Oct 31, 2014

Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall

I just wrapped up three of the most intense months ever. But, dang, I still squeezed in some good times, like this Pacific Northwest beach bonfire at Kalaloch Lodge. Can't wait to see what's next!

Scuba With Salmon: Little Lives, Big Lessons

BBC Travel sent me and photographer Josh Humbert scuba-diving with the world's most concentrated sockeye-salmon run.
Annoyed by the party crasher at their mating game, at least 100 salmon shot off into the jade water. But one bold sockeye swam within arm’s reach, displaying the hooked nose and needle-sharp teeth that spawning males develop to fight over the ladies. He stretched only 75cm long, but I gave way so I wouldn’t add any stress to his last days. Little Big Man here had survived orcas, bears and eagles along his journey. He deserved to lay his bones down in the place of his birth.
Check out the full story and slideshow on BBC.com...

Oct 29, 2014

Tabby And Tortie Take A Bite Out Of Crime

The Badger (l) and Jake the Tabby. Images copyright www.amandacastleman.com.

Happy National Cat Day from Jake and The Badger, who – in a just world – would have their own 70s-style buddy-cop sitcom.

Oct 22, 2014

My Pig-Mania Coverage For Bon Appetit Magazine

Pigs always make customs officer Chris R. Richards’s blood run cold.

He can confiscate bush meat, $5,000 bird nests—even grave dirt—without much drama. But anything involving pork tends to get heated…and to skid quickly toward combustion.

“Take away their ham, and people shout, bang the table, and throw things,” says Richards, a supervisory agriculture specialist at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Seattle field office, covering people coming into the country from Washington’s coast to the northeastern tip of Minnesota. “One Spanish lady put a hex on me that my stomach would rot out.”

He shrugs and pats his uniform’s shirtfront. “No ulcers so far.”

Read more on Bon Appetit's website!

Oct 19, 2014

Fright Night At The Old Asylum In Kamloops

British Columbia, Canada--I took a late-night tunnel tour of a former sanitarium and mental asylum with a brood of teens and 20-somethings. They couldn't even stop squealing and clutching one another, as things went bump in the night. Classic October!

Set dressing on Tranquille Farm. Image copyright www.amandacastleman.com

Oct 17, 2014

Plunging Into A Canadian Salmon Stream

I'm back in British Columbia to dive the world's most concentrated run of sockeye salmon – on assignment for BBC Travel with underwater photographer Josh Humbert. Not a bad day at work at all...

A painted turtle and scenes from British Columbia's Lake Region, the Shuswap. Images copyright www.amandacastleman.com.

Oct 9, 2014

Autumn Houseboating On Shuswap Lake, BC

Pushing the houseboat season? Nah! Nothing a fire can't fix...

Houseboaters crowd around a firepit on the shores of Shuswap Lake, BC. Image copyright www.amandacastleman.com

Sep 25, 2014

Love Hurts (Fatally) For Two Wyoming Moose

Yesterday this amorous bull chased his ladyfriend through Jackson Hole's Gros Venture campground again. Mostly blinded by an eye infection, she stumbled over a picnic table and broke her leg on a fire ring, leading rangers to euthanize her.

Some reports have blamed wildlife watchers and photographers. But having witnessed a similar love romp ten days ago, I agree with Jackson Hole Wildlife Safari's owner Jason Williams. He wrote: "The big factors here are the rut, her disability and man-made obstacles. Though a tragic accident, I don’t see much that could have been avoided, except for shutting down the campsite and removing grates and tables."

Check out his full account, images and videos here.