Lens Artists Photo Challenge # 210 – Picking Favorites

In this challenge guest host Sarah asks us to pick three favorite photos and describe why they are favorites. I had a difficult time coming up with just three images but here they are.

My first image is one one I took earlier this summer while I was sitting in my back yard. I was hoping to capture birds at the feeder or butterflies on the flowers. The birds and butterflies didn’t cooperate so instead I took a few shots of the coneflowers using my telephoto lens. I’m happy with the effect and like the purplecone flower in the background.

Summer Coneflowers

I couldn’t pick three favorites without including a bird image. This next image is my favorite hummingbird image. I captured him from above as I was sitting on my deck above the flowers.

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

My final image is of two Orcas I captured on a wildlife cruise from Valdez, Alaska. Valdez was near the end of our nearly two months of traveling by RV through Alaska. We saw plenty of humpback whales on two other wildlife cruises but we had not yet seen any Orcas. This wildlife cruise would be our last chance to see them before we headed south for home. I was thrilled when a pod surfaced close to our boat and I was finally able to capture a few shots. This one is one of my favorite photos from the trip.

A pair of Orcas on Columbia Glacier tour from Valdez

Many thanks to guest host Sarah for this Lens-Artists Challenge #210 – Picking Favorites

Day 81: Wildlife and Glacier Cruise from Valdez

Day 81: Sunday, August 4, 2013

The day was overcast with a chance of rain but it was our last opportunity to take a cruise so off we went on the Glacier Spirit with Stan Stephens Cruises. The boat had a nice, warm comfortable cabin and plenty of viewing areas outside. We left the Valdez Harbor about noon for our 6 hour cruise.

The scenery was breathtaking and there was plenty of wildlife. As we cruised close to shore we saw too many eagles to keep count. A pod of Dall Porpoise bow surfed for a while. They’re too fast to get a picture but beautiful to watch.

The highlight of the day was seeing a pod of Orcas with a calf.

The captain navigated through huge chunks of ice to get into Columbia Bay for a close up look at 10 mile wide Columbia Glacier.

The ride back to Valdez was just as spectacular.