If you’ve never had the opportunity to experience the midnight sun of Alaska then I would suggest you put that near the top of your bucket list. If you’ve ever imagined would life would have been like before the Industrial Revolution or even agriculture then this has to be the closest you can get. I took this photograph at the mouth of the Crescent River just before midnight. The only shoulds were the river, the wind and the occasional cry of a gull. As I watched this bear make his way across the river, the mist was coming down the river and seemed every bit as alive as the bear. Surely this was how the beginning of time looked and felt.
Behind the Photo
It’s hard to be objective sometimes, but I was attempting to show both the stillness of the evening and the largeness of the scene. I wanted to draw the viewer’s eye first from the debris clogged river mouth to the lone bear to the glacier spotted mountains in the background. Hopefully it portrays some of the emotional feeling of ‘smallest’ that I felt while standing there.
The Crescent River finds its origin in the aptly named Crescent Lake. The river bottom now contains pea gravel and sand making for an ideal spawning habitat for Sockeye Salmon. And like anywhere in Alaska where there’s salmon the bear are not far behind.
Interestingly about 3,500 years ago the river bottom was mud silt deposited there by the lahars of an erupting Mount Redoubt. Seems like a long time but in geographical terms that’s an eye blink. (Last summer while working with a team of state geologist surveying the area one of them brought me a large piece of petrified tree trunk over 200 million years old.)
Another interesting bit about this location was the number of Razor clams to be had in the tidal zone! I’ve never seen so many in one location. It only took 15 minutes of digging to have enough clams to feed a party of 8.
It’s a shame that we’re losing so many of these wild places.