Saturday, January 19, 2013

Red Butte and Ft. Douglas: A Saturday Walkabout

Still so cold here; thankfully I am one of those people who doesn't mind the cold at all.
Saturday afternoon I shrugged into my knee  length down jacket, shouldered up my camera back pack, slung my tripod case over my shoulder and headed out to Red Butte Garden.
The downspout chains by the entrance looked like they had been overwhelmed lately.

As usual in cold weather, I had the garden all to myself.
In the Children's Garden area I enjoyed seeing wild life track in an area that in summer is more likely to carry  the tracks of the wild life that is commonly called "kids".
(Not the goat type.  The two legged kind.)

See where the bird landed then hopped to get a drink?
So cool...

The area had lots of extremely nervous birds flitting to three bird feeders.

This sweet thing was the least nervous of the group.

Even so you can tell he is keeping an eye on me.

"I think that is enough pictures for now Lady.  Move along...move along...."

Chickadees are the biggest Nervous Nellies; they land, grab a seed and are off again in the time it takes to just lift a camera to my face.

By comparison, the shrub jays were downright resigned to my company.

This one was kind of middling: he pecked around on the ground for a bit.

Winter Storm Gandolf's dozens of inches of snow is just beginning to sag off of things.
I still wonder how bird toes are not frost bitten in winter; the snow is pretty icy by now.

Shrub jay:  What a beauty!

I can't blame the birds for being "flighty" (har!)
The bare branches don't provide much in the way of a place to hide out.

Now doesn't this look exactly like the tree has gone and bought itself a nice white fur collared wrap to stay warm this winter?
Quite stylish, no?

Red pods against white snow:  Gorgeous.

Etched trees over head: gorgeous.

Frozen streams:  Oh yeah.

How about a frozen waterfall?
With animal tracks?
(There should be a "Like" button to push up in the air upon seeing such things.)

I once read a book about planning a winter garden.
There was great emphasis given to the importance of selecting colorful bark/branch color when selecting plants that will be bare in winter.
The above picture is a great example of the wisdom of such forethought.
I probably shouldn't have said I had the garden to myself.
While I didn't see anyone else as I walked about, clearly I was not the only one who has been enjoying walking in the snowy winter garden.

Deer trails left proof that the deer don't only hang around my neighborhood.
They must have a pass to Red Butte Garden, just like me.

Colorful bark: Now that's what I'm talking about!

More sagging snow, with a waxing moon above.

Doesn't the snow clumps in the tree look like birds?
The sunset was beautiful.

As so often happens on Saturday, I wanted to share what I was doing with Gail.
While the sun set, I sat in the car, gave her a call and we got in our weekly catch up chat.

We both enjoy getting out and enjoy having adventures large and small.
We both bemoan how difficult it is to find a friend to go adventuring with.
We ask women we meet at work, or in church, or neighbors to come along for walks or hikes or a trip to the movies.
Usually we are declined, or given a "maybe later"...
No one ever seems to think of asking us back.
I can kind of understand why maybe some women would want to avoid noodling around with me.
(Refraining from affirming my many drawbacks here...)
But Gail?
Totally don't get it.

OK...putting away the sad violin now.
One of the nicest things about a heavy snowstorm is the way it makes the area mountains solid white, which turns the most wonderful shades of apricot and periwinkle blue at sunset.
Alpenglow I think is what that is called.
I need to spend a serious evening photographing the mountains glowing in the sunset colors while the snow is still so deep. 

Red Butte Garden is just above an area that used to be a military fort called Fort Douglas.
The fort was established back in the 1860s and is still in use as an Army reserve training center.
There are lots of cute Victorian houses that used to be officer family quarters and such.
And there is a very quiet cemetery there too.

I had never seen the cemetery in deep snow before.

It looked so different than it does in the summer  when it is all grassy green beneath shady trees, or in the fall when the ground is littered with colorful leaves.
The cemetery was still being used until recently...and perhaps it still is used for contemporary burials.
The second row in from the front, the second from the left:
March 27 1967
Son of....
A soldier's wife bore a child that died before he was named.
Sad, even this many years later.

Does look some how cozy and peaceful, doesn't it?

How many are awaiting a Resurrection dawn?

If the snow hadn't been above my knees and I wasn't in snow boots, I would have loved to have poked around a bit more.

I once read a book where the question was posed:
Which time of day suits a cemetery best: sunset or sunrise?
The first thought was sunset; the end of a life.
But is sunrise that suits it best, if one believes the grave is just a pause before the dawning of a new day.

This is why I need a buddy to go along with me on these jaunts.
We could discuss these sorts of questions as we went along.
(And that is perhaps exactly why I do wind up being alone on my jaunts.)

Ft. Douglas is surrounded by the University of Utah; this is one of the resident halls with icicles that are reaching record breaking lengths.
There isn't a building to be found anywhere on the grounds that is not similarly sporting an icicle fringe.
The guy walking along was quite wise to steer clear of walking beneath those eaves.
I've lived in Salt Lake for four years now and I still have areas that are just minutes from my house that need exploring.
Ft. Douglas and the University of Utah grounds are one of those areas.
I think this quick pass through was a good beginning, don't you?


Grandma G said...

Oh, how I love every one of your photos! And I would be SO ready to join you on one of those walks, if only I were close enough!

Your clumps of snow in the trees remind me of the cats in my trees that I blogged about yesterday. Actually, I guess there were birds, too. :)

I'm so excited... I'm getting a new (to me) DSLR camera tomorrow! You're already tempting me to get a 60mm lens. But I guess I'd better learn to use the camera first. ;)

ellen b. said...

Oh mercy I have a new view a cemetery covered in snow. You know I love cemeteries. You really reap the benefit of getting out and about in all kinds of weather. Those bird shots are so sweet.

Vee said...

Would love to take the tour with you... I can't imagine why you are having any trouble finding an adventure partner. Does anyone know you blog? :D that white stole was a nifty design. Loved the points. W

Kathy said...

Thanks for the walk. I especially enjoyed the cemetery.

Lovella ♥ said...

Oh such great photos again. I particularly love the photos in the cemetery. It looks so peaceful covered in the white blanket. The icicles look so great against the red brick too.

Kathie said...

Your rambles are very similar to mine - too bad we're separated by a continent! The early view from my kitchen window is the sun rising right over the cemetery and church across the road. I love looking at all the old stones - they date back over 200 years.

Vee said...

W? Good heavens! I hope that that was from the iPad; otherwise, I am without excuse.

Seema said...

great pic..thank u for sharing...

Debora said...

Your pics are very fav is the tree and lamp post at sunset.