Departure day and what do I see when I looked out the back window of the trailer at 0630 but a moose cow and calf next to the pond in addition to two of the beavers working. I grabbed the camera and went out, staying well back from the water. She spotted me and was leery, disappearing into the bushes quickly. She eventually came into sight as she left the area.
This was such a wonderful place I returned to it after leaving Denali. A lot of time has been spent observing the residents. This Northern Harrier has a female chick who has fledged. Four times I’ve seen the adult fly around with something in its talons and heard calling between her and the chick. Then the chick would fly up and catch the food in mid air as the adult dropped it. I’ve seen and photographed falcons doing this (2016 OR coast) but didn’t know hawks would do it. I was never able to capture the action, not surprising since the adult’s territory covers a large area and they are usually high up and away when it happens. Binoculars made seeing it possible.
The beavers have been industrious as usual, but they don’t keep regular hours, I have to watch for them. One afternoon I was able to capture one eating off a branch it cut down and dragged into the water. Every once in a while it would stop to either scratch or groom. Great fun to watch and every time I look at this image I grin.
Did manage to see a cow moose relatively close and as she was moving away I realized she had a calf with her, but it was even further away.
After a rather long stop in Fairbanks, staying at Chena Lakes Rec. Area except for 2 nights at Walmart I went down the Parks Hwy. to the Anderson Riverside campground. We were literally on the riverside and it was a nice change from Fairbanks. This is the Zenana River. I stayed there 3 nights, several friends with Casitas joined me and left before I did.
Next stop is just south of Cantwell. As I was heading south to one of the state parks that claim views of Denali I passed a huge gravel turnout next to a river. That looked very good to me so I turned around and headed back to it. What a great spot! I can look out the rear window of the trailer to a
beaver dam and mountains. Mountains on all sides, really, but I also have very fast cell signal so I can stay in touch with folks, etc. Good area for walking the dogs and playing fetch with Concho.
I’ve been spending time watching the beavers when they come around to work on the dam. Yesterday morning there were two of them. This morning only one. They travel upstream when they leave so they may have a lodge or another dam up there.
This morning was a really good one. Not long after the beaver left I saw something coming upstream from below the dam, by the the time I got back to the camera (on tripod) I realized it was an otter. It saw me and went under and continued upstream. Oh well, this is an ideal area for otters, too, so I’ll pay more attention.
Went back to the trailer for a bit and noticed something pass by the side window then Concho started looking out the rear window and growling. Had to check it out and it was a fox! I grabbed the camera and got a few shots off through the window. It moved up in front of the truck so I stepped out and stayed by the trailer to get some more images. The fox seemed a bit curious about me and didn’t immediately run off so I was able to get several images. What a thrill. It was so dark I looked it up online. Turns out the Red Fox in AK can have several coat colors including a very dark one called Cross Fox. Its head is extremely dark and this one has a beautiful coat, a bit wet after crossing some water, though.