Last weekend Ben and I were in the middle of a house cleaning frenzy when Colton and Miara stopped by to borrow something. We chatted a while before giving up on our domestic projects, piling into Colton’s SUV, and heading for the nearby bird refuge.
The daylight was draining fast toward the west mountains, the road paved with weeks of heavy snow. Occasionally we braved the outside cold rolling down the windows to get a better look at the hawks and pheasants in the dimming light. Then, at the end of the road we spotted a ghoulish barn owl perched on a no parking sign.
After we gawked at him for a few minutes he took flight toward the Great Salt Lake until he was out of sight. We turned back toward home when another one cruised by, flying low. He landed amid the weeds and we pulled over to watch, amazed at how easily he blended into the tufts of weeds.
Having used up the best of the daylight, we were ready to call it a day until we noticed the dense white fog settling into the wide open space, and we piled out of the car to photograph the frozen desert before is. As our feet hit the ground, we skidded along the ice glazed road until it became a hilarious game, gliding and stuttering down the road until I lost my footing and crashed right into the back of the car hollering as I flopped onto the ice.
Sometimes I forget how incredible it is that all of this is practically in my back yard.