Residents of the Valley

>> Monday, June 20, 2011

My wife and I decided to take a walk along the Jordan River Parkway between 12600 to 11400. It was a beautiful day and we hadn’t been along this stretch of the river since last Autumn. The river was up high and running very swiftly due to the Spring snow melt from the Wasatch Mountains. In other parts of the state the unusually heavy runoff is causing many problems for homeowners and farmers. Our hearts and prayers go out to those who have lost homes, farm land, and loved ones. But where we live, far south Salt Lake City, we have only experienced minor flooding over parts of the trail.
flooding at 11400 bridge
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Close relative of the Red-winged Blackbird, which are everywhere along the river, this is the first time I have seen this bird this far south of wildlife refuge at the Great Salt Lake. Their call is a very distinctive squawk, much like a parrot and has often been described as a ‘rusty hunge’. They make their nests attached to cattails and reeds over water.

These cliff swallows have built their mud nests under every bridge crossing the Jordan River. They are very social birds and often make their nests in large colonies. It is not unusual to see 10-20 of them at a time gracefully swooping through the air just above the water grabbing flying insects by the hundreds


This Killdeer sat here for a very long time, quite unusual for these because they seem to be constantly on the move. These are becoming more common around here as sections of the Jordan River are being converted into wetlands areas.

These guys, as well as the Mallard duck, are all along the river and very often we see them resting in farm fields on both sides of the river.

We heard frogs. I have yet to actually see a frog around here, but today with the abundance of extra water, we heard several. And we also saw what looked like a red fox bounding across a meadow of high grass. There was no way I could get a photo but another first for us here in the valley.

New Flowers
The greenery is especially nice for mid-June this year after the extra rain and the extended pleasantness that is Spring. We, my wife Linda and I, saw many new flowers.

These poppies were quite unusual for the river environ. I’m pretty sure someone tossed some seeds to see if they would take. I want to thank whoever did it. Very nice touch.

The weather may be giving us gardeners a few challenges in our backyards this year but what we get in exchange along the river more than makes up for it.


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