This belongs in the series “around the corner from our house”, or “our very own backyard”.
We’ve lived here for almost 5 years, and we have planned to visit Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake every single one of them. This time, we did not plan it. We just woke up one Sunday morning and off we went.
Because this was a February trip, I need to speak a bit about the weather (we normally don’t venture out in the mountains in the winter). We have had a very mild winter so far, and the weather was gorgeous: bright, almost cloudless and a mild 50F. Once you drive towards the island, which feels literally just in the middle of the Great Salt Lake, connected to the land by a skinny roadway/ pier contraption, the temperature drops a little, just because of the wind. But the brightness increases.
The landscape is breathtaking, as you’re on the water, surrounded by desert and the Rockies out in the horizon. There is a strange feeling of what is more overwhelming: all that water? Or all that desert brush? Either way, you feel remote, and lost.
The remoteness and wasteland are broken down by all the amazing life popping in your face at every corner. After the sudden silence you come up against once on the island, everything starts coming to life – birds and animals alike, whole flocks and herds of them, are giving the island its pulsating heart and you realize: you are never alone in this world. I am just curious to see what it’s like in the summer, with all the bees and snakes and lizards coming out, too. Possibilities.
I will let the pictures speak for the place, as my words are not going to do it justice.
Do you feel small and lost yet? I could never get tired of shooting these parts! Between the depth of the lake and the height of the mountains, the majesty of the entire landscape just renders me mute, most days ... If anyone needs to believe in God, or doubts Him, they need to really come and watch, listen and just see ...
My panoramic view of The Island
The thick salt, solidified on the beach of the island. I did not taste it (maybe for a warmer day!), but they tell me the Great Salt Lake is really, really salty. I guess this is proof.
We left the place thinking that they should really call this "The Bison Island" - it felt like they owned the place! The "friendship" or tolerance between the bison and the birds is simply amazing. These enormous creatures don't even blink at the birds barging into their personal space. The birds feed off of bugs in their fur.
This was a bigger bird, not on their backs, but still unfazed by their proximity.
She was gorgeous in her own right!
Coyotes and rabbits were other free inhabitants coming out to check out the crowds...
And antelopes, of course, albeit skittish and remote ... After all, it's their island.
This driftwood in the shallow part of the lake was trying so hard to capture every single shade of the sunset in its fibers.
Various shots to remind us where we are ...
The Fielding Garr Ranch, on the Island, shows the 21st century city people what built The West: ranching and how it was done.
The end of a beautiful day ...
My favorite shot from the whole shoot! It summarizes the whole day in one crystal testimony: prairie grass, the American Wild West, The Rockies, where we are, where hope lives on, where dreams begin ... and end ...
For viewing the complete album from this trip, click on the picture.