Shipping container covered walkway in Skagway, Alaska.
Before traveling to Alaska I knew I absolutely wanted to spot a bald eagle during my trip. What I didn’t realize until arriving was, Ravens are also very important to Alaskan culture, and seeing them in wild would be just as special. I spotted these Ravens in Hoonah, a small town on Icy Straight Point, the very first stop on our cruise.
Sometimes it’s not so hard to see where horror writers get inspiration for the monsters they create.
Entry area to a local haunted house, Scarrigan Farms. During the Halloween season it gets an eerie Crystal Lake treatment, but the rest of the year it serves as the backdrop to wedding receptions.
Fruit or dragon eggs? Either way, I wish I had bought one to try when I spotted them at a local Korean grocery store
The bald face of this mountain and the brilliant foliage in the foreground are both the product of one thing: forest fire. Forest fires in the Yukon Territory of Canada are allowed to burn without control if the don’t threaten people or property because the area is incredibly difficult to navigate. This will leave entire mountainsides bare before deciduous trees like white paper birch begin to fill in the empty expanses. They will flourish for about ten years before coniferous cypress trees overtake and outgrow them.
Thunderstorms looming over the Gamrath Glass exhibit at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Most people would be scared off visiting by the torrential downpour that slammed the area 20 minutes prior, but I knew it would be the perfect ugh time to visit. The colors on the rain soaked flowers were more vivid, rain clouds provided the perfect backdrop for them, and the garden was quiet and empty. The exhibit is still ongoing until the end of September, I’d highly recommend it if you’re in the area!
School may already be in session here in Charlotte, but for me growing up the unofficial end of summer Vacation was Labor Day weekend. The Tuesday and Wednesday after was reserved for back to school preparation, and on Thursday we were back in class. When I spotted this butterfly on the trail in my neighborhood I though it was an appropriate omen for the changing of the seasons. Seeing it crumpled on the ground like a fallen leaf, being consumed by a wasp definitely called forth the feeling that a darker season filled with cooling air, longer shadows, and Halloween was just around the corner.
A luna moth caterpillar I spotted on a morning jog last summer. Luna moths are fascinating because they only live for a week. They emerge from a chrysalis, lay eggs, float around beautifully for a week, and then die. They don’t even have mouths to eat. This lifespan makes them rare to spot, even though they are fairly common. It also makes them a symbol of renewal and rebirth. I find them inspiring because they are beautiful as moths, but also interesting as caterpillars. They are a reminder to me as a poet that even when you are working towards a goal, like publishing your work, you are still writer. You don’t have to wait until you emerge from a cocoon with a book to call yourself one.
A sculpture of my favorite birds at the North Carolina Zoo, spotted during my annual visit this summer.