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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Weekly Post: THE TONGASS: Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees by Robert Glenn Ketchum

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees
by Robert Glenn Ketchum
In 1985, I began a 2-year commission to explore the Tongass rainforest, the largest forest in the United States Forest Service (USFS) system AND the largest temperate rainforest in the world. It was a unique, old-growth environment under siege from industrial logging. The resulting investigative book I published helped to pass the Tongass Timber Reform Bill, protect 1,000,000 acres of old-growth, and create 11 new wilderness areas. This is the story of how that was achieved.




Tuesday, February 21, 2017

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #26:
THE TONGASS, #26:  Everyone was excited to go ashore and meet Stan and “his” bears. The weather was clear for the moment, so we ate breakfast quickly, donned our gear, and climbed into the skiffs. We were at a mid-tide, so we had to be conscientious about where we beached the boats, but after finding the appropriate spot, we had a short shoreline walk and then we wound around a small grassy knoll to view a broad, beautiful meadow and cove with a sizable river flowing through it. We were standing at the mouth/delta of Pack Creek. From where we stood, the creek separated us from the meadow which made me feel more comfortable, because, sure enough, there were bears in the meadow. Three bear, in fact, a mother grizzly and two cubs - not exactly a group you want provoke. They barely acknowledged our presence, however, and continued to play and roughhouse without missing a beat. As our gaze broadened from watching the bears play, we realized that tucked into a pocket of this cove was a rambling homestead. This is Stan’s “home.” Stan’s actual house does float, as you see here, but Stan has been here SO long he also has quite a few “auxiliary” structures built onshore and a power generator is hidden back in the forest. Stan has lived here alone for many years, and loves the solitude. When asked if he got lonely he said that groups like us stop by to visit, AND he has “breakfast with my bears” everyday. Just out-of-sight to the left, there is also quite a nice strawberry and herb garden which I will tell you more about in the next post. I would visit Stan several times over the years, and I would return for my second visit in just a few weeks, because friends and I would paddle canoes down the Seymour Canal to begin our traverse of Admiralty Island.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Weekly Post: NO PEBBLE MINE: Pictures from Ground Zero by Robert Glenn Ketchum

NO PEBBLE MINE Pictures from Ground Zero 
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Thank you to the EPA for recognizing the value of the Bristol Bay fishery. 
NOW, what can we do to protect this habitat further? 
Mission: To protect the national parks and national refuges of southwest Alaska, 
and the Bristol Bay fishery from the development of the Pebble mine, and other commercial risks.



Tuesday, February 21, 2017 


NO PEBBLE MINE #232, Pictures from Ground Zero:  NO PEBBLE MINE #232: It would appear that we are reaching the “end” of the valley, over which we have been flying. As the valley floor has increased in elevation, the drainages have become streams and small rivers, and even those are fewer and further between. Most of the expanse beneath the wing is tundra mesa. I do note that just ahead there seems to be one more deep cleft in the mountains, pretty much at the point we will roll to the left and start our flight back down the basin. As we draw closer to the gap, my pilot with whom I had flown many hours at this point, suggested I may want to be ready when we arrived and before he would make his turn. He said what lay ahead was “deceptive,” and those words set those hairs on the back of my neck off immediately. When I asked what he meant, he responded that the “pass” never appears to be large until you are in it. When I asked further about his use of the term “pass,” he said in a few days he would take me over into the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, and one of the ways to thread through these mountains and get there was to follow the valley that lay ahead. From my POV at the moment, I am wondering if this is one of those tricky Alaskan flying things that might takes us through some really narrow, and dangerously windy territory, AND surely there is another way to get to Togiak.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Weekly Post: The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get by Robert Glenn Ketchum

by Robert Glenn Ketchum


Growing up my parents had a home near Sun Valley, Idaho. It was there that I learned to ski. Over many years I befriended members of the Decker Flats Climbing and Frisbee Club, with whom I had both life, and art-forming outdoor experiences. I had my camera, and these are my adventures.




