Earth and sky and earth and sky as far as the eye can see.
The flocks Pinyon Jays moved across the landscape in large numbers noisily calling to each other. On some mornings they would congregate in a flock easily numbering 100 individuals seemingly flying in from all four directions on the compass. An wonderful sight and one we don’t often experience.
In fact, according to All About Birds:
Seeing and hearing them was a daily occurrence yet getting a photograph was altogether another matter. Just once did they land close enough for a nice photo opportunities and as might be expected it was in a pinion tree with plenty of booty to be had.
Peeking out of a small slot canyon as the sun begins its daily decline. Soft clouds, juniper and rocks above as another day comes to a close.
Golden fall colors reflecting upon a very calm lake. Silence is golden.
The Mormon cricket is actually not a true cricket, but rather a shield-backed katydid. The common name derives from an invasion of the crops of Mormon settlers in the Salt Lake area in the mid-1800s.
We ran across plenty of these katydids on a recent hike although not in the numbers depicted in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy3dQJYquoY. While these insects can be quite destructive to crops they do eat the grasses and plants in natural rangelands much as large grazing mammals do (or did). I also find them quite interning to look at as each has subtle color variations.
Given these were not marching across our hiking trail in plague proportions I enjoyed seeing them on a late fall afternoon moving through the already dry grasses.
Two beautiful red-sandstone buttes weathered by eons of winds and rain sail along telling a tales of days gone by. The old west and much much more exposed in layers of earth and a sea of sky.
An American Bittern forages for an afternoon meal along the edge of the water where the colors of bird and marsh meld into one. Even the Bittern’s funky yellow-green legs seem to mirror the changing fall colors of the cattails along the ponds edge. Camouflage is a wonderful thing.
A setting sun and a risen moon each contributing a special light to an expansive landscape.
Many, if not most, of the photographs we post on this site and much of the the enjoyment we get from being part of nature is the result of the extensive network of public lands we as Americans possess. These lands have always been and are currently under attack. The Film Public Trust is worth watching and one we hope you will pass along to others.