Posted in Places We Visit, Utah Corner

Our Visit to Hardware Ranch to See the Elk

Last Saturday we visited Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area, located in northern Utah up Blacksmith Fork Canyon. It’s the tail end of elk season there and this has been on my bucket list since December.

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This is the view of the meadow from the parking lot. The weather was mild which was nice, and as you can see, there is very little snow here this winter.

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And this is the view from the meadow, looking up to the visitor center on the hill there.

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The visitor center has restrooms and is the only place where tickets can be purchased for the wagon rides through the elk. Tickets cost $5 for ages 9 and up, $3 per child ages 4-8 (3 and under is free).

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The wagons seat quite a few guests and several were running on the day we visited. If there had been snow on the ground, it would have been a wagon-sleigh ride, which we’ve been on before. Our ride was approx. 40 minutes long with lengthy stops for Q&A and photo ops.

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These are Rocky Mountain Elk and there are approx. 350 in the meadow this year. That is at least half of what there were last year and it’s always a guess as to how many will return each year because these elk come and go as they please. They will leave for the summer months, retreating back into the mountains.

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We sat at the back of the wagon, on both sides. Either way, there are great views. (This is Zach, my eldest.)

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You probably know that a male is called a bull, a female a cow, a baby a calf, and a yearling a spike. We were told that only 60% of calves make it to their first year.

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♥ Have you ever visited an elk ranch? ♥

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Posted in Utah Corner

Welcome 2018 (Not Our Typical Winter)

This winter, here in Utah, there’s been more golfing than skiing. While the temps feel nice, we need more moisture for a green summer. The good news is we have a snow storm on its way. Welcome news!

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I went to the dentist today, for my six-month check up. My dentist poked out a filling so my visit was extended while he replaced it. Sigh. At least I had no cavities.

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It’s so much fun to spot deer in the neighborhood.

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Here’s a question for all you WordPress bloggers- Have you ever had an issue where your likes on other blogs have disappeared? Mine seem to be doing that!

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My January goals are off to a flying start. I’ve worked out every day this week so far. My husband created a spreadsheet showing all of our expenses from last year so we know where to cut back, plus we’ve been meeting with financial advisors. And, Marcus and I have been reading Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic together. We are enjoying this kid series by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller.

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This is one of the first photos my baby girl has emailed me from her mission. She’s been out a week now and she adjusting to MTC (missionary training center) life. She says the food is good, the teachers nice and patient, and she gets along great with her first companion. Prayers on her behalf are deeply appreciated. She will be in the MTC for six to eight weeks to learn Spanish and then she will be off to her first assigned area of her mission (Cusco).

Posted in Photography Corner, Utah Corner

Foggy Winter Days

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We are in the middle of a foggy winter inversion here in Utah. The foggy, frosty build up creates this lovely scene, but our air quality is not good.

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This was my backyard view Sunday morning.

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It’s always fun to spot deer in our neighborhood.

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Just a few minutes later and do you see the difference? We drove up the neighborhood canyon where the air cleared. This was in the evening.

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See that misty sea out there? That’s our town!

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I mean, it’s under there somewhere.

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Back in town, we visited the cemetery.

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So, this is what winter looks like for us, thus far. No snow in the weekly forecast and no windstorm to blow away this fog. Yet. Today’s high was 29 degrees. Low: 16. Brrrr!

♥ What does your winter look and feel like at the moment? ♥

 

Posted in Family Corner, Utah Corner

Highlights of Pumpkin Walk 2017

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Here in Cache Valley, every October, there is a Pumpkin Walk. It’s a free event which showcases a lot of creativity and talent. (By the way, if you click on the above link, you’ll be taken to the gallery where there are videos of Pumpkin Walks going back to 2013.)

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This year, Marcus and I visited the Pumpkin Walk with several other homeschooling families in our Friday Nature Club. This is a club we started in September. Our club gathers on most Fridays for a hike or other outdoor activity.

 

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Each year has a different theme. This year’s theme was “It’s about Time.”

 

The Pumpkin Walk began in 1983 when a couple opened their farm as a way to give children in their community a light-hearted version of Halloween. It began with just one pumpkin scene and was an immediate hit, attracting more visitors each year until it outgrew the farm.

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Isn’t this too cute? Each group of critters is reading a book together. For example, the pig family are reading the story: If You Give a Pig a Pancake.

