Sunday, April 30, 2017

Antelope Island State Park

sunset from the causeway
the view from our camp site

I just loved this view - kind of stark and melancholy with the clouds in the background.

I met my good friend, Trina, at the Bridge Bay campground on Antelope Island Thursday evening.  By the time I arrived, the sun was setting.  It was close to dark when I found our campsite.  We started a fire, had some snacks, and shivered while catching up.  The forecast earlier in the day called for possible snow, sustained winds, and overnight temps in the 20s.  Many layers of clothes and multiple sleeping bags and blankets later, I slept restlessly in my car.  But seeing an old friend from Yellowstone was worth it, without question.  

Morning brought sunshine, singing birds of all kinds, and a much needed hot cup of tea.  We did a beautiful five-mile hike above the edge of the Great Salt Lake, and I spent a good chunk of the day touring the eastern side of the island.  

The bison  were grazing in various spots, a small obstinacy here, a few bulls there.  A handful of pronghorn made an appearance, too.  The bird life, however, was most plentiful - western meadowlarks, magpies, chukars, ravens, American avocets, long-billed curlews, red-winged blackbirds, California gulls, European Starlings and more.  My hope was to spot burrowing owls but no luck there.  

The weather didn't lend the day to lingering - flurries, rain, wind and quite cold temperatures sent me home by mid-afternoon in search of a hot meal, a cuppa, and an early night to bed.  I hope to get back there soon.  It had been almost ten years since my first visit, but I've no plans to wait that long for my next trip.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

"The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also." --Harriet Ann Jacobs

Last weekend Tim and I went to visit the International Peace Gardens in Salt Lake City.  It's a lovely group of small gardens representing various countries from around the world - Finland, Greece, England, Japan, Vietnam, China, France, Sweden, etc.  There are picnic areas and playgrounds adjacent to the Peace Garden where kids were hunting for Easter Eggs and families were having barbecues.  Lots of children were dressed in their colorful Easter best while their parents posed them next to flowers and trees and statuary.  It was a perfect way to spend a sunny spring Saturday morning. 

We then moved on to Liberty Park, also in Salt Lake City.  This park seems quite popular for runners, cyclists, dog walkers, volleyball and football players, Frisbee enthusiasts, kids who like to roll down hills, and picnickers.  It's also enjoyed by those who simply like to stroll while spotting birds, looking at mountain views, perusing whatever might be blooming, and possibly buying prayer flags or a pair of earrings from a local artist.  We visit this park quite often.  It's also home to an aviary and a Museum of Utah Folk Arts.  Indeed there is something for everyone.  

While photographing the tulip in the above photo, I found this painted rock inside the petals.  I chuckled to think that someone took the time to paint a face on a pebble, carry it in their pocket, and then hide it for another to find.  A way to spread joy?  A random acts of happiness?  I'm not sure of their intent, but it made me smile.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


This is the snowy scene we woke up to this morning.  

not even the colorful, spring-themed birdies could keep the snow at bay

Saturday, April 8, 2017


There are several people in my life who abhor stillness.  They're always busy, constantly moving, always having something to do, never one without plans or places to be.  I am very much the opposite.  I relish stillness.  Quiet.  A peaceful afternoon with no agenda and nowhere to be.  

So I'm sitting at my desk, sipping hot tea and listening to the breeze as it makes the newly budding tree outside my window sway.  Keeping an eye out for the killdeer I can hear but not see.  Wondering if the white-faced ibis that made a stopover yesterday in a large muddy puddle is still nearby.  Thinking I may soon take a nap.

A day like today reminds of Sundays when I was growing up.  It was the one day of the week where we often didn't have much on the calendar or to do list.  We would eat a mid-afternoon supper that sometimes had been cooking for hours.  We had plenty of time to be outside, to read, to watch an old movie on TV, to nap, or perhaps go for a leisurely drive in the country.  I loved those calm days that seemed to last longer than any other day of the week.  Today feels like one of those childhood Sundays.