Vernal Equinox, Collisions of Seasons

Happy Equinox, when day equals night, here it happens on September 23

The term collisions of seasons was a term coined recently by one of my flickr friends and is so appropriate this time of year. In Alaska, I have grown accustomed to two seasons, summer and winter. They are broken up by short events, milestones really, we call freeze up (fall) and break up (spring).

Fall and spring do happen here of course, but they are often so short in time it is hard to decipher them. Many years, the colors of fall are hidden under the white blanket of the silencing snowfall. Indeed some of the plants turn their colors after the first snows, only to be seen in the coming summer (spring?).

As a photographer I seek out the reds, the golds and all the colors of this fleeting event. As an Alaskan I relish this last colorful event before the landscape turns cold and shades of grey, but for the color of the sunsets, and of course the fantastic Northern Lights.

Yellow tree and rock

IMGP7051 a Tree and Rock

Red Bunchberries

IMGP7029 a

Sea scape, Turnagain Arm

IMGP7225 a

Capturing this season transition is one of my projects that I come back to year after year, hoping to get that one better shot or that unusual scene that I may want to publish someday. I love the pass through by the magnificent Trumpeter Swans, knowing when they fly out it will signal the end of the season for good.

IMGP7263 a Trumpeter Swan

IMGP7353 a Trumpeter Swan Pair

The photo opportunities are often fleeting this time of year, with cloudy skies day after day, and only unpredictable and short lived clearings, as the typhoons of the north Pacific spin off their moisture in massive cyclonic fronts the size of the lower 48 that cross Alaska. In September, average high temperature is 60 degrees at the beginning and 40 at the end of the month, as the Siberian cold air begins to win the battle of dominance, and the Polar jet stream can dip southerly driving cold air anywhere from Point Barrow to Southeast Alaska.

The Gates of Mordor, a Chugach Mountain photoIMGP7074 a Gates of Mordor

This summer there were only 2 days that reached 70 degrees, which is a new record. It ranked 3rd in the coolest on record as far as daytime high temperature. The National Weather Service records here date back to 1917. It has been a very cloudy summer here, which gives one the perception of coolness, but actually helps keep the warmth in at night.

What happened to summer? A September self portrait.IMGP6993 a Where has the Summer Gone?

If you don’t see me around too much for awhile, please just know I am out there chasing the rainbows to share with you. Always a rainbow somewhere, keep one with you for when you need one!

IMGP7086 a

For your listening pleasure, another old favorite of mine

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30 Responses to Vernal Equinox, Collisions of Seasons

  1. Here I Am says:

    I have been waiting anxiously for some of your fall color photos.  I love the yellows and reds.  Here the fall colours can disappear quickly.  So you have to be out there everyday in search of that special shot.  Looking forward to your next shots.

  2. Nozee says:

    I like the last one..HINT OF RAINBOWSorry for having you loose summer..but we need it for rain on a very dry landscape.

  3. REDEEMER WORD says:

    Steve, you are a very proud and determined man, does that come with your heritage, Norweigan?
    You must be a very special person to endure the weather up there.  God keep you strong for all
    of us…ELZA

  4. Rambling says:

    A wonderful photographic medley and I see the swan couple is there.The rainbow..ah..I will take that with me, if you please.  I may need it and thank you for the gifting.

  5. Beth says:

    All exceptional!

  6. JoAnn says:

    I\’ve missed ya, but if you\’re chasing rainbows that understandable!   You live in a beautiful state but I don\’t think I could handle the climate.  Of course, I\’ve had people tell me they couldn\’t handle Texas weather.  Our high this summer was 109 and that wasn\’t a record!  Your photos are breath taking as usual.  Thanks for sharing. 

  7. Bill says:

    A reminder that winter is around the corner and we need to enjoy the fall while we can.
    The Gates of Mordor are awesome.
    Have a great day.

