City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

December 26, 2016

December 25th

Filed under: Elk, Ensign Peak, Mule Deer, Weather — canopus56 @ 9:00 pm

Silent Night

4:45 p.m. Last night a large storm that stretched from the Canadian border to New Mexico traveled over the canyon, and the storm left about one foot of snow. All I have time for today is a short, sunset walk in the lower canyon. The storm front has passed, but the air is so charged with cold moisture that light snow flakes continue to fall. The heavy blanket of snow muffles all sounds and except for the stream, the canyon is still. High above the city behind Ensign Peak, tracks of elk and deer can be followed descending down to the canyon below Bonneville Drive and residential areas. Oddly, although there are many tracks, I can see no elk or deer on the canyon walls. Beneath the high ridges, the yellow glow from the setting sun brings out details, including a snow drift field that looks like sand ripples on the bottom of a stream. The road has been plowed, and although the temperature on the road is now in the teens, the snow drifts emanate and even colder cold. The golden sunset playing on the ridge line is a wonderful end to the holiday.

In Thoreau’s “Journal” on January 25th, 1852, he describes a frozen cattail. The sight of the sun reflecting off of the bottom of a stream reminds him of summer. On January 25, 1856, a collected pine cone opens are being warmed in Thoreau’s home. He marvels at the difficulty of and the ability of squirrels to remove seeds from a closed cone. On January 25, 1858, Thoreau notes the many types of buds on trees.

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