On our first day in Utah, we spent the afternoon at Antelope Island State Park. Then we headed over to Park City to spend a few days. It’s a quick ride from Salt Lake City and the driving through the mountain was pretty amazing.
We were staying in a hotel in Deer Valley and had to take a tram half way up the mountain from the parking area to our hotel. Great views of the fall leaves and bare ski slopes all around.
The hotel was very quiet and it felt like we had the entire place to ourselves.
The next morning we were wide awake very early so I took a walk around the hotel property and watched the sun come up over the mountain. I stopped to take a few pictures and a magpie landed right next to me.
We had dinner the night before in Park City and wandered up and down the main street, going into shops after eating.
The next afternoon after hiking all morning we walked around some more and had lunch.
From the parking lot at Circle B Bar Reserve. The reserve had only been open a few days since Hurricane Irma had hit when I made the trip over to walk the trails. It was closed for almost 6 weeks after the hurricane due to so much damage on the trails. The most popular trail is still closed since part of the trail was washed out (they don’t want people wading in the swamp with the alligators, go figure!). The one thing I noticed immediately was the lack of leaves on most of the trees around the parking lot. The wind stripped them all away. The above trees were full of green leaves before Irma. It made parts of the park look like the dead of winter even though the weather had still been in the 80’s.
There was still a lot of moss in some of the trees as the sun was coming up over Heron Hideout Trail.
The big dead trees along Marsh Rabbit Run trail were still standing.
Looking across the marsh, I knew it was going to be a perfect morning out.
The trails had downed trees all long the way. It must have taken them a while to move all of those fallen trees off the trail. The moss still covered the ones that were still standing.
People who come here often complain about the amount of people who now come to the park, especially after the video of the alligator crossing the trial. It is a free public park after all. If you can get here early in the morning, it’s still a magical place. I like to walk the trails when it’s very quiet. As the big families are heading in right before lunch, I’m heading home for lunch so it works out.
I knew it was going to be a good morning when I walked out on the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve at 8am and this was the view.
I had not been out here since May so it was great to get out and walk around without it being terribly hot.
The trails were quiet except for the birds making noise. The limpkins and phoebes were loud. It felt like a lot more moss had grown on trees.
A very large bee hive right on the trail.
I only had my 300mm lens with me so all of these were taken with my Iphone. That bee hive was so close that I would have only gotten an inch of it with my longer lens. I’m looking forward to lots of long walks here this winter.
My goal for my recent trip to Circle B was to find the baby sandhill cranes that had eluded us the weekend before. As soon as I walked out on the trail, I saw the family far out in the middle of marsh.
The family was moving quickly towards the tree line away from the trail. Both babies were there but I could only get a few quick pictures of one before they were gone in the tall grass.
Hairy or downy woodpecker?
Palm warblers were everywhere that morning.
Yellowlegs walking by a handful of blue winged teals. I love the purple tint on the teal on the far right. They were keeping an eye on the shorebird.
Typical Florida great blue heron picture. He was sitting high up in a tree on Alligator Alley. He has this determined look on his face.
Early in the morning the sun was coming through the famous dead trees at the beginning of Marsh Rabbit Run trail. These trees usually have black bellied whistling ducks, woodpeckers or egrets sitting on them. This morning they were empty.
Just a few shots of a recent trip out to the reserve to look for the sandhill crane babies. This was taken several weeks ago so they are probably pretty big by now. I was glad I caught a few seconds of them before they headed out.