Announcing Our 2019 Alaska Photo Tours!

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

Humpback whale tail at sunrise, Tongass National Forest, Alaska.

Humpback whale tail at sunrise, Tongass National Forest, Alaska.

We are excited to announce our 2019 Alaska Photo Tours!  If you want advanced notice on our future photo tours, be sure to sign up for the email notifications as this gives you a day or two head start on the announcement.  As you may notice, some trips are already full!  So here are the details:

Glacier Bay National Park   May 22-30, 2019  (space remaining)

We love this photo tour for so many reasons.  We love the timing, May in Glacier Bay is beautiful, wildlife is abundant and the landscape is spectacular.  It also gives us access to areas that are closed after June 1. Ron just returned from our 2018 tour in Glacier Bay and the trip did not disappoint. Guests came away with great glacier photos as well as up close photo opportunities with mountain goats and their newborn babies, bubble net feeding humpback whales, orcas, sea otters and even brown bear. This photo tour offers a rare opportunity to explore the grandeur of Glacier Bay on our own schedule in an intimate environment.  We have chartered a beautiful classic yacht for the trip. Comfort is key aboard this 87′ yacht offering 360 degree windows and covered decks. This is the same beautiful ship I have been using for the bear and whale trip in recent years.  While space is not an issue aboard this beauty I’m still limiting the trip to a small number of 8-10 guests. This is a 9 day, 8 night all-inclusive trip. Follow the link above to learn more about this tour.

 

Bears, Whales and Glacier Photo Tour  – Inside Passage   July 14-22-2019  (space remaining)

A favorite of Ron’s, this has become a very popular tour.  We are using the same beautiful classic yacht as our Glacier Bay trip. And limit the trip to a small number of 8-10 guests.  This is a 9 day, 8 night all-inclusive trip. We will visit a couple of fantastic bear viewing areas including the famous Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area, and will be spending a few days with the humpbacks and orcas in the highly productive Frederick Sound and Chatham Straight.   Stunning tidewater glaciers in Tracy Arm, a wide variety of wildlife and incredible landscapes make this a tour we believe highlights all the best that Alaska has to offer especially when it comes to photography.  Click the link above to learn more about this tour.

 

Brown Bear Photo Tour – Lake Clark National Park  June 18 – June 24, 2019 (full)  June 25-July 1, 2019 (full)

This is our 9th season offering this trip and it remains our most popular, with many of you returning multiple times.  If it’s brown bears you are after this is the tour for you, and the landscape isn’t too shabby either! This trip also includes a boat tour to an island with nesting puffin and other sea birds. We have added a welcome dinner and first night hotel to this tour for extra convenience.  Click the link above to learn more about this tour.

 

 

Mc Bride Glacier

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

Mc Bride Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

Mc Bride Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

Home from an awesome  Glacier Bay Alaska Photo Tour!  It exceeded my high expectations.  We had amazing scenery, and bubble net feeding humpback whales!  Plus, got close views and photos of mountain goats with brand new babies, orcas and even brown bear which was a bit of a bonus.  Also had a really fun group – all but two I had known, or traveled with previously, so it was like getting together with old and new friends!

Seeing Mc Bride Glacier and Inlet was a real treat. You can only access it with a small skiff at the right tide, so very few people ever get in here. Some of the icebergs were stunning, more to come in the days ahead.

Cruise Ship Noordam – Glacier Bay National Park

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

Holland America cruise ship Noordam, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

Holland America cruise ship Noordam, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

For a sense of scale, that is a giant Holland American cruise ship M/V Noordam with nearly 2,000 passenger and 800 crew that is being dwarfed by the Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska scenery!

I fly down today to begin another trip to Glacier Bay as part of a photo tour – really looking forward to getting back!

Automatic Gravity Feed Watering System

Ron Niebrugge How to, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

Finshed water feeder.  The waterhole is down in the wash at the top of the frame.

Finshed water feeder. The waterhole is down in the wash at the top of the frame.

I thought I would share my experience in setting up an automatic, gravity feed watering system as it could be of benefit to other.  I wanted a way to automatically fill a watering hole at the Desert Photo Retreat in Arizona for the wildlife over the summer.  I’m surprised with the popularity of rain barrel collection systems, hydroponics and the like that this wouldn’t be easier.  However, I learned the hard way that most automatic watering timers need a fair amount of pressure.  The popular Rainbird one I purchased needed almost 30 pounds of pressure to operate.  There is one exception, this one made by Toro, however the bad reviews and plastic gears made me nervous.  I did buy the Toro unit and placed it on another tank for watering some plants, something that isn’t as critical, I’ll let you know how it holds up.

So I asked for solutions on Facebook, and received an incredible response.  My friends seem to be much smarter then I am!  🙂  The obvious solution was a pump, but I wanted to avoid a pump in case the tank went dry for some reason, I didn’t want to burn the pump up.  I have enough water to last until August, and I plan to go back and re-fill then, but in case I don’t make it, I don’t want a fried pump.

Someone suggested this electric, always closed solenoid valve.  This way I could add power on a schedule to fill my waterhole.  For a timer, it was suggested a use a Arduino.  Another suggestion was for a Raspberry Pi.  Both good suggestions, and something I could see implementing in the future.  One day I will have year around wifi which would give me the ability to not only monitor the water hole remotely with a webcam, but also control the valve remotely as well.  However, in the interest in time and simplicity, I ultimately went with this simple programmable timer.  The water tanks themselves are IBC totes I purchased on Cragslist.  Note, the of the links are part of a Amazon affiliate program.

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