Bear Update

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Lake Clark, Photos, Travel 2 Comments

A brown bear sow with two spring cubs digging for a clam.
A brown bear sow with two spring cubs digging for a clam.

The folks who were willing to wade through the maze of testing and other covid requirements were sure awarded with an absolutely amazing trip! Three sows appeared with spring cubs, including our favorite Crimp who has triplets this year! We saw lots of nursing, cubs playing, clam digging, even a wolf and fox, it was incredible. Plus, were basically the only ones in the fields the whole time. Looks like 2020 will be a year to remember in Alaska.

Olympus E-M1X and 300 f/4


Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Lake Clark, Travel Leave a Comment

Brown / Grizzly Bear nursing, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.
Brown / Grizzly Bear nursing, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska

This photo is from June of 2014, seems like a lifetime ago!

I have received some really nice emails and calls checking on us to make sure all is well since I haven’t posted anything in awhile. In short, yes, fortunately all is well, but it has been a challenging few months and a fire threatening our Tucson Desert Photo Retreat seemed like the final blow. Thankfully, the Tortolita fire has been contained, and the threat mostly eliminated thanks very much to the many firefighters who battled that blaze in challenging conditions. Unfortunately, a second fire continues to burn and threaten other parts of Tucson, and my heart goes out to those folks.

Really beginning in March with our Arizona business and continuing until now, we have been busy with cancellations, re-bookings and working through many other challenges. It was hard to look out from the home office last week at a humpback whale and beautiful weather knowing I should have been leading my Kenai Fjords trip right then.

However, much has changed in the last couple of weeks. With Alaska’s requirement for a Covid test before flying, and offering a second test at the airport upon arrival, coupled with numerous other precautions including private rooms for everyone, and meals delivered to rooms, we are now ready to offer our first bear trip of the season with a small group. In fact, we will be the only group at the lodge, and likely the only people in the entire area! I hope I’m wrong, but I believe testing coupled with other precautions is how trips in Alaska will be lead this summer and next, so we might as well figure out how to do them safely.

I will say, I’m excited to get back to the bears, to a place where life revolves around nature, wildlife and tides.

Greatland Graphics Calendar

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Lake Clark, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

Brown bear sow and cub, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.
Brown bear sow and cub, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

So excited, honored and proud to have the cover of two of the three large calendars produced by Greatland Graphics. Greatland Graphics has been producing some of the nicest Alaska calendars for years, but what makes it extra special is it is now owned by good friend and outstanding photographer Patrick Endres.

Like so many of my fellow photographers this is a very challenging time, even for the calendar business. You see, most of these sell in gift shops in the summer to cruise ship passengers, and with many cruise ships being locked down these days, most of these calendars will go unsold. However, if you click on the link, you can order these wonderful calendars directly from Greatland Graphics. You will end up with a high quality product, and help an Alaskan business at the same time!

This photo was from a very memorable morning on one of my Alaska bear photo tours a few years ago. We were the only ones up this morning, and spotted this sow with two spring cubs very near the lodge – in fact, we were able to walk over to them from the lodge. These particular cubs were prone to climbing onto their mom’s back, a really cute behavior you don’t always see. Couple that, with perfect morning light, and we had a morning I’ll never forget. Unfortunately, we couldn’t contain our excitement once we returned to the lodge, so that was the last morning that week that we were the only ones up!

Alaska Bear Photography Tour

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Lake Clark, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

Two brown bear cubs.
Two brown bear cubs.

We actually have a few spots left in what has historically been our most popular photo tour; our Alaska Bear and Puffin photography tour!

We spend our days up close to magnificent Alaska brown bears, and our evening in a very comfortable lodge with awesome food! What could be better. Based on all the mating activity last spring, this could be a good spring for cubs! Talk about the ultimate Christmas gift!

Sorry I haven’t posted much lately – that should change soon now that I’m getting caught up with projects at the Desert Photo Retreat, and can get back to my own photography.