Oh, What a Beautiful Morning! (March 27)

Happy Easter! He is risen!

We were off to a good start today! At 4:15, I woke up when Asher said “Vivi! What are you doing?” Turns out, during the night, all the covers had migrated off of Asher’s end of the bed, and so Vivi was pulling on him trying to figure out where her blanket was! I got everyone resettled and they fell right back to sleep, but Joe and I were awake, so we just got started! 

We had a relaxing cup of morning coffee, packed up our room, woke the kids gently and got them dressed, and were down at breakfast before 6 am. The kiddos were super-excited to have waffles with syrup and whipped cream, and we were cheerfully packing up the truck just as the sunrise set the mountains on fire!

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So it was still early-morning-light when we arrived at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, a large wetland area nestled into the valley, completely ringed by snowy Utah mountains…

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It was absolutely teeming with birds of all kinds, and alive with the constant chatter of birdsong!

The Magpie…

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The Western Meadowlark…

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The Ring-necked Pheasant…

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The Long-billed Curlew…

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The Avocet…

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The Cinnamon Teal…

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The Killdeer…

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The Yellow-headed Blackbirds, in huge groups…

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…with their funny, penguin-like movements…

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The incredibly beautiful, aerobatic Tree Swallows…

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They had nested underneath a bridge, so we could just stand and watch while a whole flock swooped and dove around us!

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The Sandhill Cranes, barely glimpsed speeding by…

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And, joy of joys, the American White Pelicans arriving in large, slow-circling groups to gather on the waters!

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And everywhere, the blue skies, the white clouds, the golden grasses, the purple mountains and the silver waters!

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And more fun still, somehow, in this wonderland of birds, to see furry mammals! A beaver, busy as always…

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And a stoat! Frisky, feisty, peering at us, sniffing at us, and bounding pertly away about his business, having decided he couldn’t be bothered with trying to eat us 🙂

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It was a beautiful place, sunshine and fresh air and birdsong much enjoyed by all…

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And back in the truck to wind our way through the mountains, through mile-upon-mile of dry and dusty, quite dramatic, though really hard to capture through car windows at 60 mph…First, through what I can only describe as green rock canyons, striped with jade green and white quartz, possibly due to some high copper content in the soil? 

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Then into the more familiar, highly-carved sandstone mountains that this area is known for…

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Up, up, up, and then down-down-down…

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On our way to Moab, through towering, rocky cliff-fortresses, crossing over the halfway mark of our trip from Bellingham to Bastrop!

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