Seeking the Majestic Porcupine
By Sarah Zaubi, Expedition Guide on the Wilderness Discoverer
When it comes to wildlife photography, Alaska is a mecca for both professional photographers and hobbyist smartphone users alike. Most photographers come for the spectacular charismatic megafauna. Lazy brown bears rolling in the sun, moose grazing in a meadow, and whales taking flight in fantastic feeding displays are just a few subjects that top this list.
However, among the elite squad of photographers that staff the Wilderness Discoverer, those connoisseurs of diving whales and eagles on bergy bits, there is one creature that has slowly and methodically climbed its way to the top of their photographic bucket lists – the majestic Porcupine.
During a stop on Bartlett Cove on our way out of Glacier Bay National Park, a rustle in the grass was the only warning before one of these stately, prickly creatures deigned to flaunt its presence. Long lenses were whipped out. Coos of delight were issued. Lodge tourists – excited by the appearance of long lenses and that signature photographer crouch that indicates the presence of wildlife – may have been a bit baffled (or awed into silence) by the stately gait of this majestic creature.
The rewards were bountiful, the photos taken that day highly coveted in Wilderness Discoverer photography circles, and the final results reverently distributed amongst the crew and guests alike as the true treasures they were.