Monday, January 29, 2018

Visiting Antelope Island - aka "Where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play"!

Diana, Molly and I visited Antelope Island today, Molly's first trip there. We let her run around a bit, but when the coyotes are bigger than your dog you tend to keep the dog close!

The west side of the island was pretty tame, no burrowing owls or others. The fun began on the east side as we rounded a corner that had a "Watch out for Buffalo" sign. There they were - all the little ones from last year growing up into juveniles - and acting like teenage boys! They were racing down to a water tank, turning around to face off against each other, jumping in the air - what fun!

Just a short ways past the water tank there was a beautiful coyote - he ducked into the shrubs so I pulled over and went really slow to see if I could find him. Then I got out and took some shots of the buffalo and - Bingo! - he appeared about 15 feet away behind the car!  I think he wanted his photo taken :-)....

After some searching for porcupines, which we had seen last winter in Russian Olive trees, and finding none, we returned to find lots of cars stopped and watching the buffalo. A quick stop atop a hill yielded the panorama of the causeway and northern mainland that looks like an island itself. Then on the causeway - another coyote - beautiful and unafraid.


Horned lark - beautiful song.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Refuge Saturday

Things were pretty quiet at the refuge today, a few harriers and kestrels and rough-leggeds floating around. The big star of the day was the kingfisher, who posed for me in three different places!
As I've said before, just being there is the prize and any wildlife is the frosting on the cake!

It looks like the DNR has killed the carp but only the seagulls seem to care anymore.

Sky patrol....

An intimate landscape

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Refuge Tuesday

At first I thought it would be Great Blue Heron Day at the refuge, as I counted 30 GBH's out on the ice. But then the Great White Pelicans appeared and boy, are they gorgeous. Finally the hawks - Rough-legged both of them - check Molly and I out so thoroughly that they could count the hairs on my head!
Kestrels and Harriers and Red-tails were all out hunting and eating! More cloudy at the refuge than in SLC and lots of open water.
Molly did the proverbial "up the creek with no paddles" routine when she ventured out on a log above the stream but had no way to get back except fall in the water and swim out! It was very funny!!

Here's the shots..

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Refuge Sunday

Molly and I visited the refuge - first time in a week - today and found that there was much less snow there than at our place. Bird activity was down, perhaps waiting for the snow to melt a little? Doesn't bother the owls but the hawks need to see their prey.
The sun came out after a while, beautiful day.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix

We had time before our flight yesterday and the temperature was a very comforting 76 with a light breeze. So we chose to spend the time at the Desert Botanical Garden not far from the airport.
Wow - what a place!  From the Chihuly in the desert show at the entrance to the plants and birds and butterflies and flowers and.......
We only got to a little of the garden and it is a must see for us the next time we are in Phoenix.
Here's some of what we saw...

A Queen Butterfly

Octopus cactus

Bird's nest in a cactus

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sedona Day 5

We spent most of the day visiting Jerome, just down the road. It's an old copper mining town similar in some ways to what Park City was some 20 years ago. It's still funky and fun and not chic like PC is.
Art is wonderful there and we managed to purchase a few things. Then lunch at The Grapes and for me, an ice cream cone later on.
Here's a few shots from the day..