Wednesday, December 31, 2014

View from the window

Looking out the bedroom window in the morning as the sun rises on the Stansbury Mountains is a great way to wake up to a new day.  Here's what it looked like one morning this week.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Wandering on the dikes

Not a lot happening at the Farmington Bay Wildlife refuge today, a few birders out and the requisite number of duck hunters hoping to catch ducks flying low due to the clouds and incoming storm. Murph and I wandered on top of Goose Egg Hill and then down a dike and out in a field. Northern Harriers were out and busy, the Bald Eagle sat on the craggy tree as you start into the drive, Kestrels abounded including one that gave a young Red-tailed hawk a bit of talking to. Then a Grumpy Old Man sat silently as we left!

The view from Goose Egg Hill looking south.

Designs in ice.

The Kestrel on the upper right chased the Red-tailed Hawk away!

Harriers patrolled the marshes.

Goofy Coots played in the stream.

Grumpy Old Man as we left - he looks like he has a beard!

Stormy outlook at we headed towards Tooele Valley.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A bit of this and that

Great clouds make for great light - a little bit of that as the storm moved on. Lesser Goldfinch in the tree at the Nobles. God rays on the way home.

Clouds over the Oquirrh's looking southwest from Capital hill.

Antelope Island from the Nobles' premier viewing spot.

Beauty in the bush.

God rays at the point of the mountain looking toward the Stansbury's.

Fun with very small aperture.

Sunset show.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A White Christmas

Well, the forecast came true - rain followed by snow and we do have a white Christmas indeed.  Not a lot of snow out here, at least that has stayed - maybe 2 inches on the grass while roads are wet. Mountains are shrouded in clouds and really act as a continuation of the white on the ground. Glad to have a little water.

Diana decorated the tree yesterday and Fuzzy showed his appreciation by bringing in a live mouse this morning and playing with it in the skirt under the tree. Guess he thought that with all the animal toys that were on the skirt - why not a real one?  Leo has been hanging out under the tree when he isn't bored and trolling for food.

A slo-mo day as Diana cooks gumbo for dinner tonight - the aroma is wonderful!

Tired out after all his mousing adventures!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Mountain Light

Sitting out on the front porch while Murphy ate yesterday I had to quickly get my camera as the light on the mountains was changing so beautifully. Of course you can tell we are no longer in Florida!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Bathing Osprey

I was fortunate to be able to watch two Osprey take baths on a tour through the NWR. They would dive in as if after a fish but not quite as violently, then splash around with their wings for a while, then take off and do it again. (Remember - lather, rinse, repeat?)
Still photos don't capture all the activity but here's a couple of these drama queens out getting clean!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice

Raining here in Erda today - just perfect for the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year! Here's my photo for the day -

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sanibel's last gifts

We enjoyed time before our flight by relaxing on one of the islands that the causeway to Sanibel touches. Here were three gifts to go - one was a diving brown pelican and he did find lots of food. The other two - a diving duck and a small lizard came by to say hello.
Everywhere we go there are gifts of nature.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Day 6 in Sanibel

Time today was between the refuge and the beach with a dinner overlooking the sunset at the Mad Hatter Restaurant. The refuge trip was a lot about chasing otters - a whole crew of folks were following them down the trail as they moved from opening to opening. Finally they got tired of us and swam across a large body of water and disappeared!  Imagine 8 to 10 people with long lenses and cameras all pointed at you - enough to make anyone turn around and disappear!

The snowy egrets came back to the beach in force - they co-existed quite peacefully within a few feet of each other for a long time, then something changed and one chased the another a ways down the beach. Pelicans diving - headfirst as you would expect but I had not captured that before. And a final sunset photo.

Off to the colder country this afternoon, getting into SLC late. Be great to reunite with our kids.

Reddish Egret - both of the ones I saw this trip were standing still and never did their hunting dance.

Here's the otters looking at all the photographers lined up on the side of the waterway.


This guy was animated about something!

A turtle decides whether he should move forward or not!

The sunset is always worth watching whether it is outstanding or just normal.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Day 5 photos

Day 6 now - last supper tonight. Waiting on sunrise to see what it will bring this morning.  Here's some shots from Day 5 for your enjoyment.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wishes fulfilled.

I've seen pretty much all that I had on my list except for dolphins and we have one more day for that to happen. Dinner tomorrow night at the Mad Hatter, a wonderful place where you can see the sunset and then eat dinner. Food is superb.
Photos for this post are from Ding Darling - we went out later in the day to see if we could find spoonbills, failed at that but found other wonderful photos.