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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!  😀

A Moab Wedding

Rich and I had our long-awaited wedding ceremony on October 12.  It was a beautiful day, and we had friends and family from all over the country in attendance.  We had a great time (we hope everyone else did too!), and everything was laid-back and perfect.  Below are some of my favorite photos from this happy day!  You know the drill…click them to make them bigger.





Yay, Katie and Rich!  10/12/2013


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