Jun 20, 2019 - National Geographic Orion
Heavy fog blanketed Geographic Harbor as we dropped anchor right around 6:00 this morning. Geographic Harbor is a part of Katmai National Park, the site of the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. We set out early in our fleet of Zodiacs to look for the legendary coastal brown bears that come here to feed on salmon. We did find bears as the fog lifted, but the salmon will not be here until July so the bears were feeding on clams, mussels, and barnacles. These bears also enjoy their vegetables and like to eat protein-rich sedges and cow parsnip.
The landscape near the water has a thick cover of grasses and brush, mostly Sitka alder. Early wildflowers were in bloom—wild geranium, Kamchatka rhododendron, iris, lupine, and angelica. As we made our way back to our ship the fog dissipated and revealed a magnificent landscape of glacially sculpted mountains with patches of stark-white snow, gleaming against large areas of pale-grey volcanic ash from the 1912 eruption, still marking these steeps nearly a century later.
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