Iditarod 2019 Start. Let the Last Great Race begin. Mush!

Sunday was the official start of the 2019 Iditarod Sled Dog race, beginning at Willow, Alaska and finishing on Front Street in Nome. We drove out to a friends house on Long Lake, just beyond the start line to take part in the annual Alaska style tailgate party on the lake. People line the chain of lakes that the mushers traverse at the beginning of the race to cheer them on and party. It’s a fun beginning to the race. Way too many pictures!

A remarkable--and very rare-- gift yesterday.

Finally! One of the hardest animals to get a glimpse of, yet alone a photo, decided to grace us with a visit late yesterday afternoon just as it was beginning to get dark. Lynx! We had visitors from Sitka staying with us, so this was a huge treat for them. I just happened to see movement as an animal walked up the road past the house and thought it was just one of the neighborhood dogs. It turned to look at the house and I realized it was a big lynx! I scrambled to get the big lens on the camera and ran outside to try and get a shot of this animal that we rarely get to see.

Halfway to the street I saw two more lynx walking directly as me on the neighbors driveway. All three moved into the empty lot above our house and stayed there for quite a while. It looked like a big female with two young that were probably born last year. I never did get a shot of all three together, but the two young ones were curious of me and stayed put long enough to get a couple of shots. Terrible lighting conditions, but when it comes to seeing lynx, we definitely take what we can get! Click on images for full-screen.

A second night of Aurora.

Two in a row, which has been almost unheard of this season here in Anchorage. She got started around 12:30am with a very fast moving, intense display that had some nice bright pinks at the bottom of a couple of bands, so I was hopeful that the forecast was going to be correct and we’d have a major display—but sadly the really intense bands didn’t come up very high above the ridge line, and they only lasted about 15 minutes.

As the intensity died down she did climb higher into the sky, and this ended up being a pretty nice show. I shot for about 2 hours. Fun night, and nice and warm this time!