If I could have a love affair with scenery, I think Utah would be a top contender. This is my third trip to this state and every time I arrive I always think, "I do not have enough time to explore everything I want to explore."
The sky is a constant swirl of colors with snow capped mountains surrounding you. When I tweaked my knee last Saturday, I was wondering how I would fare but so far so good. I put in a wheel chair request with Delta and the wheeled me to my gate, they gave me a better seat to let my leg stay extended, wheeled me to baggage claim, grabbed my bags and wheeled me to my rental car. I called the hotel ahead of time (which interestingly does not have any of the expected literature in the room, but a couple of books by L. Ron Hubbard and a Scientology brochure) and they gave me a room on the ground floor, near a door and helped me with my heavier luggage (and some of those Swarovski cases are not light). My knee is getting better every day, although, I still can't quite bend it the way I used to yet, but at least the swelling has reduced considerably.
I had some time in the afternoon and I couldn't get in to the Salt Lake Bird Fest show area to set up my booth, so I went to do some birding. What better place to revisit than Antelope Island? I can easily drive around to take photos (I had force myself to not go hiking all over the trails, but better safe than sorry).
Antelope island lives up to it's name. This was not digiscoped but taken out the passenger window of my rental car. The antelope weren't so much playing as trying to craze and loped away as if to say, "Yeah, Midwesterner, I'm special to you, but I do this every day, move along."
There were quite a few black-bellied plovers on the road out towards the island--it's so fun to see them in breeding plumage. We get them in Minnesota but not when they look all snazzy like this. When I've seen them, it's been cold, windy and they are gray with black "armpits." But in breeding plumage, they are down right dapper. Saturday morning I'm going to do a digiscoping workshop and we are going to have such a great time! Birds here are so accommodating.
One thing I did forget was the noseeums. I left my bug spray back at the hotel and every time I opened my window or stepped out, they swarmed. The clouds were so nasty, they went into every opening--ears, nose, mouth--ick. My scalp was on fire with bites until I had the sense to put my hood of my hoodie up and then drive away from the swarms. Still got some great shots. Below is a western meadowlark singing. You can hear me walk away from the camera taking the video (trying to avoid a swarm of noseeums), you'll hear one buzz the microphone and then you'll see the western meadowlark rub his face as if to scratch an itch:
Love that song!