"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Impossible Dream

By the time I'd frittered away most of Monday, it was 8 o'clock when I drove north to pick up some litter along the highway in Silvertip.   Yesterday, the afore-mentioned Monday, was Supermoon Weekend-plus-one day.

The lake at 10 PM.

As I drove past Tern Lake, the scene was breath-taking, but then, most everything about Alaska takes my breath away (especially if it's uphill).   Sunshine, calm water, terns and gulls flying about--this is where I should be going, I thought, not 25 miles away to pick up beer cans and McFastfood wrappers.

That's when the halogen light bulb went off in my head and I had the most brilliant idea:   Tern Lake, Midnight Sun, Supermoon-plus-one.   Combine all three and THAT definitely was a Kodak moment, even if my camera is a Nikon.

I continued on my way.  Plenty of time.  Moonrise was just before midnight.

Tern Lake at 11 PM.

And that's where I was at 11 PM--in my kayak at Tern Lake, wedged in some grasses for stability, waiting for the moon to appear in the east.

Another breath-taking moment:  my camera precariously balanced on the kayak's curved bow.   I'm covered up with jeans and a sun shirt, not for warmth, but for protection from the mosquitoes.

I whiled away the hour watching the Arctic Terns trying to chase the Mew Gulls away from their nests, and the vanquished Mew Gulls trying to chase me away from whatever they thought was so important in the little patch of marsh grass where I waited.


And waited.

The little blue frog on the bow has been a constant companion in the kayak since I found him floating in the lake

And waited.

And waited.

Zip, zilch, nada.   The moon was a no-show.   Rats.

Can't you just imagine the sight of a big, beautiful, pink moon rising over those distant mountains and reflecting off the lake water?

Ah, well, it was a good idea nonetheless.   Turned out it was a Kodak moment after all.   Folks driving past took pictures of some crazy lady kayaking on Tern Lake at midnight, of all things.

THIS!   This is what I SHOULD have seen.   This photo of the Supermoon was taken in Juneau by Leticia McRae.   She posted it to Facebook, so I'm sharing.   And envious.   Soooooooooooo envious.



Oh, and about those out-of-focus shots of the gull?   I can take in-focus photos of birds in flight, but these terns have the most delightful and helpful ability to hover in the air:

This is an Arctic Tern flying away from me.   Late at night, so the bird's colors don't show.


  1. I enjoyed spending the evening with you even though the moon you waited for didn't show up. Your never-ending love of Alaska is evident in everything you do. I admire you for never tiring or taking it all for granted as folk often do.

  2. WOW!!!
    Tern Lake is so Gorgeous. Ruby, Sadie, and Neil (though mostly Sadie) are raising Mew Gull Babies for Bird Treatment Learning Center. We're thinking of letting them go at Tern Lake, do you want to join us in a couple weeks when we let them go?


  3. I know how you feel, Gully. I stood out on the deck in a chilling Winter breeze, staring at a huge bank of heavy clouds. Then I went inside and drank.

  4. I love your photographs. My city and faces (http://65andalive.weebly.com) can't compare.

    Happy shooting.