The End of a Long but Great Year


It’s been long.  A lot has happened, mostly for good.

We moved from a crappy, small townhome in St. George to a big, nice house in Santa Clara, UT (a small suburb of St. George) in January 2013.  Santa Clara was a nice little community, and if we had decided to stay in southwestern Utah, it would have been a nice, quiet place to live.

I added several new birds to my lifetime bird list in St. George – A Summer Tanager, a Ladder-Backed Woodpecker, some Hooded Mergansers, and Northern Harriers.

Summer_Tanager_5-13-13_1 Woodpecker_ladder-backed_5-6-13_1.1 2013-1-20_Hooded_Merganser_1.1

2013-1-20_Hooded_Merganser_2.1 2013-1-20_Northern_Harrier_1.1_female

A new addition to my life list from Moab this December – a bunch of Ruby-Crowned Kinglets spent most of the month digging seeds out of the snow in our front yard.  They are unimaginably tiny – like a fat, short-billed hummingbird.


I also saw a Great Blue Heron couple make a nest and raise baby Herons about 2 blocks from our house in St. George, and got to meet my Dad’s friendly Juniper Titmouse here in Moab.

2013-2-2_Great_Blue_Heron_nest_1.1 2013-9-11_John_and_his_friendly_titmouse_14.1

My mom and I flew to Philadelphia and had a great visit with family and friends.  That’s uncle Rich with me below.


Some of my plants that have never bloomed before bloomed, and most of the plants that have bloomed before bloomed more profusely thanks to St. George’s warmer, earlier spring.

Echinocereus_reichenbachii_1_5-28-13_1.1 Echinocereus_pentalophus_1_5-28-13_1.1 Echinocereus_dasyacanthus_1_5-13-13_3.1

Adenium_obesum_1_6-10-13_1.1 Echinocactus_texensis_2n1_5-8-13_1.1

I saw plants in bloom in habitat that I have never seen blooming before in and around St. George.

Ferocactus_cylindraceus_lecontei_5-26-13_1.1 041.1

Echinocereus_2.1 Echinocereus_1.1

I rode my bike more than I have in many recent years.  I also hiked a LOT.  I rode 142.17 miles in 2013, and I hiked 84.25 miles.


Rich and I moved back to Moab in August, and Chris stayed in St. George to attend college, and live in the dorms there.

We finally had a wedding, and had a HUGE number of family and friends come to Moab to help us celebrate.  It was wonderful to have such a beautiful ceremony and a great party!


With our wedding gift money, we were able to buy a lot of nice things for our household, my favorite of which was our smoker.  After the salmon I posted about last time, I managed to get one more smoke in before it got too cold (the smoking has to be done outdoors).  The last smoke of the season was two different kinds of trout – rainbow and steelhead.  The steelhead was a little fishier than I was hoping for, but the rainbow trout was amazing!  Here’s the rainbow:


We have gotten an un-Moab-like amount of snow so far this winter.  I wish it would stop.  Here’s a look at the first snow of the season, with my hand in front of the accumulated snow for scale.  It was 6″ to 7″, depending where I measured it in my yard.


Last but not least, I have an Aloe blooming currently that hasn’t bloomed before.  Aloe bosseri, one of the more rare plants I own.  I am very proud that it is blooming for me!


Thanks for visiting and commenting, and sticking with me for another year!  😀

20 Responses to The End of a Long but Great Year

  • Beautiful post Katie. Awesome to hear you have biked & hiked so much. Wedding – of course – sooo cool. And wow your way with the desert plants is quite the gorgeous expression of your life 🙂 All the best in 2014 – you deserve it!

  • Happy New Year Katie to you and your new husband and family!

  • Hooray for all the good things in 2013! I’m glad I was close by for some of the events. Always fun to hang out with a good friend. 🙂

  • So glad you’re back in Moab with me, Katie! In 2014, let’s be sure we get more face time…and hope for less snow!

  • I really liked this layout, what a great trip through the year. The cactus blooms look unreal, especially #4 – it looks like a little anime cactus. The wedding was beautiful and I’m glad we could be a part of it. The kids would love snow here, all we had was an ice day, really – no school and no snow but I guess some parts of the city had too much ice for the buses.

  • Hillary – Thanks! I wish you all the best, too! Maybe I’ll see you next summer in OR. 🙂

  • Shoshana – Thanks so very much! Hope you guys are staying warm in the East!

  • Janet – Agreed. 😀

  • Jen – Yes, for sure. I’m glad you’re back, too. It will make it more bearable!

  • Catherine – Thank you. That plant is one of my favorites. I can’t believe there is such a thing as an ‘ice day’! I can’t remember ever having even had a ‘snow day’.

  • Wow what a year. Here’s to a very happy productive, fun, exciting 2014! Wishing you and Rich all the best.

  • Lorraine – Thank you! I hope the same for you! 🙂

  • Your informative, colorful and interesting reports are always a treat to read and look at. Will be looking for more in the days ahead and I hope you and Rich and all your loyal viewers have a new year that brings some good things and ….you know……. happy stuff.

  • Katie, your year was so terrific. You and Rich accomplished more than most people do in five years.
    Dad and I were so happy to be part of it all, especially your wedding. That was a magnificent occasion!
    Enjoyed every minute. We wish you the very best for 2014. Prosit!

  • A very, very nice expression of your year. What an event filled year it was. I hope next year will be even better. Much happiness and goodness to you and your family in 2014.

  • Uncle Doug – Thanks! I’m looking forward to 2014 being GREAT for us!

  • Sonja (AKA ‘mom’) – It has been a hell of a year, eh? Prosit!

  • Aunt Marcy – Thank you very much! I am so glad you and uncle Louie were able to Moab and be a part of your year, and that I got to see you in April, too. That’s a rare thing! 😀 All the best.

  • Hi Katie,
    I have to say that your wedding dress was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen and of course you looked glorious in it.
    In fact we have your wedding photo on the fridge.
    So you think THAT’S snow…..hahaha… come up here in the Polar Vortex…….
    Speaking of birds, we seem to have lost some of the birds that used to visit us in the winter months, the Evening Grosbeaks for one species.
    There was some explanation for this recently, something about berries and Canada.
    I do miss them though, they were bright yellow, had parrot beaks and visited us in crowds, very impressive.
    Hope you and Rich have a fabulous New Years 2014,
    Love Les XXXXX

  • Aunt Les – Thanks for your kind words about my dress. I wish you two had been able to join us for the wedding, but I understand. Happy 2014 to you, too!

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