What a difference a day makes! Even though it has barely been 24 hours, most of the snowfall from 36 hrs ago has melted on the lower elevations and you could almost watch as it began to disappear from the landscape. Luckily, those magnificent clouds and fall landscape colors remained. 🙂
When I say that the landscape was bright, I mean it. It seems as though I almost needed sunglasses to effectively mute some of the colors erupting. The reds, oranges, yellows, greens, and even tones of blues … all unmistakeable and truly god’s work of beauty. We felt quite honored to be a part of witnessing this display, as it quickly arrives and just as quickly fades into the muted shades of winter’s landscape.
Once again, the cow moose were plentiful and roaming amongst the willows, as they dined freely.
As much variety of wildlife that we were treated to the first day, we seemed to hit a bit of a dry spell the next. Except of course, for the wolf pup sightings! My friend, Rebecca, told us of her various frequent sightings of the pups, but we hadn’t seen any yet and were quite bummed to say the least. However, on this day, it was alas, our chance.
Not the most amazing images I’ve even taken, but the experience was quite rich indeed. This little one paced the road in front of us for quite some time to the delight of everyone on our shuttle. Once in a while, it did turn around and give us a “vogue shot”, but for the most part we were treated to its backside. LOL
The grizzly bears of course were out and about as always, though I think that I had heard that earlier in the year, the bear sightings were harder to come by. Funny how timing is everything, as they say.
Berries are “what’s for dinner?” for these guys at this time of year. They ingest incredible amounts of berries to provide them the much needed last minute gorging that will serve them well through their early winter and hibernation period. Having the proper nutrition is mandatory for those sows who will bear cubs during their hibernation. In fact, if they don’t have the proper nutritional (fat) stores when they den, they may not even produce their young!
If you ever get the chance to travel and visit Denali NP, don’t miss out on a visit to the Eielson Visitor Center, some 70 miles or so into the park. From there, many amazing vistas await you, as well as several wonderful hikes (of varying endurance levels), which are quite rewarding. Of course, in 2014, the hikes were either closed due to the high winds or the presence of bears, who also use the trails. Guess they appreciate the views as well. LOL. In the image below, note the hikers below and appreciate the scale of vastness of this incredible landscape. Also, note that there are very few trails designated in the park … it’s mostly a “DIY” system … that is, Do It Yourself! 🙂
This sow and her cub cruise the hillside, finding berries where they can. It’s fascinating to me how quickly these cubs learn from their moms about survival, even though the sow will continue to nurse the cub while they’re still cared for by her.
Just look at that CUTENESS!!!
Yes, we were treated to lots of bears in Denali this year and many of them were quite photo-worthy … and not a major stretch for the lens. 😉
Of course, there’s more to Denali than the 88-mile stretch of park road. Lots of opportunities abound to get out and explore on your own and of course, we did just that. More to come, so check back often and stay tuned!
© 2014 TNWA Photography