Monday, February 20, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #42:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #42:  After our baths, the evening grew cool quickly, so we donned warmer clothes and began fixing dinner. We all agreed that we would go to bed early as Gordon and Chris wanted to start at sunrise and summit the Finger-of-Fate before any afternoon weather that might arise. They also suggested the rest of us leave camp early to avoid the bugs, and work on getting or “granite legs” under us. As we all sat with our food in the waning sunlight, the Finger was framed perfectly from our campsite. My climbing colleagues thought we might follow their general direction once we were up and moving in the morning, and scramble up high without doing anything technical. I was amazed when they assured us there were many other small ponds, streams, and meadows amongst the rocks and ledges that you see here forming the base of the Finger. Notably they also warned us that it was important to choose your route of ascent/decent wisely when moving around so that you did not end up getting ledged-up - confronted with a sheer face around which you might not be able to navigate.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Weekly Post: STONED IMMACULATE: A Trip in the Desert by Robert Glenn Ketchum

STONED IMMACULATE:  A Trip in the Desert
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

As a young photographer, two places I “discovered” by chance greatly influenced both my photographic vision and my personal relationship with the greater planet. A previous blog, LIMEKILN, is the story of the first location. THIS is the second location which I discovered because my car broke down. As Jim Morrison/The Doors wrote, “Out here we is stoned Immaculate!"



Monday, February 20, 2017


Stoned Immaculate, #16:
Immaculate, #16:  As I went further back into the watercourse, the fins and domes continued to rise and narrow around me, in many places towering hundreds of feet overhead. When opportunities allowed, I scrambled up onto ledges or lesser summits to have a look at my surroundings, and I found myself grateful to be spending most of my time down in the shade of the “slot” sections. It was blazing in the direct sun. The midday heat was peaking and on the horizon you could see that it was generating weather that was moving towards us. Even so, I no longer felt uncomfortable in the canyons because I realized I could get above them to higher, drier ground easily and quickly, so the prospect of weather really did not change my plans, and I continued to wander on, eager to see where this waterless stream path was leading me. Over many years and visits, I would learn that most of these summits could be ascended in non-technical ways through some pretty interesting ledge connections, but for the moment my attention was on finding the “the headwaters of the Nile."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, February 17, 2017

Weekly Post: My Life in the Garden of Eden by Robert Glenn Ketchum

My Life in the Garden of Eden
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

As part of paying the bills in my professional career, I photographed a number of significant gardens. I helped create several pretty amazing ones as well. Some of these pictures have been published in various books, but most have never been seen. In this blog, I will show you all my best garden images AND discuss garden design.




Friday, February 17, 2017

My Life in the Garden of Eden, #33:
Garden, #33:  Lotusland also has garden paths that distinguish themselves in other ways. Rather than unfolding with drama, these paths are like design experiments along their entire length. Ganna used a lot of textures to set things off, and this shot is a good example. The main path is simple gravel/sand and is NOT leading you to some dramatic point along the route. This garden “island” is set of by a border of large rocks, and the island, itself, is covered with red volcanic rock. Most startling to me, however, is the odd gardening juxtaposition of dark, shady redwoods, with a cactus garden beneath them, comprised of a selection that only has hoary, white shades. These are very strange bedfellows (one needing a lot of water, the other, not) and there are numerous, similarly eccentric plantings all along this path as it meanders. Ganna had many other paths featuring unique border design ideas, and next week I will show you one featuring recycled glass “slag."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Weekly Post: The Daze of My Life: Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography


Biographies are studies of someone's life based on cumulative research. Good ones may reveal something, but probably barely scratch the surface of what actually went on. The internet is allowing me to do something VERY different. 
~Robert Glenn Ketchum




Friday, February 17, 2017

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #33:
Daze, #33:  Sam Scranton (climbing over the sea wall) and I had been friends since high school, and we spent much time surfing together both on the west coast and in Hawaii. If you have followed this blog, he is shown in post #7 “on-the-nose” with a “cheater-5,” and he reappears in post #12 as the lead guitarist in the band, “Silver Chief, Wild Dog of the North.” He went to UCSB when I went to UCLA, and as many students do, he took a “job” that also provided housing. He became the house manager for Elisabeth Mann Borgese (on right), a most unusual woman, and daughter of the German author, Thomas Mann. Elisabeth was Director of the International Oceans Institute in Malta, and also a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara. She leased a beautiful beachfront home in Montecito where she kept her “pack” of “brilliant” dogs (they could play a piano she had specially built for them), and because she traveled as often as she did, Sam managed the house and cared for the dogs. My new apartment was less than 1-mile away, and although I did not know it at the time, Elisabeth would become one of the GREAT influences of my life, AND would offer me a unique opportunity as a photographer that would change my life! (Note the very ’70’s hair styles - at this point mine is looking much like the wet dogs and is NOT appreciated at Brooks as it is considered “unprofessional.”)
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Weekly Post: SILK ROAD - Embroideries of Robert Glenn Ketchum

