City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

January 12, 2017

January 11th

Filed under: Colors, mile 1.2, Owl, River birch, Smells, Weather — canopus56 @ 1:52 am

Water Birch Bark

3:00 p.m. Temperatures remain in the high forties, and in the morning there is heavy rain shower. Eighty-percent o the snow has been stripped from both canyon walls, and even in the shaded road, the snow is half gone. The air is smells heavy with moisture and the earth. The bark of the river or water birch trees have changed to a light silver color. I compare today’s color with a photograph taken on September 23rd, and during the summer and autumn, the bark of the same tree at picnic site 3 was dark gray.

7:00 p.m. During a second jog in the dark, at mile 1.2 two owls are having a call and response session. I cannot locate them by sound other than to obtain a general direction. Their low-pitched calls travel great distances.

In Thoreau’s “Journal” on January 11th, 1852, he sees green patches of light in overcast sky at sunset. On January 11th, 1859, he records a -22 degree Fahrenheit temperature and hears the frozen ground loudly cracking open. On January 11th, 1861, Thoreau examines the contents of a crow shot by a neighbor in order to during the crow’s diet. He finds apples, berries, acorns, the bones of small animals and a pebble.



  1. Thanks for all the interesting observations, I walk along city creek road on some morning and late afternoon hours as well, and have similar experiences. Maybe we will
    run into each other on our journeys. You mention Henry David Thoreau in your commentaries, I grew up near Walden pond . I enjoy your observations… keep it up.

    Comment by Mark Schneller — January 12, 2017 @ 2:41 pm

  2. Thanks for the feedback. See you on the road. I decided to add digests of Thoreau journals in order to see how similar his non-philosophical nature observations were to this locality. Salt Lake and Concord are on a similar latitude, the weather is similar, and the animals and plants are the same or have analogues. In City Creek canyon, we still have some animals that Thoreau noted were already extinct in Concord by the 1850s, e.g. black bear, moose, and mountain lion. I am finding that there is a commonality of nature experience: what Thoreau saw in 1840-1860, in terms of nature observations, was not really that much different from what any person today see who looks closely at nature.

    Comment by canopus56 — January 12, 2017 @ 10:11 pm

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