Saturday, January 23, 2010

Early Morning

On the way to work this morning I saw a very cool shooting star.  There was some light in the east, just before sunrise and I saw a large, green ball of light that looked pretty low in the sky falling from east to west.  I was listening to a new favorite song by Josh Groban--"Weeping" and slowed way down to watch it.  Last time I saw something like that I was watching it so closely I didn't notice there were mule deer in the road and had to stop very fast!  I didn't hit any of them but it taught me to still pay attention to my driving.

The skies here are so clear we have a great view of the night sky.  Once in a while I see shooting stars (or meteorites...but I prefer shooting stars) and we can see the Space Station.  On a full moon night you can see the reflection of the moon in the Colorado River, 2000 feet below the park.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Long week of snow and rain is almost over!

This whole week it has been either snowing or raining.  We didn't get much snow accumulation and today most of it is gone because of last night's rain and warmer temperatures.  I was afraid the rain was going to freeze overnight but it looks like I was wrong.  I was headed home from work, thinking I'd go to the recycle center and the thrift store, but that didn't sound like fun in the rain so I went to the Diner instead.

I am going to help run field trips at Canyonlands National Park next week.  Yesterday was the training, and the topic of these field trips is Changes in Matter--like physical and chemical changes.  There is a 1/2 mile hike as part of the field trip, a station about the ozone layer (because Canyonlands has an air quality station) and a station about erosion and weathering.  The idea is to break up a rock, which is physical weathering, then pour acid on it (vinegar, coke, or lemon juice), which is chemical weathering.   I'm thinking I'd like to help with the hike to Mesa Arch, where we point out physical and chemical matter changes along the way.  Should be fun!

Mesa Arch is one of my favorite places in Canyonlands. It's a really short, easy hike, but you end up at an arch--looking through the arch into the canyon is one of the coolest views around.  You look at three towers; Airport Tower, Monster Tower and Washerwoman Arch--a free-standing tower with an arch that looks like a woman standing at a tub doing laundry.  It's one of the first things I learned about this place, there are always surprises!  Edward Abbey said we shouldn't give human names to these formations, we should just let them be as they are, but in the case of Washerwoman Arch, I think it totally fits!
Sunrise at Mesa Arch.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Can't sleep so I am online.

I woke up around 3 a.m. and can't get back to sleep so here I am on the internet.  My back is still sore so I think I'm having trouble getting comfortable.  I went skiing with my friend Arran a week or so ago, fell a bunch of times and probably moved some muscle in my shoulder/back that didn't need moved.  I'd gone to the chiropractor the previous day and I think I undid all of his work!

Anyway that part isn't interesting but the skiing was.  We went cross-country skiing in the La Sals, and it was beautiful.  Didn't see any deer, but there were some squirrels out chirpping at us and some ravens.  We saw wild turkeys on the way up and down the mountain.  Arran is from Canada and skis about as bad as I do, so I didn't feel embarassed when I fell, only when I fell standing still in front of a co-worker did I feel very embarassed.  He was headed up the hill when we were headed down.  I made it down a couple downhill parts without falling, and felt good about myself for that, but mostly I was concerned with looking for wildlife and enjoying the scenery.  Next time I think we are going to head down to Gold Basin instead of Geyser Pass.  There are somethings where it's necessary to work up to.  I should go this week on my days off, just so I get to ski more than one time this year.  It's not that we don't have snow, just that on my own I don't have a whole lot of ambition.  It's supposed to snow this week again so I'll have a better reason to ski up there, or maybe even on the mesa in the desert!

I was also thinking of some cool wildlife we had in the park recently (by recently I mean November).  We had a bear cub visit the campground.  Bears don't really come up here much on purpose.  This one went inside a tent trailer when the people were out hiking, ate some food and fell asleep.  A camper saw it head inside the trailer, came to the visitor center and let us know.  It had been getting into garbage cans, so it was time to call the wildlife people.  They came, tranquilized it and took it to Elk Ridge down by Blanding.

The other cool thing was the release of a golden eagle.  Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation came in one day in late November saying they were on their way into the park to release a golden eagle that had been after some prey, not paying attention and went through the windshield of a Jeep.  It was awesome to see one up close, observe the sharp beak and talons (as big as my hand!) and then see the vet who treated it get to release it.  That's the first one she's actually been able to release after healing it.  I got a great picture of her as the eagle spread it's wings to take off, and her arms were still outstretched as she pushed it away from her body.  I'll have to post that picture too, eventually.  It's 4:30 a.m. so I should try and sleep before I work at 7 a.m. but I already tried for an hour without much success, so I'm here instead....

Friday, January 15, 2010

New to Blogging....but it sounded like fun.

Ok, I got the idea to start a blog from watching the movie Julie&Julia.  It sounded like fun and it looks like a lot of my friends have blogs too.  So I thought I'd try it, and see if I can actually be faithful to my blog and post things when I have something to write.  I live in Utah in the desert and love this place.  It's very cold and snowy right now and looks awesome with snow on the red rocks.  I am looking forward to spring.  I have a project in mind for fun and work possibly.  I've always been fascinated with potholes.  Not the kind in the road, the ones hollowed out of the rocks by wind and rain and, when full of water, are full of aquatic animals including amphibians.
I am sitting at Eddie McStiffs listening to Gigi Love sing and wasting time on the internet.  I was going to upload pictures to the internet but the computer connection is slow or something, and it's not cooperating.  Luckily for me there is enough connection to post a blog.  Lucky family and friends too! (haha, not!)
So today at work.......just kidding, it's not going to be a daily blog about work, unless something really cool happens, like the bear in the campground (that doesn't belong here) and the golden eagle release that was great to watch. If I figure out how to post pictures I'll post one of each here.  Also funny tourist questions and comments will be game, if they're funny enough to share.
I'm going for now...have fun!