Gracie’s Cache

northern exposures



Tracking Big Game On the Yukon

northern exposures


Well, we do have bigger game than the mouse, but that’s all I saw today. Each little footprint is about the size of a dime, and I suppose he must hop his way across the snow with his tail up in the air because he sure didn’t drag it behind him!

Above Coronado Beach

northern exposures


A lone pelican above Coronado. The exaggerated colors appeal to me in this instance.

I’ve been re-evaluating a number of my photographs and considering ways to make both black & whites and colors more vibrant. For this one, I used Color Efex Pro 4 which is part of the Nik suite. I have to say, CEP4 certainly extends the range of visionary possibilities.

I can approximate the look of this image using only Lightroom but the color range is vastly shortened. So far I’m impressed by the possibilities.

Shopping For Valentine

northern exposures


Just a week ago we were still in the embrace of a long & bitter cold spell. We had experienced 40 to 50 below for thirteen days out of sixteen when the forecaster called for -2˚F the next day. It turned out to be -3˚. Pretty good guess – good enough to save the weatherman the one way trip to Siberia that some of us were planning for him.

It is Valentine’s Day today. What do you do for your girl in a place with one general store and the only other form of entertainment is checking your mailbox at the post office? I opted to shop at the store.

The extension cords for keeping your car warm look nice, but we don’t have a car anymore – gave it away to a friend who needed it more. Wait, maybe a paperback romance! No, their space on the little revolving wire rack has been filled with chips. Surely there’s something here that will make Lindsay feel special…

They have needles and thread. Come on Dave, you can do better than this.

Canning jars? Momma said never give work disguised as a gift.

Hey, what’s this? N-e-t-i P-o-t. What the #@&* is that?

Isn’t there some perfume here somewhere, or some bath powder? Girls love bath powder, don’t they? Haha – here??? Not within 150 miles! There’s bar soap. Yeah, Valentine will implode if I give her a bar of Ivory.

Look at all those little Valentine heart candies on the shelf! Too bad we already ate a trillion of those at school yesterday.

Hey, ice cream, they have ice cream! Oh, but all of it melted (I mean it totally liquified) earlier this week when the store freezer went kaput. That’ll taste like disappointment.

Look, there’s still some chocolate on the shelf! Oh, thank heaven for chocolate! One Almond Snickers, one single serving package of Oreos, one Fig Newton bar.

One very grateful and contented girlfriend! I am so lucky!

Chasing Piggens: Heart-Warming Stories From a Frozen Land

life in a village

To all my longtime followers, stop right now and go visit Chasing Piggens. Its author, Keely, is a newcomer to the Yukon Flats and teaches in Venetie, a place even more remote than Fort Yukon (yes, there are such places).

Chasing Piggens is a love story, a tale of a young teacher from outside who finds her way to a remote village on the Arctic Circle in the dead of winter and falls head over heals in love with the land and its people. This is a tale you will not want to miss! Here’s an excerpt:

At quarter to six last night, I realized I had only enough butter left in the freezer for one batch of sugar cookies…I was looking down the barrel of a long two weeks without butter. I tucked myself into my gear and crunched my way over to the store, hoping they were open, hoping I wouldn’t leave the girls stranded in the cold, hoping they’d have butter at the store, hoping they’d be able to break a fifty.

The store is four short aisles of dry goods, a couple of coolers and freezers, and a half-shelf with some bruised and spotted and wildly expensive fruit…I snagged a couple of pounds of butter and set them on the counter. “That’s fifteen dollars” the girl said. I handed her a fifty, and she had to clean out the register to make change for me. I felt like a jerk.


Series: After Adrian II

northern exposures


Adrian Lewis lives in Bristol, UK. I admire his work very much and I was explaining to him how the boldness of his images challenges me to get out of the ruts. Please click on Adrian’s name and visit his blog.

I am starting a short series of posts dedicated to greater boldness in my own images. I’ve named the series “After Adrian” since his work is the inspiration for the series. The intent is not to do it the way Adrian might, but to apply some of his techniques to my my work in my own ways.

The rendition of this image is more contrasty than I would normally make it and I have clipped the blacks somewhat – you can see this in portions of the fenceposts. I have also applied a vignette to the corners to add some mystery.

Let me know what you like and don’t like about it. I’m looking for analytical and objective criticism in this series, not compliments, so dive in and tell me how you really respond to it.

Series: After Adrian 1

northern exposures



Adrian Lewis lives in Bristol, UK. I admire his work very much and I was explaining to him how the boldness of his images challenges me to get out of the ruts. I hope you will visit his blog and enjoy his photographs. I am starting a short series of posts dedicated to striving for greater boldness in my own, especially in the shadow regions. It is something Adrian is quite passionate about, so I thought I would apply some of his preferences to my own editing and name the series “After Adrian.” Of course, this is all sort of an interpretation of an interpretation, and I have no idea if Adrian would treat these pictures as I did.

This first image of a rose hip in snow also appears in my last post titled “Leftovers”. I wasn’t happy with the way it turned out for the previous post and thought that increasing the contrast might embolden it a bit. Let me know which version you prefer. I’ve added the previous version to this post as well so you can compare them. Or should that be contrast them?


northern exposures




Haha. Here’s scraping the bottom of the barrel, hoping it warms up because this morning -54˚F came knocking on my door. Hey, I’m out of good stuff and I need to get out of this cabin and makes some pictures! Warm up, already!

Not really happy with the way these images turned out. Much duller than I expected when I edited them. Oh, well. They are leftovers.

Here are the lows in ˚F for the past 16 days ( most days warmed up into the -30’s for 3 or 4 hours in the afternoon):

  • -45
  • -49
  • -50
  • -50
  • -50
  • -50
  • -34
  • -29
  • -32
  • -45
  • -47
  • -50
  • -50
  • -50
  • -50
  • -54

The forecaster says we’ll see -2˚F tomorrow. We’ll see about that. It’s 9:20 pm and -44˚. 🙂


northern exposures

If you live in a very cold climate where temperatures fall way, way below zero, then you may have tossed a cup of boiling water into the air just to see what happens. Here is Lindsay doing it from out porch.

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The boiling water instantly vaporized as it was released into the frigid air. It is -38˚F outside our cabin in these pictures, a perfect kind of day for kitchen science in the Arctic!

To paraphrase climatologist Mark Seeley, who explained the phenomena for Live Science – in a warm climate, air can hold a great deal of moisture but not so in very cold ones. As air chills, it becomes denser and loses its capacity to hold water vapor.

So all that vapor released from Lindsay’s cup had no where to go and instantly froze into nearly microscopic crystals of ice.

In other words, it snowed!