Monday, January 27, 2014

Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area, Utah

4 June 2013

Hyrum State Park just outside of Brigham City was my next campground.  There was really nothing there to do or see unless you had a boat, but I was there to recharge all my batteries, buy food and take a shower. I thought I would at least be able to hike along the river but the trail was closed.  So I decided to drive up Route 101 to Hardware Ranch Visitor Center.  It was a beautiful drive but when I reached the end of the road, where the center was located, I found it closed as well. Shucks. But frankly the drive was so beautiful in these mountains I was still having a good time. One the way back I stopped to watch cattle being released and driven to higher country for the summer. They were real authentic modern day cowboys.

I also passed a truck that was unloading sheep into the summer pasture. I think they were sitting here regrouping before they moved on.

I pulled off to the side of the road because I was seeing lots of butterflies and noticed I was still in the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management area. 

I spend the next hour or two running up and down the road and along the stream looking for butterflies.

Here are a few of them.
Satyr Comma

Indra Swallowtail

Juba Skipper

Purplish Copper
Mylitta Crescent

I made several other stops and eventually had lunch at a spot that had access to the stream.  Did you ever get that feeling that someone or something was looking at you? Well I did and when I looked up from my sandwich I noticed this good size Racer (Coluber constrictor) just staring at me.  

It was definitely not shy and I will have to say that I did pick my feet up off the ground.  It crossed my thought to climb onto the picnic table but then what good would that have done. So we both held our ground and eventually the snake got bored and left. Whew.

There was a nice trail through the primitive camp ground that I took and found some lovely flowers and this Giant Dobsonfly.

All in all it turned out to be a day of surprises and I think that if I were to go back to that area I would consider camping in one of these primitive spots rather than in town at the State Park. I was away from tourist, exploring, finding wildlife and enjoying life on my terms. What could be better.

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