As some of you might recall, I recently returned to Salt Lake City for my first visit since leaving there almost three years ago. You might also recall that when I did live there, I frequented Liberty Park numerous times…it was a favorite destination for my lunch-time walks and Saturday morning drive-abouts.
Liberty Park was such a favorite place of mine that I even dedicated a separate “Category” to it because I made so many photographs there that I later featured here on the blog.
After having lived in the desert for over 20 years, before moving to Salt Lake City, it was nearly mind-bogglingly amazing (to me) to see trees of such stature…of such age…and in the Spring and Summer, so marvelously adorned with millions (?) of leaves that provided such excellent shade.
My return visit to the park found me staring skyward again, very likely looking like a tourist…again…amazed…and in awe….
I believe that I have shared this link in at least one other post on Liberty Park, but here it is again for those of you who might be interested in the park and its amenities…click here….
And if you’re interested in the trees themselves, you can click here to read a very small narrative about their presence in the park.
And lastly, you can click here to be taken to a continuous scroll of all of the posts that I have shared on Liberty Park, as found by clicking on the “Liberty Park” category at the far bottom right corner of this page. Coincidentally, the first post is from six years ago next week…April 9, 2011…..
Thanks for visiting….
Liberty Park is located in one of the downtown neighborhoods of Salt Lake City, Utah. If you’ve been visiting this blog for any length of time, you will have seen various photos of geese and gulls and ducks and squirrels and huge Cottonwood trees and fallen leaves and…other sundry things.
The park was established in 1883 and is on an 80-acre plot of land that used to be owned by Brigham Young. It has a lake with two islands, seasonal amusement rides, tennis and basketball courts, a greenhouse, horse-shoe pits, and various picnic/barbecue areas with nearby playground equipment for the little ones. Liberty Park is also home to the historic Isaac Chase Mill, the Tracy Aviary, and the Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts. If you’d like to read more about Liberty Park, please click on the highlighted name to follow a link to Wikipedia’s article.
My little one has wanted to ride the boats on Liberty Park’s pond for quite some time now. He has visited the park multiple times over our nearly two years here in Salt Lake City, but those occasions were often on busy and crowded Saturday mornings or during seasons when the boats were not available. I suppose I could say that my little one took to the canoe like ducks/geese take to water…. It was his first time in a canoe and he conducted himself like an old pro….
The Canada Geese (Canadian Geese?) are year-round visitors/residents of Liberty Park. I have seen and heard them in every month of the year and have watched as their little ones follow them about the pond in Spring and early Summer. I’ve never seen their nests out in the more public areas of the park, so I would guess that they are on this sunflower-adorned island. The only way to reach this island is by boat, but I don’t think it’s an encouraged activity…and since people rent the boats for only 20 minutes per ride, I don’t know that too many of them would want to park the boats just to explore the little island.
The island looks like a perfect nesting ground for the geese and ducks, and maybe even the gulls that frequent the pond.
There was one canoe and three paddle-boats available…my little one went straight to the canoe. After we grabbed a bite to eat at the concession stand, we went back out on a paddle-boat like the one in the below photo. It might seem that there was a bit of traffic on the lake, but it wasn’t really too bad. We had actually steered closer to the geese so I could attempt to get some close-up shots of them.
I’m not sure what type of bird/duck this one is…probably not an Egret…but it was the first time I have seen such a creature at the park. After I got home and was processing the photographs, I couldn’t help but think that it looked like this guy was leading the other birds in song…. Ok…maybe not….
This is the bridge to the other island in Liberty Park’s pond. The island has a large gazebo, planters/flower-beds, huge Cottonwood trees, and nice park benches.
When we had finished our paddle-boat ride (a bit after this last photo) and had walked less than 20 yards away from the dock, my little one asked when we would be able to come back and ride the boats again. It was nice that he had such a good time. The stuff of memories….
I still think it’s odd to have Sea Gulls flying about…in the middle of the mountain-west…but I guess they enjoy living in proximity to The Great Salt Lake…. They also seem to enjoy hanging-out at the pond in Liberty Park. My friend Gunta has an affinity for Sea Gulls and frequently shares photographs of them in her blog “Movin’ On.” If you haven’t yet walked the sandy beaches of Gunta’s Oregon coastline, I heartily recommend a visit…beautiful sea-scapes, sea-lions, seals, and many other Pacific Northwest wonders…including Sea Gulls….
I don’t know how this particular specimen compares, or is related to the gulls that Gunta finds out on her pacific coast, but I think he’s kind of cute…I wonder if she’ll recognize him….
Hmm…I’m not aware of any legends or folk-lore from the early pioneers that involve crops being saved by squirrels or anything like that…no Miracle of the Squirrels…but I was lacking a particularly creative title for these photos, so I borrowed the earlier one from the sea-gulls…I don’t think they’ll mind…and I hope you won’t either.
I rounded a corner in Liberty Park on my lunch-time walk yesterday and heard this guy scolding someone, or otherwise chatting up a storm. As I stood there and snapped a dozen or so photos, it became clear that it was scolding…and it was directed at me. You can tell through the photos that the squirrel’s curiosity was piqued…and then his patience began to wane…resulting in the last photo where he was looking downright threateningly at me…insisting in his squirrel fashion that I desist with the photo-taking and continue onward with my walk…. “You only have so much time for your walk, right? So get on with it…!”
Winter doesn’t seem to have been too harsh for this little guy….
“Aren’t you done yet? You said ‘just one more’ before you took the last one?”
“Ok, that was fun…now go away!”
When I was settling into my new digs here in Salt Lake City, walking to and from Liberty Park during my lunch-hour, driving around the city, and hiking on the weekends, it struck me as strange that there would be sea-gulls as part of the natural fauna for this mountain area…even with the Great Salt Lake being present. My life experience, to date, involved gulls only existing or living near the oceans. While it is no longer unusual, to me, to see them flying about, even with snow blanketing everything during its season, it still seems a bit strange….
In an effort toward learning more about my new home-town, I read a couple of books on the history of the Salt Lake area and the Mormon pioneers. One of the books, The Great Salt Lake, by Dale L. Morgan, detailed the “miracle of the gulls,” and the almost revered place the birds hold with the faithful of the Mormon Church. Long-story-short is that the Mormon settlers’ crops were being destroyed by crickets, the gulls suddenly appeared one morning and dropped out of the heavens by the tens and hundreds and thousands and consumed the crickets, the crops recovered, and the people survived…and the Mormons blessed and praised their god for his providence in rescuing them from crop-failure and certain starvation. There is a monument memorializing this gull-salvation in the form of a giant and open-winged gull perched on an arch at State Street and South Temple in downtown Salt Lake City…only a couple blocks from the temple. Morgan also tells us in his book that, while there is a local taboo against causing any harm to befall the birds, it is also against the law.