Labor Day weekend reminded me of why I love living in northern Utah. I had Saturday and Monday mornings to spend off the beaten path hunting down lizards and 4-wheeling on some hillsides in our local desert. I had just returned from a trip to Kentucky where most of the land is privately owned. Don't get me wrong. I love my home state of Kentucky, but I have grown very fond of and come to treasure the vast expanse of public lands here in the west. I have a wandering spirit that needs to roam, explore, and discover. Venturing into public lands here in Utah is medicine for my soul, a needed charge to my batteries. It's ironic, but exploring the arid deserts of the west quenches my thirst for exploring and discovering.
I spent Saturday morning exploring Soldiers Pass and the sagebrush-juniper habitat around the south end of Lake Mountain in Utah County. Below is an image showing the view from the summit of Solders Pass looking east toward the south end of Utah Lake.
Heading west on Soldiers Pass Road.
This image of a male common side-blotched lizard was captured with my long lens.
The following video and images were captured using my phone after I managed to snag a few lizards.
And a couple of images after returning the diminutive dinosaur back to its natural habitat.
Chimney Rock Pass proved more productive in terms of the number of lizards I ran across.
The best lizard discovery turned out to be a Western Fence Lizard that was sunning on a lichen-covered boulder. This one was about seven inches long.
Another stop along a dirt road on the west shore of Utah Lake turned up a few Whiptails, bees, and dragonflies. I believe the dragonfly is some type of meadowhawk.
I felt like I had been on a safari without going very far from home as the holiday weekend came to a close.