Ever wonder which of our 59 national parks is really the biggest? No, it’s not mighty Yellowstone or even sprawling Death Valley. Measuring a vast 13,200,000 acres, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, tucked into the southeast corner of Alaska, is far and away the biggest national park around, equal to six Yellowstones! It is larger than Massachusetts and New Hampshire combined, and includes two entire mountain ranges – the Wrangells and the St. Elias. Together with contiguous Kluane National Park across the border in Canada, the combined cross-border tract totals more than a whopping 25,000,000 acres and is the biggest wilderness area in the world.
While size does indeed matter, there is more to this sprawling wilderness than volume. Stunning peaks such as Sanford, Drum, Blackburn, Wrangell, St. Elias and others fill this rugged park. Continue reading →
Okay, here’s one for you: What did the mama buffalo say to her little boy in the morning when he left to go to school? “Bison!”
I know, corny as all heck, but it’s the only joke I can remember. Besides, bison are my most favorite charismatic megafauna of all time. I can spend hours in Yellowstone’s Hayden or Lamar Valley just watching a herd of bison grazing, rutting, playing, swimming, running, wallowing or whatever; it doesn’t matter.
During a 1999 trip to Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, Nate Chappell became serious about nature photography, and in 2007 he and his wife Angie decided to start a wildlife photography tour and workshop company, Trogon Photo Tours, http://www.trogontours.net/. The first tour they led was to Angie’s homeland of Ecuador. Since then, Nate has led many more bird and nature photography tours to South America as well as tours to South Africa, Namibia and Thailand and dozens of photo workshops in the United States. He has been on the staff of Nature Photographer‘s online magazine since 2007. During the course of his travels, which have included trips to all continents except Antarctica, Nate has photographed more than 1,700 species of birds. Nate’s images have regularly placed in the NANPA Showcase, Audubon’s top 100, Share the View Denver Audubon Society contest and other nature photography competitions. His images have been published in books and regularly in online publications. His stock agencies include Minden Pictures, Birdimagency and Vireo. Nate has given many photography presentations at photo clubs and Audubon Society chapters and enjoys speaking to groups of photography and nature lovers.Continue reading →
We were deep in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia, Canada (about 500 miles northwest of Seattle), the home of the white spirit bear. Before us was what we had hoped for. The bear had accepted our presence and was now perched on a rock mid-stream scanning the creek for salmon. Her white fur was wet from overnight rain and steam rose from her back in the morning sun. It was like a scene from National Geographic television – only this was live.
Our group of photographers and nature buffs was thrilled. Between snapping photos we glanced at each other – smiling widely, giving each other the thumbs up. We never could have imagined this exact scene beforehand, but the hope of being part of something like this was why we had come. Continue reading →