So this post is later than I'd like it to be, but what else is new?
This year's trip to Utah was a little different seeing as my friend Ryan decided to go with me so we ended up traveling around more than I usually do. We ended up at some new spots and a few old ones I haven't been to in a few years. Of course we hit one of my favorite spots in the Salt Lake area and the main reason I go back every year, Antelope Island.
I made it out to the island twice this trip. The first visit was on Friday 3-23-18, and the other one was by myself on Monday 3-26-18 since Ryan left on Sunday. Both trips were pretty good, with an up-close encounter with some bison on top of one of the mountains the first trip and the scond trip with some snow cover on the island, which I've never experienced on the island.
This up-close bison encounter was a little different than my usual ones. I usually end up working with bison down in the fields in the lower altitudes on the island, but this one was the first time I've seen any on a summit of a mountain. Ryan and I stopped at one of the parking lots in the center of the island about halfway up a mountain where they have an observation deck set up and decided to hike up to the top. We didn't see anything on the way up, but once we reached the top and walked around a bit, I saw a pair of bison about halfway down the opposite slope of the mountain from where we hiked up. I took some photos for posterity since I've never had this kind of angle on bison or seen them in this part of the island. They started making their way up the slope slowly and eventually started getting a little too close for comfort so we backed away slowly and had to do it a few times as they made their way closer. Eventually we were forced to backtrack down the trail a little ways because they kept following us. A few groups of people made their way up the trail so we had to stop them from going up since the bison were just at the top of the trail, moving back and forth out of sight. After about five minutes of waiting and watching the bison go back and forth between a few different hiking paths they decided to come down, and a little bit faster than I thought they would as you can see in a few of the photos.
This next set is an assortment of different photos from the same day. The first few are of a bird I wasn't able to identify, a Raven, some Western Meadowlarks, and then some Pronghorn Antelope.
The last day Ryan was in Utah it snowed so in the morning we made a trip back up into the mountains, then I dropped him off at the airport Sunday night night. I was leaving around noon on Monday so I decided to get up early and make another trip out to the island. It wasn't snowing in SLC in the morning, but it began again when I was driving north and actually had some pretty decent snowfall in North Salt Lake and Syracuse, which is the town just east of the island. I was hoping to get some snow shots on the island, but most of the island was clear except for the higher altitudes. I still managed to get some landscape shots with a little snow in them and I managed to find some coyotes for the first time so that was a nice surprise.
I also ended up meeting Martin Swenson, another photgrapher on the island, that was looking for coyotes. He just missed the first coyote and we ended up talking for a while and after mentioning that I was trying to make it to Africa next year he gave me a contact for one of his friends that runs Grand Ruaha Safari Lodge. It goes to show that you never know who you're going to meet and that talking to a lot of random people is one of the best ways to network. After talking for a while we started to drive away and as he did another coyote came out into an open field so I yelled to him to let him know. He came back and we ended up watching the other coyote in the field for a while while getting some photos here and there.
This next set is from the second trip to Antelope Island on 3-26-18.