Starting off the latest photo collection with a bang!  I just got back from helping some colleagues up in Alaska and took a few days to drive between Whitehorse, Yukon and Fairbanks, Alaska. A quick side trip down to Denali National Park paid off with four lynx sightings within a day! This was the first time I have seen lynx in the wild and I couldn’t have asked for a better photo opportunity.  I was driving down the highway just north of the small town of Healy. The light was perfect and the surrounding mountains looked spectacular. I was scanning for wildlife when I spotted what I initially thought was a coyote. I hit the brakes and as I passed by it I realized it was a lynx! I think at this point I swore in excitement and my swearing continued when I realized I hadn’t set up my camera properly. I had switched lenses to photograph the mountains and had forgotten to switch back to the telephoto. I almost always make sure my camera is set up beside me ready to go in case any fleeting wildlife crosses in front of me on the road and I thought this mistake would cost me the opportunity to get photos.  I frantically fumbled with the lenses and camera making sure I had the correct settings before I started to back up the car to get in position. Thankfully, the lynx stayed in the clearing and as I backed up I noticed a second one! Likely last year’s kittens as they weren’t fully grown yet. I managed to get a few shots off before they turned and disappeared into the trees. I quickly hit the playback button to see if I had managed to get any good shots and I was thrilled when I saw this one!  The next day my lynx luck continued as I saw two more in Denali National Park. One was running down the side of the road hunting for snowshoe hares while it’s partner stayed on the other side of the snow bank. Unfortunately the light wasn’t great for photos and they lost the hare they were chasing, but it was still amazing to see. Overall the trip was a huge success with lots of great wildlife sightings, including numerous barren ground caribou, northern hawk owls, a dark phase red fox and beautiful scenery. Over the next few weeks I will post the best photos from the trip.

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