Up Close and Personal… Patterns of Nature on Kodiak Island

It would have been easy to miss this spruce cone hiding out among the branches. Having spotted it, I was intrigued by the contrasting colors.


I spend a fair amount of time looking around when I hike. Sometimes, I even drop to my knees to check out something that has caught my attention. It might be a leaf, a flower, a bug, or any number of other things. There is a lot of beauty in small things, if we only stop to look. As I was reviewing the photos that Peggy and I took on Kodiak Island for today’s post, I noted several pictures that fit into this category. So my final post on Kodiak, turned into two. Today’s is up close and personal… Enjoy.

Shelf fungus are interesting from both their bottom and top sides…

Looking down on the shelf fungus.

I am always on the lookout for flowers. This cutie is known as a monkey flower.

And here we have a blooming cow-parsnip.

I found another cow parsnip that hadn’t bloomed and got down on my back so I could shoot it looking up toward the sky.

I came on a lovely pond that was growing pond lilies and was able to catch a reflection shot, but I also noted a few yellow blooms…

And found one willing to have its photo taken.

Not surprising, Kodiak has its share of fireweed.

And a wild rose by any other name, is still a rose.

Driftwood is always fair game when it comes to searching for patterns in nature.

Swirls within swirls.

Wandering around and looking down, I spotted this. Ah, a fresh bear track, I noted to myself. I found him just over the hill, maybe a hundred yards away from where we were fishing.

Fresh seaweed brought in by high tide.

And more, looking almost alien.

I wandered around at low tide (I always wander around at low tide) and found these barnacles.

And mussels, that might make a dandy treat for someone.

Rocks lining the shore were worth a closer look…

I am pretty sure you will all recognize this. It’s a thing-a-ma-bob that was once attached to a doohickey. This beach had once been a dump before the big tsunami of 1964 hit. The ocean has now transformed junk into objects like this.

Out fishing, we caught this halibut with its interesting  patterns and eyes that have migrated.

And finally, speaking of patterns, what photographer can resist wakes caused by boats?

I liked it so much, I took another photo. That’s it for today. Next Wednesday, I’ll wrap up Kodiak.

FRIDAY’S POST: Remember the days when they taught us to hide under our desks and cover our eyes when the atom bomb was dropped?

MONDAY’S POST: It’s time to wrap up our 18 day raft trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

36 thoughts on “Up Close and Personal… Patterns of Nature on Kodiak Island

  1. Great close-ups of nature’s finest and man’s most awful doo hickey or whatever that is! I’m amazed when I take nature paths at what you can see when you look closely. thanks for posting these. It’s about time I head to the Great Smoky Mountains (about 45 minutes away from me) to see the wildflowers and new growth on the forest floor.

  2. Parts of the land still retain their enchantments. (Enjoyed the placement of pictures of the mussels and the rocks – shapes mirror each other)
    (Did you ever wonder how the Kodiak camera got it’s name? Bound to be a place/story there somewhere?)
    (HA! Did you all go “quack, quack quack” when we had to duck? Probably drove them crazy with our realistic evaluation)

    • Large parts, Phil, if we care to look, including the weed lot down on the corner. Nature always working her miracles, often in a gorgeous way. Are you saying that ducking isn’t all that its quacked up to be? 🙂 –Curt

  3. You not only know your Nature, you’re quite the pro at photographing it! But you didn’t notice that the thing-a-ma-bob that was once attached to the doo-hickey is missing its what-cha-ma-call-it, no wonder you had mistaken it for junk!

  4. Great photos. You are right, the mussels look tempting. I love them, especially cooked with tomatoes and a little red wine. I am not sure about the beautiful fungi. They say always be careful eating fungi.

    • Thanks, Gerard. Peggy loves mussels. Me, not so much. My dad used to gather them from the ocean and cook them up. He also wandered around gathering mushrooms, but you do need to know what you are doing there. –Curt

  5. Wonderful photos. But now I’m curious — I thought flounder were the only fish whose eyes migrated. Or is a flounder in the halibut family? The halibut I saw in Alaska — a few hundred pounds, hanging from hooks at the dock… Well, I don’t know where their eyes were. I need to find the photos and see if I can figure it out.

    • Right you are Linda. This from Wikipedia: “Halibut is a common name principally applied to the two flatfish in the genus Hippoglossus from the family of right-eye flounders.” And thanks on the photos. I always have fun wandering around looking for patterns in nature, and for small things that catch my eye. –Curt

  6. I agree. There is much beauty in small things. I enjoy photos of birds in flight, of bighorn sheep on a mountainside, of a wolf in the snow but … it’s the small stuff that grabs me, that brings me to a full stop, that finds me on the ground in mud or snow trying for a closer look. Such fun!

  7. Wow! The shell mushroom looks like an oyster! And the yellow lily, looks like the petals are shielding an important VIP part… well yes the pistils we suppose. What’s a thing-a-ma-bob?

  8. Looks to me like you and I may be on a similar theme. I love your close up looks at all the things that catch your eye. I’ve noticed that the getting-up bit seems to be getting harder these days. Must be some strange shift in gravitational pull, or some such. The first day out my calf muscles did a great deal of complaining. Halibut is probably my favorite fish, but it doesn’t win in the beauty contests.

    • Laughing, no beauty contests for halibuts! The patterns are beautiful but there is something about those migrating eyes… Like you, halibut is my favorite fish. Halibut chowder— mmm, mmm, good! I do find that as long as I am active, my get up and go still works pretty well, but take a week or two off, and ouch. Thinking close ups really helps me to focus in on the smaller things. There is much beauty there. –Curt

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