There is a large population of golden eagles in the Klamath Basin year round. The largest concentration of bald eagles in the lower 48 states is found here from December through February. Migrant bald eagles start arriving here in November, mainly from Canada. Some come from as far away as the Northwest Territories by way of Glacier National Park in Montana. Over 500 bald eagles have been counted here in recent winters. Eaglets are born in April and require constant care and feeding. The young eagles begin to fly by mid summer and leave the nest for good by early autumn. The majority of the eagles born here remain in or near the basin year round.
The British Columbian village of Kitwancool has one of the finest collections of totem poles in the Pacific Northwest. Looking at a map of the area, you’ll see that the town of Prince Rupert sits on the British Columbia Coast at the western end of the Yellowhead Highway also called Highway 16. A hundred miles east of Prince Rupert, a side road crosses the Skeena River and heads north. This is the Cassiar Highway or Highway 37. This road heads north through British Columbia to the Yukon. Ten miles north of the intersection of Highways 16 and 37 lies the village called Kitwancool.This small village has one of the largest collections of ancient and recently-carved totem poles in this area. Kitwancool has about twenty totem poles in a large park on the eastern edge of the village.
Some of the most spectacular cloud formations I have ever seen were photographed from the Volcano Observatory on the west side of the caldera. To find this quality of light, arrive on the crater rim overlooks before sunrise. To do this, spend the night in the Park. It’s a 28-mile-drive up from the town of Hilo. Make hotel reservations well in advance to stay several nights at the Volcano House, located right on the rim of Kilauea Crater. The location is convenient, across the road from the Visitor Center.
Five miles south of Cannon Beach is Hug Point State Park where you will find a seasonal waterfall and several sea caves. At the end of a large parking area is a trailhead and a short walk to the beach. At the edge of the sand, look to the right and you’ll see this cave, a hundred yards to the north. Arrive late in the afternoon to catch the best light. To get this effect, my back was against the back wall of the cave and I used a 10 mm wide-angle lens with no filter. I made five raw exposures bracketed in one-stop increments to capture the lighting range, from the dark walls to the highlights in the rain clouds. The tide was coming in and the walk around the point to the waterfall was not possible. You do not want to get stranded by an incoming tide here.The 15-foot cascade dries up in the summer. Hug Point is a good reason to make this trip in mid-winter.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.