Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Paradise ponders...

Paradise ponders...  We had a lovely excursion up to Hardware Ranch late yesterday afternoon, after a great lunch at Jack's.  We both had their Teres Major pizza, which is made from a beef cut (teres major) I'd never heard of before.  Debbie had peppadew peppers with hers, and I had roasted red peppers.  Yum!

Our excursion was a memorable outing for several reasons, but most especially because we had four moose sightings – by far the most moose we've ever seen on one day!  One of them was an injured bull that we've spotted a couple times before, quite close to where we saw him yesterday.  His left rear leg (or foot, we're not sure) has something wrong with it; you can see him avoiding putting any weight on it.  Despite the crippling injury, he seems to be getting enough to eat, and otherwise he looks like he's in good shape.  We were only 40' or so from him, so we had a great viewing.  The other three moose were partway up the side of the mountain to the south of Blacksmith Fork River.  I've never seen moose foraging so far from water before; a couple of them were at least a quarter mile up that mountain.  All three of them were munching away on the already-struggling deciduous bushes that grow on those steep slopes, probably some sort of scrub oak.

Another memorable sighting was an American Dipper, like the one at right (not my photo), doing his little bobbing thing in the creek not 30' from our parked truck.  He didn't seem to mind the fact that there was ice all along the edges of the creek, or that the water was 32.0001°F (at most!).

We also saw about 12 bazillion deer, littering the canyon's bottoms and sides.  It was really kind of crazy how many deer there were.  Then there were the elk – about 10 bazillion of them.  Most of the elk were in the fenced enclosure up at Hardware Ranch, but we also saw some outside the enclosures, ranging the hills.  Once again we saw the group of bull elk on the hills just outside of Hyrum, right at the mouth of Blacksmith Fork Canyon.  Awesome!

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