Another stop at Antelope Island.

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.

SkyWatch Friday

Rainy morning at Bear River Refuge.

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.

A big statue of an avocet in the nature center.

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Sightseeing in Salt Lake City.

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.

SkyWatch Friday

Hiking Deer Valley

The sun was just about to come over the mountain early in the morning. It was very quiet and was weird to see those ski lifts just sitting there.

Hiking the trail behind our hotel in Deer Valley.

I ran into a few birds along the trail.  A junco, a few robins and a mountain chickadee. The best was the little chipmunk who was very skittish.

The view from the top of the hill behind our hotel. I zigzagged along the trail on the side of the mountain and ended up at the top of the ski slope.

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A trail, a river and some red bugs

Across the street from Lisa Falls is one of the entrances to the Little Cottonwood Canyon Trail. We only did a short hike since it was getting close to lunch and we were already hungry.

We came across a river with a little bit of water flowing so we followed it for a while.

We saw these red bugs all along the trail but I couldn’t find any info on them. Does anyone know what they are? They were everywhere.

More from our hike in Little Cottonwood Canyon in October.

SkyWatch Friday

Another waterfall with little water

During our vacation in Utah, we hiked up Lisa Falls in Cottonwood Canyon knowing that there would be very little water coming down due to the drought. It was a quick hike up and the view was amazing so even though we only saw a trickle of water, it was worth the walk.

Beautiful views along the hike. After the falls, we crossed the street and  hiked the Little Cottonwood Canyon trail along the river. More on that later.

Heading back to town after a day of hiking,

Linking to Wednesday Around The World.

A few things in downtown Salt Lake City.

Shots from our hotel in downtown Salt Lake City.

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.

A rainbow of leaves

I found all of the colors of the rainbow while hiking the area behind our hotel in Park City. The trails that zigzag across from one ski slope to another were full of leaves changing colors. Yellow, red and orange were the usual colors to see in fall but many of the bushes were changing to pink. It was amazing to see so many different colors in one place.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.

Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City

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.

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