A recent assignment/shoot took me out to the Mendenhall Glacier, for those who have never been, it is one of the most accessible glaciers in the world, literally a 4 mile drive from the airport. Sadly the glacier has continued to recede over my lifetime and is suffering the same fate as the majority of glaciers in the world. The toe of the Mendenhall Glacier in the near future will be off of the lake as the glacier continues to recede up the valley. The effects of global warming are evident throughout Alaska, almost every community has some indicators of the phenomenon from melting glaciers, decreased fisheries stocks, a receding ice pack, increased erosion of shorelines, to the spread of invasive species previously held at bay by the colder temperatures and longer winters. Whenever possible in my work I try to document the multitude of indicators of change in the environment. Like many I hope that we have not reached the point of no return, and that with further steps to control man kinds influence in increasing global temperatures we can stem the tide of maladies created by our pollution and years of environmentally degrading practices and policies.
One of the side effects of the receding of the glacier is that it creates ice caves to explore. As you can see below to enter them is to be enveloped and bathed in the cool glow of the glacially sifted sunlight. At first it is disconcerting to have tons of ice over head and to feel the palpable cool of the moist and frigid air coming from the ice. Once the feeling of imminent danger of being potentially crushed by the shifting ice melts away you become enthralled with the cornucopia of shades of glacial blue and the cracks and fissures in the cocoon of ice. Glaciers are truly a marvel to behold from without and within.