The Images of Ashala

Posts tagged ‘Klamath River whales’

A Message of Love – Mama, the Klamath River Whale

A Message of Love

Poem by Leslie Hancock
(reprinted with her permission)

I heard about you and I really wanted to meet you.
As luck would have it, our paths crossed on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon in August.
I watched you swim for almost an hour and fell in love with you.
I didn’t want to leave but it was time to go on my own journey home.
Now you are gone and I am left with a beautiful memory.
Thanks for sharing yourself and spending time with us far from your home.
You will be missed and never ever forgotten.

Sierra Club today posted an article about my images and Mama, The Klamath River Whale.  See the link below.
To use or purchase  images, please go to web page at: and

A Tribute Through Music and Poem To Mama, The Klamath River Whale. August 22, 2011

Ashala Tylor Photography

MG_7694 A Flute Song for Mama, the Klamath River

This is a beautiful tribute written by my friend, Mihael Kavanaugh (pictured), in a farewell poem he wrote for  Mama.   Mihael played the flute to Mama on two occasions while canoeing on the Klamath River, one of which I was honored to accompany him on the canoe.

Ashala Tylor Photography

_MG_9647 A Flute Song for Mama, The Klamath River Whale

Mihael Kavanaugh

Peaceful Rest

She has laid down to rest
Her journey home now complete
Her story known by many
Her message, a mystery …
A sigh of sadness
For she touched many a heart

Her dance
Was with such grace
The mist of her spout
Still refreshes my face
Such a friend …
One can’t replace
Though in story and song
She’ll echo her grace
Mama whale ~~~
Peace be with you …
As you go
From this worldly place

©2011 Mihael Kavanaugh

_MG_9483 Yurok Indian Tribe Members Drumming and Singing for Mama

Ashala Tylor Photography

_MG_9490 Yurok Indian Tribe Members Drumming and Singing to Mama






Ashala Tylor Photography

MG_8404c Stand Up Paddler Bids Farewell to Mama, The Klamath River Whale

Ashala Tylor Photography

_MG_0163A A Ukelele Song for Mama, The Klamath River Whale

Seth Altamus, a stand-up paddler, had hopes Mama would follow him out to the ocean.  She followed him to the Klamath River RV Park, a short way from the bridge, but then she turned and swam back to her spot by the bridge and continued her circles.    Here Seth is waving a bittersweet farewell to Mama when he realized she did not want to leave.   In the other image, he was serenading her with his ukelele from his paddle board.

All of the above images were what I would term a “holistic” approach in an attempt to soothe Mama or an attempt to convince her to head back to the ocean.  Music has the capability to touch all beings, but Mama had her own path to follow, a reason for which we do not know, and she seemed content to stay near the bridge and make her continual circles mesmerizing all who watched this beautiful creature.

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Many more images can be seen at and

PRAY FOR MAMA, THE KLAMATH RIVER WHALE. Day 53 in Klamath River, 08-15-11

Please send love and light or prayers, or just plain good energy, to our beautiful whale, Mama.  Tonight she floated down the river towards the ocean and is now caught on a sand bar and low tide.  This occurred about 6:30 by my best guess.  I just got back and have lost track of time.  Please send good energy and prayers that this wonderful being will either pass on easily or somehow make it out to the ocean.  She has graced our river with nothing short of love and dignity and brought thousands of people together to share in her magnificence.

Ashala Tylor Photography

6196 - Prayer for Mama, the Klamath River Whale

Mama, the Klamath River Whale, Follow-up on Pectoral Fin

Many more images of these beautiful mammals can be seen at
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I just wanted to clear up any misconception that yesterday in my blog I was equating any boat incident with a pectoral fin injury.  According to Dawn Goley, Professor of zoology at Humboldt State University, they have been monitoring the pectoral fin since the whales arrived and what I saw yesterday was not something new.  I was told there was a television report saying that her fin injury was from a boat accident – NOT SO.   The fin has been watched and monitored from the time she arrived to the river.

Today Dawn Goley and her students were monitoring her by boat so they could get a closer look at her and take algae samples.

Ashala Tylor Photography

Mama, The Klamath River Whale

KRCR TV report on Klamath Whales

If you click on the paddle boarder you can see a slide show of the whales..  Courtesy of … me of course!

Another Day In The Life of the Stranded Klamath River Whale

Ashala Tylor Images

Flute Player Serenading Klamath River Gray Whale

I found a link on You Tube that shows a flute player playing to a Humpback Whale.  Worth watching.

Today seemed rather gray and uneventful.  People were here from Davis University to take breath samples to study.  Crowds of people still flooded the Klamath River Bridge while the Highway Patrol had their hands full keeping the traffic moving and people not being flattened.

One person on a boat was spotted dumping salt into the water attempting to help the stranded gray whale feel more at home in a river.

Ashala Tylor Images

Klamath River Whale No Phone Zone

Someone put up signs on the bridge stating:  “Cell Phones Can’t Be Good for the Whale.  Please Consider Turning Yours Off.”

Ashala Tylor Images

Prototype to Capture Whale Breath

Guys from the University of Davis redesigning a whale breath capture device.

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Klamath River Whale Harassment – Daily Whale Update

Ashala Tylor Images

Klamath River Whale Harassment

Yesterday I went over to see how the Klamath River whale was doing.  Everything was as it had been on every other day – throngs of people lining the bridge to see the once-in-a-lifetime view of a whale in a river.  The gentle giant was doing her usual swim and spout around and under the bridge.   I noticed a young man in an inner tube floating near her.  From a photographer’s eye, I thought that would be a great picture just from the size disparity.   I took a few images, but then what I saw next was very upsetting.  The above boat came and picked up the inner tube floater and proceeded to race up to and around the whale getting dangerously close to her.  The crowd on the bridge yelled down at them to stop and to leave the whale alone.  They continued on with their harassment of her and then when they were through they raced off past the crowd, under the bridge and flipped everyone off.

The Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits humans from harassing whales and other marine mammals.  100 yard distance is being blatantly ignored.

I have been documenting the whales journey since mom and her calf arrived over a month ago.  Many images of these beautiful mammals can be seen at  email:            (TO VIEW IMAGES FULL SIZE, CLICK ON THE IMAGE)

Ashala Tylor Images

Ashala Tylor Images

After Harassing the Whale They Sped Off

Ashala Tylor Images
Ashala Tylor Images

Klamath River Whale Harassment

Klamath River Whales – Bye, Bye, Baby.

Ashala Tylor Images

As boats tried to ‘herd’ the Klamath river mother whale back out to the ocean all attempts were unsuccessful.    They banged on pipes with hammers, sprayed her with a high-powered water hose, splashed the water with paddles – all to no avail.   She just wanted to swim under the bridge with no intention of heading for the open sea.  Her calf- 6 or 7 months old – swam out to sea early Saturday evening leaving his mom to entertain the throngs of people overhead on the Klamath Bridge.

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Klamath River Whales

Check out this article on the whales stranded in the Klamath River –

I have the fortunate opportunity to be staying the summer at the Klamath River RV Park and have documented the whales Klamath River journey through photography since they arrived one month ago.   It has been an amazing experience watching these beautiful mammals.

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