This is a very grouchy Cowtail Stingray that I photographed in the Great Barrier Reef. They are quite large with meaty, thick bodies. They can reach nearly 6 feet wide, but this one had a 4 to 4.5 foot span. There were quite a few in the area where I took this photograph; you can see several in the background. I think they are really neat, but I had to be a bit careful getting too close because they would raise their tails and point their serrated spine forward at me. They are very cool animals, but not something that you want to accidently step on. When wading through the water, you feel like you are in a bit of a prehistoric minefield.
I was shooting photographs along a muddy tributary of the Chilkat River north of Haines, Alaska, and I noticed a very clear area in the river. After investigating a bit more, it turned out to be a rocky spring coming up through the middle of the river. The strong flow of clear fresh water was rising up in the river making a perfectly clear area about 15 feet in diameter. As I watched the area, Salmon would pass through and stop in the clear spring water for a minute. It was an interesting area.
I’m impressed that salmon can find their way back to the river system that the hatched in. They have such an interesting lifecycle. I like that many types of salmon put on a burst of color as they near the scheduled end of their lifespan. I’m always surprised by the variety of creatures in the world. I took this photograph of a salmon run in a small stream tributary of the Chilkat River north of Haines, Alaska.
I took this photograph in an open valley south of the Alaska Range. The valley floor was a carpet of bright green wetlands that were divided up by interesting glacial geographic features. The hill slopes were covered in ripe blueberries and the valley floor was dotted with a few small groups of caribou. It was a beautiful place.