Category: Local Wildlife

Video: Killer Whales in the Canal

By , April 2, 2019

Of the many whales that visit the fjord in front of the homestead, my favorite, perhaps the most dramatic, are the killer whales, also called orcas.

On March 29th, around noon, I heard exhalations outside, so I grabbed my camera and went to investigate. A pair of killer whales, a cow and bull, swam up Lynn Canal, passing the homestead. The cow swam about 100 yards off our beach, while the bull plowed by at least 200 yards out, possibly more. I decided to take a chance on shooting some video, and managed to get a couple grainy sequences of the bull surfacing.

In the video, you can hear the exhalations of both animals, the female’s coming slightly before the visible “blow” from the male.

Chasing moving whales around with a viewfinder at that distance isn’t easy. I’m grateful for the 30 seconds of useful footage I got this time!

killer whale

The killer whale cow passes by closer to our beach (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

The herring should arrive soon, which generally means more whale activity. Friends from Juneau showed us photos of a sperm whale carcass that washed up on the beach across from Eldred Rock Lighthouse, south of here. That’s a rare event!

Deer in the Compound!

By , August 28, 2018

Sunday morning, as Michelle prepared for work, she uttered a sentence not heard on this homestead in the 12 years we’ve lived here:

“There are deer in the yard.”

Sure enough, a doe and a fawn just past the spotted coat phase stood by the rhubarb patch, peering up into the windows of the cabin.

They clearly tracked movement through the window, so we couldn’t get “the good camera.” Michelle stealthily reached for her smart phone, and took the photos seen here, while both of us cursed ourselves for not getting around to washing the windows.


The doe in the yard (Photo: Michelle L. Zeiger).

Soon, though, they sauntered toward the garden, our cue to rush out and chase them off. They disappeared up the ridge, bounding beautifully up the slope and away.

What a thrill!


Fawn on left, doe on right (Photo: Michelle L. Zeiger).

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