Here in the Misty Fiords on the border of Alaska and BC, along the Salmon River, summer mornings start with mitten-clapping, boot-stamping cold and don’t warm until the sun finally appears at the top of the 3,000-foot-high wall of the fiord at about 10 a.m. Soon it will either be drizzling rain or, if you’re lucky, very warm – warm enough to shed layers of clothing down to a single t-shirt. Although the day is actually 16 to 17 hours long, the sun only lights up the bottom of the fiord sufficiently for photography for about six hours each day. (Obviously, pre-digital years!)
When it is especially warm, the bears that come down their ancient trails from the snow-clad mountains to feed on spawning salmon occasionally take a break from feeding for a leisurely swim in the glacier-blue lagoon adjacent to the spawning pools. It is magical to watch and thrilling to photograph! This young grizzly was cleaning off the sediment on his paws after a dive into the water but he certainly appears to be praying (Well, it WAS a Sunday morning!). This image is hanging in the vestibule of a small church in the little town near the spawning pools.