[February 2015]

We live in a desert, next to mountains that are amazingly grand. I love the endless, rolling expanse of sage with pale, periwinkle peaks in the distance. But I’ve also fallen in love with our marshy bird refuges.

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Super jealous of this house- the only one next to the bird refuge. It's adorable and there a bird flying around it all the time.

Super jealous of this house- the only one next to the bird refuge. It’s adorable and there are birds flying around it all the time.

One clear, and very warm, February day, I spent the entirety of it walking around the marshes. I started out by the Farmington Bay Bird refuge while Colton was at work. I didn’t expect to see much during the day as far as birds went, but I was pleasantly surprised by the great blue herons brooding like grouchy old men at their nests.

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Oquirrh Mountains

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Don't they look like a bunch of curmudgeons?

Don’t they look like a bunch of curmudgeons?

After Colton got home, we took a short (we thought) trip to Bountiful Pond, which I recently discovered is actually called Bountiful Lake. Whatever. We arrived to a beautiful golden scene of setting sunlight.

I don't want to look up what these are actually called, because then I'd have to stop calling them my Pom-Pom ducks.

I don’t want to look up what these are actually called, because then I’d have to stop calling them my Pom-Pom ducks.

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We followed the recently mowed-down path of reeds. The city must be doing some sort of pond-makeover, because every time we go there’s more trees planted, more reeds cut down, more of a shoreline to sit around with benches. I think it will be a really nice place next summer when it’s all done. But I hope they don’t get rid of too many reeds, because how magical is this to walk through?

We continued around the back end of the pond, and crossed over to a road where cars can drive through. There’s a gate at the end, and we’d never walked there before, so we decided to take a quick peek. We followed a path that led to a little bridge. Across the bridge was a beautiful expanse of the wetlands we’d never known we could access before. There were many more little ponds sectioned off by dikes that appeared to go straight to Antelope Island.Beyond Pond21 Beyond Pond22 Beyond Pond23 Beyond Pond20

We were super excited about this, especially because we were the only ones out there. So we walked around and decided to watch the sunset and see how far toward Antelope Island we could walk. I think if the water level was low enough, you can basically walk all the way to Antelope Island from one of the dikes, according to Google Maps.Beyond Pond25 Beyond Pond26 Beyond Pond27

The path that goes forever.

The path that goes forever… to Antelope Island.

Someday I will be able to do Dancer's Pose in full splits form.

Someday I will be able to do Dancer’s Pose in full splits form. Antelope Island in the background.

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We walked down that path that stretched to the horizon. And saw a skunk.Beyond Pond42

But it was dead. And it took a REALLY long time of waiting to decide that, because it was facing away from us.

We marveled at how green our Utah February was, and lamented the absence of snow while celebrating what appeared to be an early spring.Beyond Pond35 Beyond Pond36

Starling murmurs! One of the best things of Utah winters.

Starling murmurs! One of the best things of Utah winters.

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We realized we had neither warmer jackets nor proper lighting once our phones died, so started the walk back, surprised at how far we’d actually walked along the dikes.

I was pleasantly surprised for the second time that day when we saw trumpeter swans coming in to land on the water for the night. I knew they came every March, but I’d yet to actually see any swans around. (Sorry about the photo graininess, we recently got a new photo-editing computer and switched to Lightroom and learning new things for me is a complete nightmare in which temper tantrums are thrown by me. So you will deal with these grainy photos for now, and someday I may fix them. Or check for better swan photos on my Instagram. 🙂 ) I wish we had recorded them trumpeting. It was as ugly a sound as they are graceful.Beyond Pond41 Beyond Pond44 Beyond Pond45 Beyond Pond46 Beyond Pond47 Beyond Pond48 Beyond Pond49 Beyond Pond50

By the time we reached the pond again, it was completely dark, but we didn’t mind. No mosquitos in February! And we promised to return to these dikes with mountain bikes and see how much farther we could ride. Beyond Pond51 Beyond Pond52 Beyond Pond53

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