Still Learning To See

Just another day in Alaska!

Luckily the days here are long—basically it doesn’t get dark at this time of year—because there is so darned much to see! Up early and going all day into the evening. Why not?! Sleep can happen later. Any spare moments I have, I’m downloading photographs and doing my best to sort a few of the thousands (yes, really!) to share.

The Kennicott Glacier coming in on the left meets the Root Glacier forming a medial moraine (dark strip in center). None of that description really tells the story because words—even these photographs—just can’t do the job!

These were from a few days ago when we flew up over the Wrangells to see glaciers. Weather was perfect and our pilot, Mark, was a gem and a pro.

The land shaping forces of the glaciers are beyond imagining. The dark-colored moraines end up being long piles of glacial till—gravel, sand and rocks— hundreds of feet deep and miles long. The glacier itself is so complex, almost a living thing, interacting with the landscape and time.

It has also become so clear to me that (1) I could stop making any photographs and still be blown away by what I’m seeing on this trip and (2) even the best of my photographs fail dismally to communicate the real experience this place is. I hope all readers of this blog who have not yet been here will find an opportunity to visit and see for yourselves.

This entry was published on July 9, 2012 at 2:02 am. It’s filed under Ecosystem, Ice, Stone and rocks and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Just another day in Alaska!

  1. Julia on said:

    That’s the key, isn’t it–to “see for ourselves”. I used to talk to students about the difference in “visceral” and “vicarious” experiences. Your photographs are such wonderful examples of sharing of your visceral experience of Alaska with us–but you well know that the only way to truly experience anything cannot be understood by us “vicarious” folks. I wonder what the glaciers sound like, smell like–it must be, for you, like the first time I looked at a Wyoming sky and could hardly breathe. All of art, in the end, is an attempt to share a visceral experience–and your photographs do that in a wonderful way. Thanks yet again 🙂

  2. Ron Sarquiz on said:

    Making good use of your time and sharing it with me and others. I can enjoy your joy…and enjoy a fellow human being living to a full potential. Go John!

  3. Jan F Walsh DVM on said:

    Having just returned from a cruise up the inland passage, got a chance to see 2 glaciers flow into each other and leave the “tire tread tracks” like this. The whole trip was incredible. Loving your photos and comments.

  4. Linda Henzel on said:

    W O W! Wonder of wonders. I’ve never been nor seen these glacial patterns from other photographers of the region.

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