mostly rain right now ), as the three or four resident bald eagles fly by, land on the beach in front of me, or do something else to grab my attention. Today, with a little blue sky above, I had only to walk around to the rear of my motorhome to catch this handsome individual perched atop a utility pole, keeping a hopeful watch on the fisherman cleaning their catch here in the campground.

Though it is illegal to feed the eagles, they sit up there and watch as the many gulls will occassionally fly up into the small dumpster provided for the fish remains, and grab a bit of fish. If the gull then lands in the parking lot instead of instantly flying away with his bit of fish, the eagle will swoop down from the pole and steal the gulls prize, fly off to devour it, then soon returns to his position atop the pole, waiting for the next opportunity to steal from the gulls.

Keeping an Eagle Eye on the Fish Cleaning Station
Keeping an Eagle Eye on the Fish Cleaning Station

Ben Franklin may have been right !

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