As we were heading to the airport in Salt Lake City, we noticed there was snow on the top of the mountain. It must have snowed up there the last night we were there. I was snapping these with my phone as Brett was driving.
On the way home I had a window seat. It was cool to fly over the snow. Bye, bye Salt City. I’ll definitely be back again.
I’m not sure if these are horned grebes or western grebes. Can anyone confirm?
Tons of northern shovelers along the causeway into Antelope Island on our second trip.
We saw a lot more bison and longhorns on our second trip that week.
After leaving Bear River Refuge, we decided to stop by Antelope Island again before heading back to Salt Lake City. We drove around to the other side of the island this time and hiked up to Buffalo Point. From this view, you can see around most of the island. We could see a storm heading our way and just made it back to our car before the bottom fell out.
The only new thing I saw at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, just north of Salt Lake City, was a ring necked pheasant (the blurry photo above). We saw several from far away but they were very skittish and would dart under the bushes when they saw us drive nearby.
The scenery was beautiful with the mountains in the background. The refuge is a one-way 12 mile drive where the fresh water Bear River meets the northeast section of the Great Salt Lake. It should have been full of ducks and birds but two things were not in our favor. The long drought and a recent prescribed burn. We saw very few animals. Actually a third thing since this was the only day we say rain, it drizzled the entire time we were there. The sun peaked out quickly right before we were leaving.
The rental jeep was filthy due to the mud on the gravel drive. We stopped at a car wash before heading back to the hotel.
The main attraction in downtown Salt Lake City is the Temple Square, Three city blocks make up this group of buildings owned by the Mormons and is the most popular tourist destination in the area. Brett and I spent some time there before heading to the airport to fly home. The morning we were there, 3 weddings were taking place so there was a lot of foot traffic around the main temple. Visitors cannot go inside but can see a model of it at the visitor’s center.
Reflections on the pool in front of the temple.
There are a few building you can enter including the Tabernacle. While we were not able to catch the choir practicing, we did hear the organ playing.
Across the street from our hotel was this cool old building that looked like a church. It is currently used for city government offices.
The state capitol was close to our hotel so we took a quick spin around the building before heading to the airport. It looked very grand sitting high up at the base of the mountain. We spent the morning walking around Temple Square which is the headquarters of the Mormon church. More on that stop later.
So many cool birds at the Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City. Our hotel was close by so we stopped by for a quick walk around to see the birds before checking into our hotel. We had fun seeing all of the different ducks and birds including the golden eagle in the bottom picture. We don’t have goldens in Florida so it was a chance to see one up close. Many of the birds are permanently injured and live here now including the bald eagle. All of the animals looked well fed, clean and happy.
A wild white pigeon was looking for a handout.
The squirrel was stealing the duck food in the open pond.
We had an hour to kill before we could check into our hotel so we spent it walking around outside at the aviary.
The weather called for rain during our trip to Utah but we got lucky. We only saw rain on one day. The morning we went to Antelope Island, just after getting off the plane, was a perfect day even though it was a little warm and the bugs were more annoying than ones in Florida. The ride on the causeway out to the island was amazing. We pulled over several times.
Far across the lake I could see hundreds of avocets. Avocets are fairly rare in my area and I’ve only seen one. I was bummed they were so far away but the water levels were extremely low due to a long drought in Salt Lake City.
Across the island a coyote was running for the trees. He stopped for a brief second as if to say “Take a picture quick lady cause I’m outta here.”
The roads were lined with yellow flowers.
Stopping along the way to take pictures of the bison.
The horses were on a historic farm on the island. Even they were getting annoyed with the bugs.
We loved Antelope Island. Since it’s so close to Salt Lake City, we stopped by twice. The bugs were vicious and the birding was slow but the landscape was amazing.
We were leaving Florida in the early morning to head to Utah to catch some fall colors. This was my first trip to Utah. The plan was a few days in Salt Lake City and a few days in Park City, hiking and visiting parks.
Our first view of the mountains around Salt Lake City. The views from the plane were pretty amazing. All of these pictures were taken with my phone.
We flew over the Great Salt Lake which was in a record drought.
We touched down on time at 10am, jumped in our rental Jeep and hit the ground running. Five days of nature!
Our first stop in Salt Lake City was Antelope Island State Park. This was taken on the causeway out to the island. There’s a lake out there somewhere. I took a ton of pictures so I hope I don’t lose you with my vacation pictures to come.