Oh Alaska: Bald Eagles

When planning our trip to Alaska, there were many things M & I wanted to see and do there, but observing Bald Eagles was not one of them. This was purely out of ignorance; I didn’t know Alaska was THE place to see Bald Eagles.
Continue reading “Oh Alaska: Bald Eagles”

Street Food: Alaskan Killer Shrimp

If these get you salivating, blame Sia who is hosting Street food Festivities!


After psychedelic uttapams from Murugan Idli in Chennai, I’ll zip you around the globe to Alaska for some spicy Killer Shrimp.

Last year this week in Alaska, we marveled in awe at Glaciers, and ooohed and aaahed at antics of humpback whales and those colorful, darling puffins. En route in Anchorage, we snacked on these Killer Shrimp freshly prepared at an open air stall – the closest you’ll get to street food in the US.

A mother and daughter team fried giant shrimp in butter and a medley of spices.

Continue reading “Street Food: Alaskan Killer Shrimp”

New Year Greetings 2008 – Alaska Glaciers


(click on image for a larger version)

Wishing You,
Your families, and
Future Generations

the Magnificent Joy of Nature’s Bounty
Enjoy it to the Fullest!
Leave it behind for the others!

Have a Wonderful New Year
Take care of the environment!

M&A


Continue reading “New Year Greetings 2008 – Alaska Glaciers”

Oh Alaska: Fly with me!


gulls over the kenai peninsula, off Seward, Alaska

We will always be alongside
Sun on our backs, and
all the fresh fish we can catch!


Our Alaska Trip:

  • Alaska: Glaciers (New Year Greeting
  • Oh Alaska
  • Alaska: Birds Galore
  • Alaska: Humpback Whales
  • Alaska: Puffin Madness
  • Alaska: Bald Eagles
  • Alaska: Killer Shrimp
  • Oh Alaska: Puffin Madness

    Never considered myself to be a 'birder'. But after looking at their pics in the guide books, we eagerly sought Puffins during our visit to Alaska. During our cruise of the Kenai Fjords, we saw the endearingly beautiful, plump chicks by the thousands. Have to say, they are the cutest birds ever.

    Puffins like the open ocean and spend most of the time on the water, far away from land. Each spring, they come to the cliffs in the Kenai Peninsula to lay eggs and rear the young chicks. Sometime in the early Fall, they leave en masse for the open Pacific.

    Rather than take flight, this one just tried to swim away from our boat. This is the “tufted puffin” characterized by the blonde tuft sweeping off its crown, much like a tiny pony tail. The orange beak definitely makes them very stylish!
    pics of tufted puffin in the Kenai Peninsula Alaska by Arun Shanbhag Continue reading “Oh Alaska: Puffin Madness”

    Oh Alaska: Humpback Whales

    In Seward, we took a day-long cruise to the Kenai Fjords. The entire coastal region with multiple bays, tidewater glaciers, and innumerable island and cliffs is part of the National Park System. Click here for a large (5MB) map of Kenai Fjord National Park. It was a perfect day to be out on the water: blue skies and in the mid 70's!

    As the captain took us out of the Bay from Seward, the knowledgeable guide pointed out various features in the landscape, the glaciers along the way and the bird species we encountered. He knew exactly where to look for wildlife and guided the boat to nooks and cranies along the bay.

    Along the way, we pass Bear Glacier (see map above) and slowly cruise the multiple islands in the Aialik Peninsula. There we saw a huge flock of seabirds on the water. The rich vegetation here attracts schools of fish, which in turn attract the seabirds. Here we saw various types of seagulls, mallards and the endearing puffins. The beautiful puffins, of course need a separate post to do them justice. The guide continued that if there is school of fish, the whales are not far behind. And as if on cue, a mother and calf humpback whale emerged, and caused the birds to take flight.

    Here the mother whale is ready to dive. While most of the seabirds have taken flight, the puffins can barely fly a few meters and are still in the waters. These appear black with a white head and colored beaks.

    Continue reading “Oh Alaska: Humpback Whales”

    Oh Alaska! Birds Galore

    After a wonderful day in Anchorage, we took the train to the coastal town of Seward. It was a fantastic train ride, billed as the most spectacular in the country. As the train sped across the wilderness, we spotted Dall Sheep perched on high cliffs and zipped past glaciers yielding to the earth. I was never interested in photographing birds, but was awed at the bald eagles surveying the land and artic terns hovering over the waters and scooping in to grab the fish. With my favorite 17-55 mm lens resident on my camera, my pics were less than optimal. But in Seward, I mounted the brand new 55-200 VR lens!

    If you ever visit Alaska, take a few days and relax in Seward. It’s a tiny town located at the top of Resurrection Bay. The bay itself was carved by receding glaciers at the end of the last ice age and thus snow-capped mountains tower both sides of the bay. We walked along the water and spotted the common sea gulls as well as the endangered sea otters. Here are a few pics of Seagulls caught from the shore and other birds we caught on a cruise out in the ocean.

    The common seagull, but what a majestic wingspan.

    Continue reading “Oh Alaska! Birds Galore”

    Oh Alaska!

    I sure do like to keep folks guessing. When I posted my Innsbruck pics from an earlier holiday, we were already leaving for our vacation to Alaska. And what a holiday! BTW, Alaska is far! Even from here in Boston, it took us a whole day to get there and another to get back! But what a land!

    We both wanted to see glaciers calving into the bay. With the furious pace of global warming, we were not sure how much longer these would be around. We certainly saw glaciers to our hearts content. The rest of Alaska was a bonus; what a bonus it was.

    On the waters, we gazed at bald eagles as they surveyed the terrain and took flight; were enamored by dozens of fabulous bird species, and seduced by the endearingly clumsy puffins attempting to take flight. Humpback whales performed graciously on their ocean stage and sea otters lolled lazily on the waves of the deep.

    In Denali, we were treated to several mother grizzlies teaching their cubs the finer art of hunting; herds of caribou grazed the tundra; a mother and two fox cubs played peek-a-boo with us; and other wildlife.

    But before all that, we met the wonderfully introspective, Deepti and her welcoming family. They graciously showed us around the neighborhoods and introduced us to the terrain and local lifestyles. And along the way, we seem to have cured Deepti of her lj block!

    The wonderful Om and mom Deepti

    We were treated to glaciers even before we landed in Alaska. Our plane approached Anchorage along Prince William Sound. My eyes were glued to the scenery unfolding outside the window and it was only a bit later I thought of capturing the views with my camera.

    See a couple of the views outside the window; and M preparing to fend off a Grizzly attack!
    Caution, may cause an intense yearning to travel!
    Continue reading “Oh Alaska!”

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