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Wild About Utah

Wild About Utah is a weekly nature series produced by Utah Public Radio in cooperation with Stokes Nature Center, Bridgerland Audubon Society, Quinney College of Natural Resources, Cache Valley Wildlife Association, Utah State University and Utah Master Naturalist Program - USU Extension. More about Wild About Utah can be found here.

Utah is a state endowed with many natural wonders from red rock formations to salt flats. And from desert wetlands to columns of mountains forming the basin and range region. When we look closer, nature is everywhere including just outside our door.

The Bridgerland Audubon Society logo. Text reads, "Protecting the Nature of Utah for people and wildlife. Hear the wonders of Utah: plants, animals, geologic formations; ancient, present; terrestrial, avian and aquatic. Brought to you by the Bridgerland Audubon Society."

  • Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count is a prime example of how everyday observations from first-time volunteers and experts alike can make a big difference in understanding changing patterns in our world.
  • Last week, while driving along the western edge of Cache Valley just north of Mendon, I saw a huge herd of sheep complete with a sheepherder’s hut. I slammed on the breaks and jumped out with my camera to catch a few pictures of this rippling river of white.
  • Hundreds of people gathered at the Bear River Massacre site to plant trees and plants that were once sacred to the area. They came to heal the land, to offer some retribution for those whose bones had once littered some of these same grounds.
  • Once upon a time my family met what we now call ‘paralyzing berries’ on a hillside hike. I still don’t know the common name, let alone the scientific one. I sure could’ve used Naturalist Jack Greene’s plant identification and probable warning not to taste those tart wild berries that day.
  • Nature lovers need to be concerned about invasive aquatic species, especially the devastating potential of quagga mussels and their close relatives zebra mussels.
  • Summer’s heat is now just warmth as the sun sets lower in the autumn sky. I listen to the last rumbles of lawnmowers and leaf blowers and reflect upon the high hot season gone by.
  • In ancient times, the temporary extinguishing of the sun caused quite a bit of fear. The Chinese thought a giant dragon was taking bites out of the sun. They beat drums to drive the dragon away. In other countries, warriors shot flaming arrows into the sky to reignite the lost fireball.
  • The intrinsic value of connecting to nature has been realized and capitalized. It’s becoming more common for health workers, both mental and physical, to subscribe nature as a potential cure for many ailments.
  • When preparing to start another year teaching 2nd-grade at USU’s Edith Bowen Laboratory School, I decided to integrate birding into my curriculum. I knew that studying birds could be as simple or as complex as I desired, which seemed perfect to help all students make learning gains and make special discoveries throughout the year.
  • Birdwatching is a fun hobby for all ages and it is a great way to connect with nature and increase self-efficacy, so let’s discuss the benefits and the importance of a safe environment for feeding our backyard birds.