Port Lockroy

Penguin Post Office, a Nature production about the Gentoo penguins of Port Lockroy, Antarctica, airs on PBS in the USA this evening. I am especially excited to see this documentary (having waited over a year for it) because I was in Port Lockroy, while the crew was filming last Antarctic summer. Check your local listings - it should be fun to see the daily lives of these penguins.

How I wish I could be back on Port Lockroy, and really savor each moment. Because of timing issues with being on a guided tour on Quark Expeditions, I felt pretty rushed to get through the gift shop (yes, I needed to buy souvenirs on the continent), take in the museum, write and mail post cards from...the post office...and savor all of the Gentoo penguins that reside there, all while trying to capture the experience with my lens -- the opportunity to just take my time had to give.

In the spirit of Penguin Post Office airing tonight, here are some photos taken last year from Port Lockroy --  on January 1, 2014, to be exact.

A Gentoo penguin gets its close up with the film crew of Penguin Post Office

Passengers from Quark Expeditions Sea Spirit arrive at Port Lockroy

One of the few buildings at Port Lockroy.

Thanks to Lisa Kim and Joel Bareng for this photo of me.

Thanks to Lisa Kim and Joel Bareng for this photo of me.

I left my my mark on new Year's Day in the Port Lockroy guest book.

Of course I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to even be here. Make sure to check your local listing and set your DVR, and please let me know what you think of the show in the comments.

Elephant Seal Snuggle

Last year, I was able to travel to the Antarctic region - an amazing and unforgettable experience. One moment stood out to me, and luckily I was able to catch all three minutes of it on my GoPro camera.

While in Gold Harbour on South Georgia Island, a juvenile elephant seal lumbered up to me (and others) looking for affection. This was a wonderful moment that I am lucky to have experienced and am honored to share with you. Please enjoy!

This particular day was the day after Christmas, and was an amazing gift.

First Floor Gallery Exhibit

I am so very excited to be part of a new exhibit in the First Floor Gallery at the City of Santa Clarita City Hall. There are many talented artists of a variety  of mediums included in this exhibit, and I am honored to be included among them.

I knew about this exhibit early on, and knew that I would want to submit something special to show a piece of Antarctica. Of course I had a few thousand images to choose from, and it was a tough decision what about the Antarctic I wanted to represent.

I finally settled on the image-- but then needed to find the appropriate medium. I knew that because of the subject matter, I wanted to feeling of "cold" to come through, in a beautiful way. I decided to use Mpix professional services for this image printed on metal, and I was overjoyed with the results.

Kristina next to "Antarctic Ice Sculpture"

Kristina next to "Antarctic Ice Sculpture"

I call this image "Antarctic Ice Sculpture".

If you are in the area, stop by to see this piece, as well as several other artists on exhibit until October 2014.

World Oceans Day

The United Nations has been recognizing June 8th as World Oceans Day, a day to help people "celebrate and honor the ocean, which links us all".

I am pretty lucky to live on the West Coast of the Pacific Ocean. I benefit from the wonderful temperatures that the ocean provides (even though living in "the valley" gets pretty warm). I usually vacation somewhere along the Pacific Ocean- either up the coast, down the coast, or an island in the middle.

I had a chance to cross oceans and make it down into the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic Sound. While I think the ocean in general is amazing and historical (people have been crossing them for centuries and have some terrifying stories), there was something about the Southern Ocean that was especially magical. It's pristine beauty was just stunning-- and to see penguins on ice floes while cruising down the Antarctic sound was just an amazing experience.


Remarkable Mothers of All Species

Mother's Day, a special day of the year to let your mom know how much you appreciate all the sacrifices that she has made for you. Cards and flowers fill every store you walk into around this special day. 

Today I get to celebrate with my mom, who has sacrificed hours upon hours for me -- namely, laying eyeballs on every single picture that I came home with from Buenos Aires, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula. Just when I didn't think she could handle another penguin or seal picture, I would lob a few hundred more at her. Then I got back into her good graces by showing her a few thousand glacier and iceberg photos.

I have been lucky enough to not only have a wonderful mom, but to observe motherhood in nature this past winter in some pretty amazing places.

In South Georgia, I observed a Gentoo penguin mom feeding its young chick. After hiking through fur seals and up into a small hill, I was greeted with the view of Gentoo penguins nesting with their chicks.

Gentoo mother and chick  South Georgia island  December 2013

Gentoo mother and chick

South Georgia island

December 2013

In La Jolla, CA I caught a couple of sweet moments with Harbor seal mothers and their days old pups. Imagine the joy my own mom felt when I let her know that I had even more seal pictures to show her (I think those were tears of joy).

Harbor seal mom and pup bonding  La Jolla, CA  January 2014

Harbor seal mom and pup bonding

La Jolla, CA

January 2014

Harbor seal pup staying close to its mother  La Jolla, CA  January 2014

Harbor seal pup staying close to its mother

La Jolla, CA

January 2014

And of course, here is a picture from a few years ago of my mom and I. Happy Mother's day to my favorite mom! Thank you for all of the support and love throughout the years - I love you! And guess what-- i found more seal pictures!

Mom and I in Washington D.C. in October 2010.

Mom and I in Washington D.C. in October 2010.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there-- of all species!