Sunday, October 20, 2013

No Moose, Lynx Talk, And A Brown Bear - Powerline Pass Walk

Last time I did a fall post on Powerline Pass, I discovered that it was internationally known among wildlife photographers as an easy to access spot to get great moose photos.  And with all our back and forth along the West Coast this summer, I hadn't been up there.

While the sky was pretty clear this morning - and we did a wind check with someone living on the Hillside - it turned out to be a different season up there.  We had a light snow most of the two hours we were out and a moderate, but steady, wind.  Really, English needs some more words for snow.  This was the kind of snow where dry white flakes fall like tiny leaves, but you would hardly consider real snow.  It wasn't the kind of stuff that sticks.  None of the puddles we passed had even a hint of ice.  There has been snow up here already, but the last couple of weeks with 50˚F weather (in town) and wind has cleaned it all out.  Looking at the last moose (camera) hunt post up at Powerline Pass, I found it was October 10 and a sunny day, but with lots of ice in the puddles.

I'm including this one of the bear because it shows the snowflakes.  It didn't seem nearly that thick.  I suspect it's just a telephoto lens trick.

Already, on the trail from the parking lot (the new 'overflow' parking lot is now replacing that beautiful field of summer wild flowers) someone told us about a lynx on the side of the trail.  We never saw it, but a couple more people later on also mentioned it.  Lynx tend to stay clear of people and there were a fair number of hikers and bikers and runners up there today.  A lynx that was hanging out with that many people seems either habituated to people or ill.  In any case, we didn't see it.

But we did see the brown bear way over on yonder ridge.  We wouldn't not have seen it if someone hadn't pointed it out to us.  And you wouldn't see it here if I didn't have my new camera which can make something very far away seem close.

It was a good sized bear that is getting fat and waiting for some more serious snow and cold before hibernating.

And we did see some blue sky here and there.  And the sun came out as we got down the mountain and into town.

Powerline Pass - you can see some of the power lines on the left - is in Chugach State Park just east of Anchorage.  About a 20 minute drive from midtown Anchorage.  You go into an entirely different world, and at this time of year, at an elevation of about 3300 feet, a different season as well.

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