Antelope Island, a Pleasant Surprise
I am really enjoying this short stay here, more than I anticipated. Have seen a couple of very nice sunrises and sunsets, and more wildlife than I expected.
As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.
I drove up to Buffalo Point while it was still dark this morning and witnessed the sun coming up over the mountains to the east. I was the only one there and it just reinforced how peaceful and serene a location this is, just minutes from the hustle and bustle, read congestion, of the Salt Lake City megalopolis. Surely the residents of this area must treasure this convenient retreat, although fortunately for me, they aren’t treasuring it this week. However, I still will be moving on tomorrow as I really don’t enjoy playing the musical chairs routine with campsites reserved on #$%^&# Reserve America. Though the campground only has 5 sites occupied today, people do move in for the weekend and I would have to move to stay in the campground. That’s the thing with #$%^&# Reserve America, you can only have 3 or 4 people in a 100 site campground and STILL have to move every other night. I don’t know why states use them.
After the sun had risen enough to drown out all the bright colors, I headed down the hill and caught a glimpse of some movement in the sagebrush. Whow! Impressive mule deer bucks were retreating to the dense sagebrush to bed down for the day after their early morning browsing. Guess where I will be tomorrow morning instead of shooting sunrise shots?
Ran into the Island’s namesake early this morning as he was making his way down towards a spring.
Also stumbled onto this chukar, an introduced species that has thrived in this type of habitat. Antelope Island has the highest density of chukars in the state. This is the first time I have been able to get a shot of one ( though not a terribly good one, once more, I need that second camera body, I keep missing shots ) and I didn’t realize how colorful they were.
Ran into, almost ran over, this guy on the road up to the very nice visitor’s center here on the island. The center is one of the better, more informative ones I have walked through.
And of course I have to include one more bison shot, though it really was the contrast of the threatening sky and the sun washed hill that caught my eye.
Since it was still early and there were only a couple of other people around, I decided to take a stroll around the Fielding Garr Ranch buildings. I honestly have to admit that I am not much of a history buff, at least as it pertains to recreated historical buildings and such, but these original structures and their contents were quite interesting. I particularly liked the extensive collection of hand tools in the barn workshops.
But when I walked around the back side of the long, rundown, equipment barn ( if you want to call it that ), I was really intrigued by the original stone work. I doubt very much that someone in the last century, when the stones were placed, was trying to impress anyone with the colorful variety of rocks used. I imagine they were were just picked from the face of the hills and outcroppings in the pastures here. But what variety.
I read somewhere in the literature on the island that the island contains some of the oldest and newest rock on the continent. I would have to also say it holds some of the most colorful and interesting rocks I have seen in one place.
I have been playing around with Scribble Maps to try and help myself remember where I have been, and what I have seen along the way. I include a link to my map ( work still in progress ) to see if I can get any input from any of you if including this in the blog is of any interest to people.
The map has icons that describe campgrounds of various places where I may have gotten some interesting shots. The blue lines are roads traveled by the motorhome and the red are roads explored in the Prius. Road conditions are noted where appropriate, i.e.. steep grades, high clearance vehicles only, etc.
Click on the map to see the full version. I’d appreciate any feedback.
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