Sailing Start from Kent Miller on Vimeo.

The start of a Wednesday evening race aboard Betsea in heavy traffic on the Saginaw Bay in Bay City, Michigan on August 10, 2011. Betsea is a Catalina 30 and was captained by Kent Miller and crewed by Brian Donaldson, Bill Kaiser, Mark Neitzke and Tayler Donaldson.

That familiar and awful sound of scampering…

A raccoon has been freaking out our cat, Kabuki, for over five months. One morning last fall, I noticed the cat-food bowl was empty and his water bowl was dirty. For the longest time, we thought it must be another cat coming in to steal Kabuki’s food through his cat door to the garage.

Then one night as I opened the door to the garage, I heard a sound on the other side of our parked cars. I immediately covered up the cat door. I was determined to catch the scoundrel.  To my dismay, as I approached, I saw a raccoon run toward the cat door. Amazingly the raccoon broke through my barricade and out he went.

I bought and set a live trap putting cat food inside thinking the crook would be in the bag the next morning. No dice. Every morning the trap stood empty. Empty as in no raccoon and empty as in no cat-food bait either. Smart swindler.

Days later we had no choice but to bring Kabuki into the breezeway at night. We had a respite for a couple of months but the 50 degree weather a week ago brought the raccoon out of hibernation. He’s back…

But I was ready. I heard him in the garage just like before. I quickly put the trap up in front of the cat door. I scared him back to the other side. Suddenly I heard the sound of the cat door open and close. No! I thought. I rushed to the other side and darted around the car. To my surprise I saw a happy sight. The rascal was in the live trap poking at the cat door through the cage.

I gladly fed him as he hissed at me. I spoke softly and gently to the raccoon. This wasn’t a good situation for either of us. I took my friend for a 30 mile drive and released him in a parking lot near the woods.

My buddy seemed to want to give me a high five, however, I don’t think that’s what he had in mind…

Sweet release!

Jamie Miller, 7, peers out his back door at the blowing and drifting snow in his backyard in Bay City, Mich. February 2, 2011. The blizzard conditions shut down most non-essential schools, government and businesses in Bay City. Most of Michigan, including Bay County, has been hit hard by the blizzard that is sweeping across the Midwest. Officials report that the area has not seen this strong of a blizzard in 15 years. Snow thunder was heard early this morning.

I entered these photos in the Best of Photojournalism international contest sponsored by the National Press Photographers Association. All photos copyright Kent Miller, 2010.

Cute Cub: A grizzly bear cub pauses while foraging for berries at Denali National Park and Preserve.

Twin Lake Reflection: The dead calm water of Upper Twin Lake in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska provides a mirror image of the adjoining mountains.

Scenic Stroke: Sea Kayaking is a serene way to take in the view of the area mountains at Upper Twin Lake in Lake Clark National Park in Alaska. To experience the beauty of the area, travellers must take a float plane from Anchorage which is over 100 miles away.

Great Gorge: Ruth Glacier is a glacier in Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Its upper reaches are almost three vertical miles (4.8 km) below the summit of Mount McKinley. The glacier’s “Great Gorge” is one mile wide, and drops almost 2,000 feet over ten miles, with crevasses along the surface. Above the surface on both sides are 5,000-foot  granite cliffs. From the top of the cliffs to the bottom of the glacier is a height exceeding that of the Grand Canyon. Ruth Glacier moves at a rate of 3.3 feet a day.

Mt.McKinley Ascent: Climbers begin their long journey up Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve near base camp a Kahiltna Galcier at 4,200 feet. Climbers must fly to base camp to begin their journey. The climb takes an average of 17 days. In 2010, 670 climbers attempted the climb. There were 2 fatalities and 38 rescue missions by the National Park Service.  Weather conditions near the top of the 20,000 plus foot peak prevent about half of the climbers from making it to the summit.

Threading the Ice: A visitor to Kenai Fjords National Park admires the fallout from the calving of Bear Glacier.

Glacier Grandeur: Sea kayakers enjoy an up close view of Aialik Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska. The glacier is accessible by boat and is about 40 miles from Seward, Alaska.

Stretch: Dall sheep rams rest stretch atop a mountain in Denali National Park and Preserve. The Alaska Mountain Range looms in the background.

Beachline Beast: A strange animal face appears on the coastline of Lake Clark in Lake Clark National Park in Alaska. The park is one of the most remote in the country because it is only accessible by small plane.

Serenity: Upper Twin Lake in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is scenic and undisturbed. The park is only accessible via float plane. Most visitors fly from Anchorage which is over 100 miles away.

Minnow Delight: A magpie pauses with a minnow while feeding along Brooks River in Katmai National Park.

Her Main Squeeze: Pamela Westbrook performs with her python outside Webster Hall in New York City entertaining the waiting crowd before the Andrew WK show titled, “The Most Interesting Show in the World.”

Alice in Manhattan: The White Rabbit, right and the Mad Hatter spontaneously pose on the subway in Manhattan, New York on the eve of Halloween.

Reflection: K. Shubeck arrives on land at Upper Twin Lake in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. K. spends has spent the last 11 summers at Spike’s cabin as a volunteer national park ranger for the national park service. K. and her husband, Monroe, take care of three remote cabins on the lake and welcome visitors. The highlight of the area is Dick Proenneke’s cabin which was made famous by his books and films. Proenneke spent 30 years by himself before he became ill in 1999. Upper Twin Lake is so remote that the only way to reach it is by float plane.

Scanning for Schools: A fisherman looks for schools of fish as he directs his partner before dropping their net in Charlotte Amalie Harbor in St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands.

Peering at the Package: A nude twelve-foot-tall statue attracts the attention of two visitors to the Time Warner Center Mall in Manhattan, New York.  Fernando Botero’s “Adam” has provided a titillating temptation to passers-by. There is so much fondling going on that Adam’s package has turned golden, making it stand out against the darker brown of the rest of the statue.

Joyful Jump: Betsy Miller, 10, jumps from a deck chair aboard Celebrities Equinox during a trip to the Caribbean. At right is her brother Jamie, 7.

Remote Reunion: K. Shubeck embraces her daughter at Upper Twin Lake in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. K. spends has spent the last 11 summers at Spike’s cabin as a volunteer for the national park service. K. had not seen her daughter in two months. K. and her husband, Monroe, take care of three remote cabins on the lake and welcome visitors. The highlight of the area is Dick Proenneke’s cabin which was made famous by his books and films. Proenneke spent 30 years by himself before he became ill in 1999. Upper Twin Lake is so remote that the only way to reach it is by float plane.

Violinist in Red: Irene Fong of New York City, plays the violin in the stairway of Webster Hall in New York City. Fong, a struggling musician, worked the Andrew WK gig titled, “The Most Interesting Show in the World.”

The Ice Sisters: Hannah and Elsa, “The Ice Sisters,”  awe the crowd with their aerial contortionism at Webster Hall in New York City during the Andrew WK show titled, “The Most Interesting Show in the World.” The free event alternatively featured circus acts and rock songs performed by Andrew WK.

K. Shubeck volunteers as a national park ranger at Upper Twin Lake in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. K.  has spent the last 11 summers at Spike’s cabin anong with her husband Monroe.  The two take care of three remote cabins on the lake and welcome visitors. The highlight of the area is Dick Proenneke’s cabin which was made famous by his books and films. Proenneke spent 30 years by himself before he became ill in 1999. Upper Twin Lake is so remote that the only way to reach it is by float plane.