At that point, the city of North Logan took it over and moved it to a city park. It’s just a delightful event for children and adults alike.

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The Star Wars scene was our top favorite.

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“They keep asking themselves if these are the gourds they are looking for?”
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Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
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My favorite Halloween movie!

♥ Does your community hold a similar event with pumpkins? I’d love to hear about it. ♥

Posted in Utah Corner

Autumn in Northern Utah

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It’s autumn time in the country side. I just want to stay outdoors and soak it all in.

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Time for faded blue jeans, brown boots and my favorite Robin egg sweater.

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Colors abound; Amber waves amid rust, sage, and apricot.

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Wet or crunchy leaves mat the ground, lining up along the road in friendly clumps.

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Various textures mingle together; They charm my senses and quietly beg me to capture the moment.

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I roam my backyard, ever so gratified with my Creator’s orchestration.

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It couldn’t be more perfect, I muse; The natural harmony overwhelms me.

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I am deeply, utterly, passionately… content!

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I think when I return home from my autumn exploration, I’ll curl up on my deck with the cat and a classic book!

♥ Last week while my son was away at a youth conference, and after I had recovered from a rather traumatic root canal (I had to see a specialist because my tooth’s roots were curvy), there was this glorious autumn day beckoning me to “come out and play”.  With no hesitation, I abandoned all housework, tossed my camera bag (tripod and all), into my car, and drove aimlessly around the back streets of my home town. I stopped here and there and every-which-where. I took spontaneous photos of any and everything that delighted me. Which is your favorite? Thanks for reading and visiting my blog. Happy October! ♥

Posted in Utah Corner

Hiking Utah- Tony Grove Nature Trail

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One of my favorite hikes in our area is the nature trail around Tony Grove Lake. Tony Grove is a beautiful location for hiking, camping, fishing, picnicking, canoeing and observing wild life.

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That’s Marcus out there learning how to steer his pontoon.

Tony Grove is located up Logan Canyon. It’s approx. 19 miles in and there is a sign showing when to pull off the highway and turn onto the 7 mile paved road which leads straight to the parking lot next to the lake. Take this road nice and easy as there are often grazing cattle. There is a $6 fee for parking.

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Wildflowers are abundant here.
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The 1.2 mile loop around the lake is perfect for families.
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Did I mention there are pretty wildflowers here?
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My model is my lovely daughter, Marissa.

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Although this is an easy hike, a good portion of it is a narrow dirt path with rocks jutting out. I recommend sturdy footwear and careful treading. Children will enjoy climbing on some of the large rocks alongside the path.

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View of lake from the back side.
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I spy with my little eye… a moose napping in the marsh grass!

This was the part where I was wishing I had brought along my other lens! But it was fun to just observe his ears swish!

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Here you can see more of his surroundings.

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This part of the hike was walking through the thick of the wildflowers and other plant life with a gorgeous rock wall on one side.

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♥ I hope you can see why I love this hike. I took these photos just yesterday in the late afternoon, early evening hours. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend. ♥

 

Posted in Utah Corner

Hiking Utah- Payson Lakes

Utah is a great state for hiking or nature paths as well as other outdoor activities. This summer my family and I took a drive up Nebo Loop Scenic Byway. It gets its name from Mount Nebo, which is the southern-most highest summit.

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We stopped off at Big East Lake, one of Payson Lakes. There are three altogether. They are called Payson Lakes because Nebo Loop is also Payson Canyon. Yes, it has two names. Payson Canyon of course is named after the city of Payson.

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There is a lovely paved walking path all around this lake. It’s perfect for families with young children and anyone wishing for a relaxing walk with scenic views.

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Is this a good time to mention that there have been Bigfoot sightings in Payson Canyon?

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We didn’t see Bigfoot that day, but we did enjoy the views of the trees and the lake.

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After leaving the lake, we were only able to enjoy a couple more stop offs on the loop to take in the views before it started pouring rain.

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Next time we return to Nebo Loop (or Payson Canyon), we will have to check out Devil’s Kitchen.

♥ I can’t believe summer is nearly over! But for Marcus and I at least, our hiking days will still go on because we’ve formed a homeschool nature club which starts up next month. Also next month, my husband, Marcus, and I will enjoy a weekend together in Yellowstone National Park. Thanks for reading! ♥