It’s Fun Fact Friday! So, here are a few facts about Denali Mountain and Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Did you know that only about 30 percent of people visiting the park ever get a glimpse of the mountain? Like Mount Rainier, Denali Mountain makes its own weather and these conditions can hide the 20,310-foot tall mountain behind a wreath of clouds and fog most of the time. The first climb to the top of this tallest peak in North America was done in 1913, and a member of the climbing party – Harry Karstens – would later become Denali’s first superintendent.
There’s an interesting article in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler about Denali Mountain. Climbing rangers out there are voicing concerns about inexperienced climbers trying to summit the mountain, and after reading the article, I see there is very good reason for them to be concerned. To read that article, click on the image above.
I visited Denali National Park and Preserve for five days several years ago, and was lucky to have been able to see Denali every single day I was there. This image is the result of one such day of clear viewing.
Here’s something interesting you might or might not have known about life in Denali National Park and Preserve, in Alaska. There are 39 species of mammals in the park, including the Big 5 (moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, grizzly bears), and 139 species of birds. But, only one amphibian has managed to adapt to life under the harsh conditions of the park’s landscape. The wood frog can actually freeze itself solid during the winter! It’s heart stops, it doesn’t breathe, but there are cryptoprotectant chemicles that keep the frog’s cells alive, and when spring arrives, the frog thaws out and starts searching for a pond and a mate. Pretty cool, huh? (pun intended).
As for this image, it was captured during my 5-day stay at Camp Denali, located near the end of the one and only road through the park. There’s a little pond right outside of the main camp building called Nugget Pond, and on this particular day, I captured three different shots of it as the morning lightened up. The first shot you can see if you look at a previous post. This is the second shot, captured a little later during sunrise, and I’ll post the final shot later on.
Today marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, a celebration every April 22nd of Earth and the wondrous things we see in nature. I thought I’d mark this day by posting an image I captured while spending five days at Camp Denali in Denali National Park (Alaska).
Every morning, I’d get up, dress, leave my little cabin, and walk up the gravel road to this little pond right outside of the main camp building. It’s called Nugget Pond and it has an awesome view of Denali Mountain and the Alaska Range, towering in the background over the mirror-smooth water of this little pond, with a hint of mist rising from the water.
How will I celebrate Earth Day? By pulling weeds out in the flower beds to make more room for the tulips and iris that are in bloom – nothing very glamorous.
How will you celebrate Earth Day? At least, take a moment to appreciate nature in all of its forms. If you go hiking today, remember to pack out what you pack in and follow the Leave No Trace principles.
Wherever the trails take you in 2020, remember to pack out what you pack in, stay safe, and enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
As for myself, well, I kept trying to think of what to say for myself and couldn’t come up with anything. The “travel bug” is biting hard and I want to get out and travel right now, but responsibilities keep me anchored to home at this point. This is as it should be, actually, because time at home gives me the much-needed time to spiffy up my photo website (adding keywords to each and every photo, beginning with the national park shots), build up my brand, and work harder at getting out there for more national park photography. Which leads me to this phrase which I have borrowed from a Facebook friend:
“I plan to carry the momentum of small steps on to bigger things in 2020.”
Morning Views of Nugget Pond, The Alaska Range, and Denali Mountain
I write a monthly “Photography In The National Parks” column for the National Parks Traveler. I try to gear the column for any type of photography, from smartphone to point-and-shoot to SLR. I will own up that quite a few of my tips involve things for SLRs, like Neutral Density and Polarizing filters, but for the most part, the tips and techniques I include are for any sort of photographer. One of the tips I emphasize in many of my articles for this column is to visit (re-visit) a favorite spot during different seasons, weather conditions, and times of the day. The images above, taken during an August stay at Camp Denali in Denali National Park & Preserve, were captured during the morning hours, but on different days and under different weather conditions. As you can see, they all look a little different, don’t they?
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
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The long, dusty road through the park, Denali National Park & Preserve
Happy Monday! Hope the beginning of the workweek for the majority of you doesn’t feel like a long dusty road toward the next weekend.
This shot was taken a few years prior, during a trip I took to this national park. This was captured on a bus at the end of my stay there, on the day we were heading back to the visitor center. The road through the park is 92 miles long and gravel for most of the way, so the trip itself takes about 3-4 hours, including any stops along the way for photos.
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
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The morning view from my cabin in Denali National Park & Preserve
I recently finished up an article for future publication in the National Parks Traveler, dealing with photographic themes. In the article, I mention I tend to capture sunrise shots (if I can) in every park I visit. This was one such sunrise image, taken during my stay at Camp Denali in Denali National Park & Preserve, in Alaska.
On a side note, I’m glad its getting lighter earlier in the mornings, now. Of course, that means I have to get up earlier in order to get to a prime spot for sunrise shots 🙃⏰
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