Monday, November 8, 2010

Great Weekend of November 6 & 7, 2010

Zion National Park, Utah

Over the weekend, I climbed Angel's Landing in Zion National Park in Utah. This is a photo of me in Refrigerator Canyon on the way up. I was with my family and my son Bryan spotted a Jerusalem Cricket on the trail. Another one for eagle-eyes Bryan! I had walked over it (lucky I didn't step on it) and from behind me I heard Bryan say, "look, there's a giant bee on the ground".
As I glanced down at it I could see immediately that it was a Jerusalem Cricket. All of the photo's here were taken by me or my family.

Here is the guy! The latin name is Stenopelmatus Fuscus. He has many common names like Potato Bug, Red Skull Bug, and Child of the Earth.

Here is a photo with a penny to show scale.

Isn't that an alien looking head?
They are not poisonous but they bite hard. They eat roots and organic material. They stay underground a lot of the time.

This is a photo from up on the top of Angel's Landing. Zion valley is so beautiful.

This is from the top looking down on the Temple of Sinawava.

Caution sign at beginning of steep section of trail.

Gymnogyps Californianus - California Condor

While we were climbing the last 500 feet a California Condor was circling around Angel's Landing. Here are two photos that I took. California Condor's have the longest wing span in North America. It is 9.5 feet. I realize that these photos aren't very good but it is the best I could do.

It flew right over the top of me but I couldn't get the camera in time to get a shot. It landed in a tree right by a hiker and he told me later that the number on the Condor's tag was #52.
It was so fun watching that Condor soar with the air currents in the canyon.
In the 1980's there was only about 20 condors left on the planet. Through a good captive breeding program we now have somewhere between 300 and 400 condors.

On the way out of Zion Canyon we saw this big four-point buck Mule Deer right off of the highway.

The fall colors were absolutely beautiful! This photo is looking down into the bottom of Refrigerator Canyon.

Fall leaves in Refrigerator Canyon.

The Family on top of Angel's Landing.
From the right: me, Sierra, Denalee, Azure, And Bryan.

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