Three Days on Antelope Island
At Gros Ventre Campground in the Tetons I had moose wandering through the campsite and here at Antelope Island there are bison passing through. Pays to check wildlife conditions before stepping out the door these days … and I am certainly not complaining about that!
This is a panoramic view of the northwest side of the island taken from above the Bridger Campground where I am camped.
The Bridger Campground where I am staying is one of the nicer primitive state park campgrounds I have ever run into. No hookups, but with water and a dump station just a little way from the campground. Mostly nice level pull through sites with nice separation and a great view out over the Great Salt Lake. A large concrete pad with picnic table, fire ring, and shade cabana come with every site. Good Verizon signal and no trees to interfere with satellite reception. Unfortunately, all but two sites are reservable, so weekend stays are all but out of the question, unless you plan a year in advance.
Got a kick out of this lone flower proudly laying claim to the top of of this rock.
Sitting low in the Prius, these male bison can seem more than a little intimidating.
No arguing with these guys over right-of-way on the roads throughout the park.
Last time I was here all the bison were down on the south end of the island, this time around they all, as in several hundred, seem to be up on the north end, where the campgrounds are located. A fire burned large portions of the southern end of the island and perhaps that is why they are all up here this year. A small group of seven or eight bulls were hanging around, and in, the campground the first two nights I was here, providing many opportunities for closeup shots. But it is a little unnerving to step out your door and have a bison’s butt just fifteen feet away, leaning against your shade cabana’s roof support post.
I could actually hear this guy groaning as he scratched an itch, must have just hit the spot for him.
This guy was rubbing his side against the picnic table shelter’s supporting post, and the whole structure was shaking.
The magpies must be harvesting insects, perhaps ticks, from the bison. They must dig a little deep and cause some pain as I saw the bison trying to shake them off each time they would land.
Pronghorns and mule deer also roam the island.
This small group of mulie bucks were grazing a distant hillside at dusk one evening, but I just couldn’t get any closer to get any good shots. Pretty impressive rack on the one closest.
There are thousands of ducks and coots on the lake feeding on brine shrimp and algae, and hundreds of avocets and other small waders patrolling the water’s edge for brine flies. Because of the extreme salinity, there are no fish in the Great Salt Lake.
This is a view of the shallow waters on the east side of the island looking towards the hustle and bustle of the greater Salt Lake City corridor.
My last night here, a storm moved in from the south, and the sky blackened as the sun was setting in the west creating some wonderful light conditions over the water.
With the sun still shining on the western part of the island and with rain squalls and winds coming up the east side of the island, conditions were ripe for a rainbow and I got to watch as it formed.
The sky turned all kind of weird colors, from grey to green to almost red/yellow as the sun sank lower and the storm advanced. I wish I could have taken more shots of this dramatic weather event, but I was rushing home to close windows I had left open, not knowing it was supposed to storm like this.
All in all, a pretty spectacular last night of my stay on Antelope Island.
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