I took lots of photos during the day trip up to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and Spiral Jetty. (I love the italics. It’s “earth art,” after all.)  I had a lot of thoughts and feelings during all of it–mainly that I understand the tragedy of the lake flooding in Refuge a lot better now, and that I finally get the concept of “earth art.”

I also need to learn more about the Great Salt Lake: We drove for nearly three hours and didn’t get to the end of it. The refuge was so green and the wind off the lake at the jetty was clean and fresh.  The lake has been changed and drained and causeway-ed over the years but it’s still doing it’s thing and I think I need to explore it more.

Anyway, on to the pictures!

There’s a flock (or “squadron” if you want to use the fancy collective noun) of pelicans above the grass in this picture. Seeing them in flight was so cool–they’re huge birds:

There were two on the water paddling away:

And some hanging out with swallows.

See what I mean about the green?

We were mostly on “bird safari” driving slowly through a 12-mile loop. I wasn’t fast with my camera every time, but we saw great blue herons, ibises, sandpipers, other long-legged birds, and little black pointy-headed ducks everywhere–and it wasn’t even migration season. It’s also just really gorgeous there:

From the refuge, we headed north again to visit Spiral Jetty. The way in is a dirt road and we had some horses wander out to see the car:

And here it is. “I drove my Chevy to the jetty but the jetty was dry”:

You can go out and walk around on it, which we did (there was even someone camping there). Walking the spiral out and back again made me think of the mazes built in medieval times as a way to pray or meditate as you follow the path:

Looking east with sunset shadows from the center of the jetty:

The actual water line was about 50 feet past the jetty, and it was all mostly evaporating salt. The lake bed itself was big salt crystals, with maybe an inch or two of water on it. But it was all very clean and really luminous in the evening light:

The whole lake kind of glowed (the campers were canoeing out there):

If you’re around and you have a free day, I highly recommend seeing both the refuge and the jetty. (And really, the lake itself. I’m feeling very Terry Tempest Williams about it, if you couldn’t tell.)