Archive for September, 2019

Indian Mesa from afar

I was hoping for a second visit to the mesa when I launched out on the venture in May of this year, but there was absolutely no way I was going to make it from this approach.  My first visit was in November of 2014 and you can see the images by clicking here.  The locations presented in images 4-8 of that earlier post are all under water in this photograph.

We had an unusual amount of rain through the past Winter and Spring, which allowed Lake Pleasant to become fuller than it normally has been…or maybe it could have been as full in the past, but the water management people allowed more of it to flow past the dam…or there’s some better explanation of which I’m not aware.

At any rate, I didn’t make it to the mesa, but I did spend a nice hour or so out in the desert wilderness watching egrets, herons, cormorants, Canada geese, and other water fowl, hunting, fishing, and sailing about in the water on an overcast Arizona morning.

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Antelope Island at Sunrise – Part Second

…continued.

There was simply too much to see, too many sights that demanded attention, contemplation, worship…and photographs.

My kids who still live in Salt Lake City had told me about the record snowfall for the past winter and spring; I had also read about it on one of the social media sites from the area that I follow.

I guess I expected that some of the earlier season’s snowmelt would have made it to The Great Salt Lake and would have raised the water level a bit…would have raised it “any” amount, actually.

Western Spotted Orb Weaver spider on Antelope Island

There was water, of course, mostly north of the causeway from my vantage point, enough to provide those morning reflections that are inspiring in and of themselves…

…and enough, too, to afford the many waterfowl a place to forage, play, rest, and provide still other morning reflections that cause occasional human observers to stop along their various ways to attend, contemplate, worship…and photograph.

Also striking were the morning’s colors…the peachy orangish pink of the waking sky, shining of themselves above, and in the myriad reflections below…

…the black, dark purple, blue and gray of the lake’s living water…

…and the sage, green, rust, and straw colors of the waterside vegetation.

Cast all of those, too, among the brightening gold and greens of the covered hillsides and coves…

…the yellow faces and bonnets of the solitary individuals and masses of sunflowers…

…and finally the rich blacks and browns of the wandering bison.

It was a feast for my desert dwelling eyes.


a tease of teasels

I first saw them on a friend’s blog post, or maybe even their avatar, and thought they were fascinating…

…and then I happened to see them along the road when traveling north from my then home in Salt Lake City…

…and as seems to be a habit (?) of mine, I drove past them numerous times without ever stopping to make images of them mine for further consideration, etc.,…

…but I did finally stop on my most recent trip back south from Idaho, traveling through Davis County on the east side of the Great Salt Lake…

…and found them where they have been described to be…“along roadways and waterways, and in meadows, grasslands, forest openings, and disturbed sites.” 

I happen to think they are fascinating in structure and appearance, although I have never seen them in full bloom, so I am likely missing a further treasure.

The above link is for an exotic species website, and this link is for an invasive plant site.

And if that’s not enough, here’s one from Wikipedia…not exactly a scholarly source, but a fair-enough place for a first glance at things.

That’s all I’ve got with this one…found along the I-15 highway in northern Utah…a tease of teasels….


Antelope Island at Sunrise – Part First

It has been a favorite pastime of mine for the past nine or so years to hike and to explore the mountains and canyons or desert plains and hills in my surround…

…or in the case of the last five years, in addition to the deserts, etc., the forests, mountains, and mesas that are within a few hours’ drive of where I live.

When I have had good or better fortune, I have been able to go back to those preferred mountains and islands of my not so distant past…

…those beloved places up north, and hike and explore and simply exist again in the environment or locale that remains in my core as “home.”

At some point in the early part of those few years that I lived up north, it became preferable to start the specific adventure, to be at the designated trailhead, before sunrise.

There were fewer cars in the parking lots, fewer pairs of boots on the trails heading into the mountains…

…and a greater chance of capturing the essence of an undisturbed morning’s peace when starting at such an hour.

In application to my southern journeys, it became prudent to start this early, so as to avoid the greater heat of the day by completing the trek and returning to my truck before noon.

That said, I had determined to arrive at the trailhead to Frary Peak on Antelope Island before the sun rose and started warming the northern Utah August day.

Well…I made it to the Antelope Island State Park entrance before sunrise…

…but was then waylaid by the views north and south and east and west while driving on the causeway to the island, so I didn’t make it to the trailhead until nearly an hour after sunrise.

To be…