City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

April 13, 2017

April 13th

Insect Revival

1:00 p.m. The jet stream has diverted storms to the north of the canyon, and thus, there will several days of sunshine and temperatures in the seventies like today. The insects sense this change, and in addition to the usual reprisal of Mourning Cloaks and White Cabbage butterflies, new insects gone since the fall reappear. There is a White cabbage like butterfly but with bright orange triangular wing tips: a Sara Orange Tip (Anthocharis sara). Two yellow Anise swallowtails fly up the road, but one is now full grown (April 1st). There are two new bees, one black and one brown, that restlessly hover and zip by me at several points along the first mile road. Both are two fast to identify, but after some attempts to follow them, two examples land and briefly rest. The black bee may be a Western leafcutting bee (Megachile perihirta). The brown-haired one remains unidentified. A Brown Daddy-long-legs (Phalangium opilio) scurries across the road. Ants are again active, and the first flies appear. Below Guardhouse Gate, some broad leaf plants have been reduce to pock-holed skeletons. After examining several plants, at the base of one are black caterpillars barely one and one-half millimeters long by one-quarter millimeters in diameter.

By afternoon, the heating of the valley-floor cold morning air to the seventies contrasts with the air in the high mountains that is still a degrees above freezing creates up strong canyon high winds. More broken twigs litter the road, and for the second time, I jog up canyon, only find when returning down canyon, a 4 inch diameter and 12 foot long broken branch laying across the road.

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On April 13th, 2007, City Creek Canyon was closed while solid waste was removed from the water treatment plant (Deseret News). On April 13th, 2006, the Salt Lake Tribune does an article on how dog interactions during canyon walks are important to a dog’s socialization (Salt Lake Tribune). On April 13th, 1915, City Commissioners inspected the proposed Pleasant Valley reservoir site in City Creek Canyon (Salt Lake Tribune). On April 13, 1915, the Wasatch Hiking Club reported for its initial hike, club members traveling up City Creek to the Forks (Utah Daily Chronicle). On April 13th, 1910, the Commercial Club proposed that the City hire an expert to plan a system of parks for the city (Salt Lake Telegram). With respect to City Creek, the Telegram editorialized that:

“City Creek can be made a wonderland, or it can be spoiled. City Creek Canyon and the heights just above can be made a place of enchantment through all the summer and more especially in the long autumn. In the hands of a chump, it can be spoiled. . . .” (id).

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