Natura.

While attending DWR’s annual Bald Eagle Day in February, we learned that the DWR was going to host their first Loon Watch in early April.  Being that Bryce is a big fan of loons, we put the event on our calendar and made plans to attend.  The Loon Watch was held at Steinaker Reservoir outside of Vernal.  Rather than making a long day trip out of the event, we opted to make a weekend of it and camped a couple of nights at the reservoir. 

Though the event was not well attended by people, the loons came out in force – we saw upwards of 30! We also saw geese, osprey, herons, a variety of ducks, an oriole, red-winged blackbirds, and more.  Our coming all the way from SLC just to see the loons made it to the local paper, photo and all.  (See here.) We explored some backroads, visited Dinosaur National Monument, and wandered around Ouray National Wildlife Refuge. 

It was such a beautiful and relaxing weekend full of exploring. We’ll definitely try and get back this fall to visit a few more sites that we missed. And, what a difference a real camera makes!

One of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever seen – and it was repeated the next morning!
If you look closely you can see some loons on the water.
Sunrise over Steinaker

The Loons!
Loons attempting to get airborne

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Munching on crayfish
Loon eating crayfish

Petroglyphs at Dinosaur National Monument
Anatomically correct petroglyphys at Dinosaur National Monument

Petrogylphys at Dinosaur National Monument

A few of the cows in the herd that took over the road.
Traffic jam

Path to the reservoir
Steinaker Reservoir

Late afternoon sun along the reservoir
Sunset near Steinaker Reservoir

Sunday Morning Sunrise
Sunrise at Steinaker

Yellow-headed blackbirds
A tree full of yellow-headed blackbirds

Sandhill Cranes
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Horse running through Ouray National Wildlife Refuge
Horse running through Ouray National Wildlife Refuge

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