  8. Sue says:

    Hi SteveBeautiful picture and what wonderful colour, i hope you have a great time out and about getting all the picture you can getTake careSue

  9. Vieille Ourse says:

    When one loves nature it is quite "normal" to follow up the seasons and their changes … and with your pictures you give us the opportunity to participate to this in Beautiful Alaska … Thanks !
    (I must confess I also chase the various seasons at my place and like to take lots of pictures, year after year … LOL … same seasons, different pictures !)

  10. Polly says:

    You\’ll be missed when you\’re not around. I love all your photos especially the swans and the Northern Lights, and I\’m looking forward to seeing the colours of an Alaskan Autumn.  Have a great time.

  11. Fizz says:

    Yeah… love the song and the photo\’s! My favorite is the rainbow, of course!

  12. Karolyn says:

    Yes, I missed you! Look on your faboulos pictures and perfect explanations is like a drug! I think I become addictive to your blog… I don\’t know if rainbows will still appear at my space, but I\’ll look often on the sky for this bridge with Alaska.

  13. Sheila says:

    I love the picture of the tree against the rocks. Thanks as always for sharing your part of the world with us.

  14. Sheila says:

    Thanks yet again for the great pictures. The swan in flight is very cool.

  15. Babblelot says:

    All the pictures are wonderful. But, you look so sad sitting there.Hope I can snap a rainbow for you to make you smile.

  16. Rhonda says:

    Beautiful and sad all at the same time.  I love the photo of the two trumpeter swans…something magical and symbolic about them.  Don\’t disappear for too long and can\’t wait to see photos of the northern lights.
    Keep warm dear friend,

  17. Jeffrey says:


  18. Cindy says:

    So many beautiful pictures…love all those shades of yellow and gold.  It\’s good you can enjoy all seasons. Personally, I love the change from one to the other.  Just wish some of them didn\’t last so long.
    Sept 24 was our day of equal day and night….well, as close as it could get.  Sunrise at 6:59 and sunset at 7:01.

  19. Lewis says:

    I came to your site via a spaces search based on the keyword Nature. What a find! I too adore nature and live smakc dab in the middle of a forest in NE Utah, off the grid, mostly self sufficent except for food, the garden is not big enough yet! I take hundreds of photos a week, mostly wild flowers and nature.
    I will be back to check your site. Very cool to see into your life way up North. I thought our winters were tough, as always its all relative right?

  20. Sarah says:

    Don and I both are moved by the picture of Chugach Mountain………stunning.  And the one of you is so simple, quiet and charming, Steve.  I send lots of love and a hug.  Hope this finds you well, and happy.

  21. J W says:

    Stunning Steve.  A true gentleman and a splendid artist.  Keep chasing those rainbows for us.

  22. Sherry says:

     I am sure glad that you are where you are and that you do what you do Steve. Without you most of us would never see the things you see. Thank you!

  23. Kimmy says:

    You always find the right song to go with your blogs. lol Fantastic portrait of the beginning of Fall Steve. Those yellows are beautiful.

  24. kevin says:

    Nice work Steve,   I like that swan in flight shot, a good catch.   Also the first one, good colour contrast,  golden autumn tones against the grey blue of the rocks.
    cheers KD

  25. Polly says:

    Came back for another look at the rainbow – beautiful!

  26. Ellen says:

    So that\’s Equinox… I\’ve read the word, but didn\’t know the meaning of it! Thanks for the beautiful pics that you show us here – it\’s always a pleasure to visit you!
    Wish you a great week, Steve!

  27. L e e says:

    Every year in the Spring and the Fall I debate (with myself) which season I like best.  I suppose I will still be debating that whenever I cross over.   Each are so beautiful, each have their own colors.   Decisions, decisions!
    Take care, Steve.

  28. Marilyn says:

    Good pictures! I really like nature and I feel like You " what happened to summer?" It just seems to vanish as soon as Sept. hits. Take care.

  29. PEP says:

    I still want to purchase a picture of the swans I just haven\’t figured out which one I want yet.

  30. PEP says:

    70 degrees? That is spring and fall temperature not summer temperature (burrr). 

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