Sunday, October 22, 2017

Spiraling the Jetty again.

An amazing place revisited... every trip to the spiral jetty is unique. The seasons, the light, the weather, the time of day all coalesce to paint a new and different picture of the same place. Perhaps this was part of Smithson's vision, art changing with nature. This trip was my first time there at sunset, and it was a spectacular sunset! Try as might, pictures do not even begin to capture the view from this night. I did play around a bit with my in camera HDR to attempt to capture the scene, but none of my photos truly gives justice to the evenings beauty. Sometiems you just have to be there!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Shooting the Shit

Literally.

I never realized that saying was one that was so steeped in literal origins, but, apparently it is. Back in the spring while adventuring across the west desert we found what we thought was an odd case of bullet holes inside the Simpson Springs outhouse. Odd enough to me that I turned it into a creative writing contest, asking my friends to post their imagined scenarios of explanations for our odd find. And then last weekend... We were out exploring again. This time we headed east and stumbled upon the ghost town of Piedmont, Wyoming, an old railroad town based around charcoal kilns that supplied Salt Lake City and the Union Pacific Railroad trains. As ghost towns go, Piedmont was pretty cool. The kilns are preserved as historic landmark, and there are several old decaying buildings still in existance. Enought that you could wonder what the place was like back in the day. There was one small building made of rusted corregated steel, which I assumed was a shed unil walking around to the open side and discovering it was actually a four hole outhouse. Now there's a first... I've seen many two holers in my life, and often pondered "Why?" as in "Why would you want to go to the potty in pairs?", but a four holer really makes you wonder what three people in the world you like enough to want to defecate with. If that was not thought provoking enough, the building ws riddled with holes... bullet holes, which on close inspection we realized were not from it being a distant target, but from shots fired from inside the outhouse. Putting on our forensic science thinking caps and examining the curvature of the metal 'Exit Wound" we realized that the bullets were shot from inside the outhouse, most likely from the proximity of the four holers.

Now once again I have to ask the question, who shoots bullets from inside an outhouse???? What is the scenario this time? Four fellows, after a few beers and a can of beans,taking a dump, one of the guys lets her rip... flatulence that is. Another of the three fellows can't stand the smell and decides to ventilate the room using his handy side arm? Gives new meaning the the expression "Shooting the shit!" doesn't it? And here are some photos of the rest of the ghost town and historic charcoal kilns of Piedmont, WY...

Monday, August 21, 2017

'Tis the season...

... wildflower season that is. Albion Basin in Alta, Utah is world renowned for it's mountain wild flowers. One of my favorite places in the winter is also a favorite place in the summer. My love for the wild flowers might be rivaled by that of the hummingbirds, who were busily gathering nectar among the horse mint.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Motherhood by Mother Nature

What a wonderful animal observation moment we had while returning home from yesterdays adventure. We had headed up to the Uinta mountains to check out the wildflowers and take a little hike, and while the wildflowers were beautiful, a mountain rainstorm and reluctant old dog derailed our hiking plan. So we decided to head out the Mirror Lake highway through the Wyoming route and after a bit of exploring the vast and beautiful expansive range lands in the middle of nowhere Utah/Wyoming we looped back to Utah through Chalk Creek Canyon. It was that 'deer time" time of the evening and the light was so pretty so when we spied our first two deer grazing in a farmers field we pulled over to take a look.

As we stopped the car I noticed movement next to the road. "Babies! There were babies" Two fawns were hanging out next to the road unable cross the fence to join mom. As I hung my head out of the car window to snap a few pictures the fawns were clearly nervous about the big green monster (Subaru) who had stopped right near them. They paced along the fence, bobbing their heads, looking for an opening for escape. I could not hear them but I'm sure there was a panicked mule deer language call for help, because mom, who was about a hundred yards away headed back up the hill to help.

"Momma! I'm scared! How do I get under this fence?"

"This way! Follow me! Maybe if we go this way we can find a way!"

As we watched, mom effortlessly (it was almost as if she levitated) leaped over the fence and crossed the road. She paused on the hillside for a moment to wait for her kids. They skittishly crossed the pavement but rather than just running away as we thought they would, the fawns excitedly started suckling! How cool! Were they seeking comfort and security because they were scared or were just hungry since they had been left along the side of the road while mom had dinner in the pasture? Mom kept a wary eye on us as they nursed. Of course I wanted a picture but was sitting on the wrong side of the car so I handed Shin my camera so he he could snap a few shots from the drivers side.

After a moment mom seemed to say "Hey kids, that's enough, we need to get out of here" and lifted her hind leg to swat her baby off of her teat. After dislodging the fawns she again leaped over the fence, and head up the hill, while her poor babies scurried around once again trying to find a way through the fence.

"Enough! Let's gets going"

It was quite interesting to watch, and to anthropomorphize about maternal care in the world of deer.

"What kind of mom just leaves her babies along the side of the road while she goes to dinner?"
"Well, she did come back when she realized they were distressed, she must not be a bad mom."
"What kind of mom kicks her kid in the head while it's eating? That seems a little rough"
"There she goes again, leaving her kids stuck on the road side of the fence... some mom"

"Crap, we're stuck again! Thanks mom"

I guess the ways of mother nature are a little different for deer than humans. Maybe nature is cruel, or perhaps its just a little tough love that leads to survival of the fittest.

For us biologist types getting to observing their behavior was a real treat. Another nice perk of life on road less traveled.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Pretty Potties!

Time for another potty post.... it's been forever... When we went to see the poppies we stopped at the Mantua reservoir to eat our picnic lunch. There is campground convenience store there, and judging from the sign I expected the store to be cute, but when I went inside to use their bathroom I was quite surprised by the adorable bathroom decor!

Every campground need somemores right?

And not at the campground, but elsewhere in town... we found goats.. in doghouses... how adorable!