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Silence is a loud sound I notice as I tread quietly on the soft mossy trail, that my headlamp lights up in front of me. Much different than the trails I’m use to in the Rocky Mountains back in Colorado.

Soft Trail


I stop to rest and found once I quiet my mind and opened my senses that I was able to hear and feel the silence, and it wasn’t so silent after all. I could hear and feel the lite mist falling, I can hear the slight breeze stirring the branches of the trees, causing the heavy drops of rain to fall and hit the ground make a quiet splattering sound. And when I really listened I could hear the distant sound of the waves hitting the shore and in the background I hear the mournful sound of the buoys letting the ships know where danger is.

Then I realize the light is starting to change with the coming of the day. I curse myself for hitting the snooze button too many times. I hasten to reach my destination before the sun is up.

Soon I reach my destination, Spruce Cape, on Kodiak Island, Alaska, only to find that at low tide it exposed a long distance of  the rocky floor of the cove, and to reach the water where the waves are crashing on the rocks, I’ll have to navigate a long ways of wet slippery seaweed covered rocks, stepping over many starfish and other creatures of the sea, who are laying dormant waiting for the incoming tide. I found myself looking for the stones that are covered in barnacles for they provided tremendous traction. I silently apologize to them as step on them. After numerous close calls, and some wet feet (which is the norm for this photographer) I reach the waves. I was late for the sunrise, but it didn’t matter as the dreary clouds only brightened in their grey color as the sun rose.

But it didn’t take away from the beauty of what I was witnessing. Using the dim light I was able to play with some long exposures,Turbulent Waters then as the sun continued to lighten up the sky, I just kept on speeding up my shutter. I watched the waves crash in, every one of them hitting the rocks, splashing up into the air in different patterns no two alike. Reminded me of how there’s no two snowflakes alike, just like these waves.Splash

Hitting The Rocks












I watched fishing boats heading out all in hopes of a successful journey of a bountiful catch. I can see the bows of the boats rise and fall as they go thru the waves.

Out To SeaThen the realization that it is getting to be time to go but I don’t want this moment to end. But pangs of hunger start to set in, and I can smell the wonderful aroma of a hot cup of coffee even though it miles away. I think of my wonderful two daughters who are awaiting my return.

I say goodbye to the ocean, goodbye to the morning, thanking them for a wonderful time, even though I know it can’t hear me. I turn to start my tricky path back to shore when I spot something moving! It wasn’t another human, as I had the whole cape to myself with the exception of the passing boats. For once I had the right lens attached to my camera, I use it to look thru and see a deer, a doe who is navigating her way thru the same slippery rocks that I had done earlier.

IMG_0119 She looked so out of place to me. Where was she going? I wondered. She seemed to be walking as if she was on a mission of going somewhere. But where? As I watched and took some pictures of her, she reached her destination, she stood there and looked around like she was taking in all the beautiful scenery much as I did.

After standing for a bit, she turned around and started back towards the shore. Was she confused? Did she reach the waves only to realize that she went the wrong way? Or did she do as I did, just wanted to see the beauty of the morning. That’s what I decided she did, like me, she just wanted to see the start of the day.

Soon she left me behind, as she had a much easier time with the rocks than I did.

On my way back I came across an old military bulldozer that had either fallen off the cliff or had been dumped there many years ago.

Remains Of A Bulldozer


It reminded me that back in World War II, there were many military bunkers built throughout all these islands as there was a big fear that’s where the Japanese  could and would attack. Many of the bunkers are still there, One of them is being used to house a really neat museum, at Abercrombie State Park which is by the City of Kodiak.

Actually the Japanese did seize two  islands, Attu and Kiskafor  back in June of 1942 (part of the Aleutian chain of islands) and the battle lasted a little over a year to August of 1943.

I took a few images of the old bulldozer then headed back to the main trail to go back to the car. Made a quick stop at Mill’s Bay for a last few images of the morning.

Evening at Miller's Bay

Miller’s Bay

Another wonderful memory of a glorious morning, that will live forever in my mind.

Steven Reed