Great Salt Lake Utah – September 2022 – A Unique Setting

The Great Salt Lake is, as the name suggests, a large body of salty water.

The lake is fed by 3 rivers, and a few streams. Because it has no outlet other than evaporation, the water collects over a million tons of minerals per year.

The water has a far higher salinity than the oceans. In addition there seems to be an ever-present strong smell.

Because of the shallowness of the lake, it’s overall coverage can, and has, changed dramatically over the years, leaving the boat docks high and dry – sad for the boat owners, but interesting photography opportunities.

The views across the grasses towards the now much smaller lake provide excellent contrasts.

Since the late 1800s there has always been a large event center along the lake known as the Saltair. While the first one was an impressive, massive structure, it was eventually destroyed in a fire. Today’s building is the third on this location. It too is suffering from the receding lake levels, leaving it far from the shore.

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – Toyota Land Cruiser Museum

In an industrial area of Salt Lake City is an old warehouse stuffed full of Toyota Land Cruisers from over the years.

The original ones were based on a Willy’s Jeep, and by 1942 were in production. By the 1950s this vehicle had become known as the Land Cruiser.

The Land Cruiser is popular throughout the world, but has especially strong sales in Australia.

The Land Cruiser has been used for special purposes and expeditions throughout it’s history.

While the museum has a large collection, from a photography perspective it is difficult as they are all jammed in together, with barriers preventing from going between them for closer looks.

This, coupled with a fairly high entrance fee, made this a less than desirable stop for me.

Cochise County, Arizona – November 2022 – Ramsey Canyon Fall Foliage

While most of Arizona is known for the hot desert landscape there are places where in just a few miles, or feet in elevation, that changes completely. One of those areas is Ramsey Canyon near Sierra Vista, less than 10 miles from the Mexican border in the Huachuca Mountains.

Because of a spring feed stream, high canyon walls and an orientation facing northeast, the canyon has numerous sycamore and maple trees – very un-Arizona like.

The creek bank has even more wetlands vegetation.

The Ramsey family had settled in the canyon around 1900 and over the years built a couple of cabins.

As you hike through the preserve and climb up just a few feet above the stream you quickly go back to more typical Arizona landscape.

While in some spots the desert like landscape is integrated with the wetlands.

The canyon is home to lots of wildlife.

The trip back down the canyon to the visitor center returned us to the colorful foliage. Ramsey Canyon is a great destination for a different look at Arizona.

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – A Library Architectural Gem

The current Salt Lake City Main Library was designed by architect Moshe Safdie, and was completed in 2003.

The numerous curves are striking from the exterior.

The building is even more impressive on the inside, with the 4 story atrium intended to invoke the classic arcades of the past (such as the Cleveland Arcade)

The dramatic stairway takes patrons between the levels.

The building was designed to provide as much natural light as possible, along with quieter spaces on the upper levels.

The massive hanging sculpture is entitled ‘Pysche’. It consists of 1500 small sculptures of books and butterflies that form a large human head. Some of the butterfly wings will flutter.

A model of the building is proudly displayed on the main level. When in Salt Lake City a visit to the library is well worth the time.

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – Random Views

Some random views of an evening in downtown Salt Lake City.

Trolley Square was once a trolley barn for the original streetcars of the city. For 50 years it has been a trendy shopping district (and somewhere with a patio restaurant open for lunch!). The water tower is a highlight of the skyline.

Another in a long line of stupid arena names in the pursuit of a few more dollars – the Vivint Arena. The streetcars however, are a great (re)addition to the city.

While we are going on strange names – the Utah Jazz. The franchise was founded in New Orleans in 1974, playing just 5 seasons there before relocating to Salt Lake City, but keeping the Jazz name, apparently because they switched cities so close to the start of the season they never had time to get new uniforms and advertising completed.

A few murals…

Our hotel for the night had a nice view of downtown for both sunset…

And sunrise….

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – Utah State Capitol

The Utah State Capitol sits on the aptly named Capitol Hill above downtown Salt Lake City. Completed in 1916 it’s style is similar to most of the state capitol buildings in the U.S.

As always this posting is not meant to document all the features of the building, rather to reflect on some of the more photogenic views.

The lions guarding the side of the building were originally made out of concrete, but were replaced during a 4 year overall capitol restoration project ending in 2008. They are now made out of Italian marble, and were completed by Nick Fairplay.

This glass window features the ubiquitous Utah beehive. The beehive symbolizes the belief that the community works together as a whole to improve life for all.

One of the two grand marble staircases. Each staircase has a massive mural depicting the mormon settlement of Utah.

The rotunda ceiling. When the building was first completed the rotunda remained unfinished for 20 years until the cyclorama was completed in 1934.

The artwork around the rotunda was completed at the same time.

This bust is of the native Ute hunter and fur trader Unca Sam.

Nearby is a bust of Ute leader John Duncan.

Noted Utah inventor Philo T Farnsworth is also featured on the 4th floor gallery. Among his many discoveries Farnsworth is credited with inventing the first complete television.

Also from the 4th floor many of the details visible.

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – Tracy Aviary Part 2

The visit to Tracy Aviary continues….

Another view of an Avocet

Revisiting the Chilean Flamingos for a closer look.

Red Legged Sereima, which I failed to get the red legs in the shot. But it has a great profile.

Guira Cuckoo, who was very loud.

Oriental Magpie Robin

Chico Chachalaca

Roseate Spoonbill

Black Vulture

Kea

Our final friend is an American White Pelican.

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – Tracy Aviary Part 1

Normally I am not a fan of zoos or other places where animals are held outside their native territories, and the Tracy Aviary was a similar feeling. Setting those emotions aside we ended up spending a couple of hours touring their facility.

Giving myself a challenge I used a 400mm Canon lens and a single point focus to get through the cages/netting to get the camera to focus on the subjects, with some color correction to minimize the grid patterns that were remaining.

I am happy enough with the results there are enough good shots for 2 postings.

I am not a birding person, therefore other than the very basics (ducks, pigeons and seagulls!) I have difficulty identifying the specific breed, so all identifications were done using Google Images – feel free to send corrections.

We start with a Trumpeter Swan

Long Billed Curlew

Avocet

Great Horned Owl – Despite the slight grid from the cage this is one of my favorite photos I have taken in a long time.

Long-Eared Owl keeping an eye on me.

Red Tailed Hawk

Barred Owl

Barn Owl

King Vulture

White Faced Whistling Duck

Chilean Flamingos

Provo, Utah – September 2022 – Provo Canyon

Seemingly keeping with the Utah approach of naming everything the same (Utah Lake, Utah Valley, Utah County), Provo Canyon is just east of the city of Provo, with the Provo River running through it.

The 28 mile drive through the Wasatch Mountains east of Provo takes you through Provo Canyon.

Not far into the canyon is Bridal Veil Falls, which cascades over 600 feet down the mountain in 2 drops.

The river is crossed by numerous bridges serving the hiking/biking path, but fortunately this was not the one we had to use.

The fall colors had begun on this late September day.

U.S. Highway 189 makes it’s way up the canyon, including this cool little double tunnel.

At the east end of the canyon in Deep Creek Reservoir.

We chose to take the Alpine Loop road up the mountain past Sundance Ski Resort. Overall a nice scenic drive for a couple of hours.