Paradise ponders, super wildlife viewing edition... Debbie and I took a drive up Blacksmith Fork Canyon, leaving shortly after sunrise. The photos below are all from this morning's trip. In addition to the beautiful sunrise and winter scenery, we saw dozens of deer, a group of nine elk, three bald eagles, five moose, and an American dipper. Many of the large mammals were quite close to the road, close enough that I could get photos even without a telephoto lens. The dipper was a hoot to watch, and we had a good long view of him. He was hunting bugs in the stream, submerging often, and once we actually saw him catch some sort of beetle and gobble it down. The bald eagles were roosting in trees, one of them just 60' or so from us. The entire trip up to Hardware Ranch we didn't see a single car – we had the entire canyon to ourselves. The elk herd at Hardware Ranch hadn't yet been fed, and they were all watching closely in the direction the feed carts come from. A wonderful start to the day!