Welcome to the adventure!
My family and I drive, float, fly, hike, and otherwise move around this beautiful state we were born in. Along the way, I can’t help but record the incredible beauty we find.
Whether you travel to Alaska and physically join us on an exploration, come along vicariously dreaming, or just enjoy a pretty picture to decorate your wall, you are invited to join us as we explore Alaska and, eventually, further.
From the stark, stunning tundra in the far north to the lush rainforests and dynamic beaches, harbors, and islands in the south and the varying mountains, rivers, and taiga between. From the busy metropolis of the largest city, Anchorage to the isolated wilderness of Gates of the Arctic National Park. From the frigid, frozen landscapes and dancing auroras of the short days and extensive nights during our arctic winter to the quick, muddy, abrupt changes in spring, to the lush, energetic bursts of life and seemingly unending summer days under the midnight sun to the dramatic colors and preparatory bustle of autumn. From dynamic, dramatic landscapes extending into oblivion to the fascinating details of a single snowflake sparkling in the sun.
There is always something photo-worthy to discover and share by slowing down a little, enjoying the moment, and watching for it.
Growing up on a semi-isolated homestead in the Golden Heart Interior of Alaska, my siblings and I spent much time in the carefree summers exploring the forest and areas around our home.
There were many exciting places like:
“The Rock,” a lone, large Tor that we would climb on and enjoy the panoramic view of the other hills and mountains extending into the distance as we felt we were at the utmost top of the world.
“The Bridge,” the small, homemade bridge that crossed the sweet-water creek that interrupted the dirt road into the property. Many times, we would bike down the hill and play here until Dad came home and loaded the bikes and us into the back of his pickup.
“The Junkyard,” a place where extended family and friends parked the old cars, trucks, and other various pieces of random stuff they didn’t want to part with at the time. It was a treasure trove of fascinating items, including an old bus turned into a home.
We also spent many days wandering around our father’s gold mine. We’d get to sit on his lap and drive the heavy equipment or watch the water sift the gold from the rocks and debris poured into the sluice box. The tree piles that were pushed out of the way made excellent mansions and the cool mud was great for squishing between our toes or making pies.
Winters were spent sledding and snow-machining (this is Alaska, no “snowmobiles” here) and, of course, doing schoolwork; some years at home and some at the local schools. New Year’s was a big party, sometimes snow-machining to and shooting off fireworks at “The Rock” against a backdrop of the Aurora Borealis, others spent running between the house and a hot tub at -40, yet always celebrating with family and friends.
And then, I grew up.
More and more time was spent on school and then work and less on exploring and enjoying the outdoors. My Dad and I had restored a ’72 Monte Carlo in high school, so I took some Automotive courses to relax from all the academic subjects as I pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics because I found the mechanics of languages fascinating also. I got married, built a house, had a couple kids while working for a local hotel and getting buried in paperwork and daily details of “life.”
I had lost myself.
One day, when my daughter was still tiny, I was wandering about the house while she slept. I was restless and couldn’t focus. I saw my old Student Study Bible on the bookshelf and aimlessly started flipping through the pages. Proverbs 3:5-6 stood out with some unexplainable quality among all the other words there. It wasn’t any physical property of the ink or page itself, but I knew this was being spoken to me.
I knew God was calling me back to him and I started my journey towards my destiny. I found a few different groups of believers, learned a few different ways God speaks to me and worked on developing them. His ways of speaking are so myriad and unique, yet common, like fingerprints or rock formations, it is a grand adventure. The people in the groups change as individuals, myself included, learned and were moved to different spheres, each for a time and a season, always in motion. I started to learn just how loved I was by my Father God, who called me his Firefly (which is Luciole in French).
Eventually, I started remembering some of the things I had enjoyed previously, especially being outside in the beauty of God’s creation. I discovered a few new things that I ended up enjoying also, like kayaking. And I kept finding myself defaulting to taking photos of anything I felt was beautiful. It wasn’t enough just being there, I wanted to be able to share it with those who weren’t there at the moment.
I loved the incredible diversity of beauty I found and was excited to go to any new place I could and see what beauty was there. “Bad” weather just added a different element to the beauty. No matter where I went, there was something beautiful there. Sometimes it was the big picture scene, like a stunning sunset, while other times, it was something small, hidden and overlooked by many, like the frost on the end of a stick, that caught my eye and drew my lens.
So, now I am continuing my wandering and discovering and I invite you to join me and enjoy the beauty around us. It’s there in all of God’s Creation in many different ways, even hidden in the “grossness” of the decay part of the cycles or the barren seasons.
Sharing these photos with you is one way I get to shine my little light into the darkness that sometimes seems so pervasive (especially in December in the frozen Golden Heart of Alaska).