Silk Road - Embroideries of Robert Glenn Ketchum


The city of Suzhou, China, produced China's most beautiful silk and silk embroidery practiced by generational families for 3,000 years. My purpose in going to China starting in the mid-1980's was to turn my photographs into textiles, and this is my story. ~Robert Glenn Ketchum




Thursday, February 16, 2017

Silk Road - Embroideries #213
SILK ROAD #213:  I do not know how large you can make this on your viewing screen, but magnify these details as much as possible. In the last post I referred to the work in this panel as having completely over-the-top complexity, and this tight detail shows it at it’s greatest extravagance. The shuttle work here must have been VERY challenging to say the least. What appears to be quite a bit of textural variation is an amazing display of technique. Note the numerous tiny “islands” in the lower left, small dots of color and gold thread “floating” on a swampy pond of brown water. They ARE floating! While you ponder this, I will offer something else to consider as we near the final postings about this piece: EVERY thread line, warp or weft, extends well out beyond the image, and drapes towards the floor during the creation of the weaving. On THIS weaving, there are a lot of them, and they are responsible for maintaining the “tightness” of the mounting so that the weaving does not contract or expand unevenly, pulling it “out-of-square”- or in this case, out-of-rectangle. For final display, these must be cut off, or incorporated in some way.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #Embroidery @WesCFA @RSSDesigns
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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Weekly Post: Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

The Yakutat Forelands are where the Tongass rainforest and the Chugach forest to the north meet. It is also home to many large glaciers, a stunning coastline, the huge Alsek-Tatshenshini river, and Icy Bay, which sits at the foot of Mount St. Elias, the greatest vertical rise from sea level in the world. There is a lot of powerful energy out here.




Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias, #6:
The Yakutat Forelands, #6:  After two days of “blazing” hot weather and a horrible storm of biting insects, I could hear rainfall start on the roof of our cabin about midnight. Rainfall is a “modest” use of the word. Remember, our cabin is in the forelands facing the Gulf of Alaska, and at the foot of Mt. St. Elias, thus we are probably part of one of the greatest weather generating system on earth, next to the Himalayas. When we awoke, it was pouring and the ceiling was low, but having flown with Alaskan pilots, I knew if Mike could get through, he would. Dutifully we packed our gear and waited. Sure enough, about 10am there was a break in the weather and Mike immediately appeared overhead and circled. We loaded as soon as he landed and were off to the coast. Because of the low ceiling, Mike flew just above the beach which gave us a great look at the miles and miles of Pacific shoreline that define the western face of the forelands. Several cabins could be seen along our flight path, but Mike was taking us to one near a river complex because we might SEE MORE BEAR THERE! Once again, Mike also handed out some brief but useful information as we approached our destination. Our cabin is in the treeline where the fog and beach meet (upper, middle). Mike noted it would be easier to get around here because there were fisherman trails (lower, left side, in the scrub) along the river, BUT it would also be “spooky” because much of the vegetation was dense, overhead, and there were a lot of bears. Mike said he preferred being on the beach because "at least that way he could see them coming from a good distance." Lastly, he said he felt we would like the beach because we would never see another so large, wild, and untrammeled, AND if the weather report he heard was right, this storm would break off in one day and it would be glorious out along the coast. With that we arrive, landing on the beach and literally taxiing to the cabin. It is raining hard. It is blowing and cold. There are a lot of bear prints in the sand. Mike says he HOPES he will see us in two days (little Alaskan joke), and then he disappears into the clouds. It IS a big beach!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Orvis Supports No Pebble Mine

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