Saturday, August 21, 2010

Four Corners Furtherance: Animals of Zion National Park

Visitors travel from around the world to America's National Parks to view natural beauty. So far with Zion National Park I've been focusing on the geological marvels, but in this post I'm going to take a look at the animal life of Utah's most visited national park.

But you have to work at finding the critters. Unlike Yellowstone, there are no massive herds of bison or elk, but I did find the elk on the left nibbling on a tree in the Zion Narrows.

Not too far away from the elk I encountered the pesty rock squirrel on the right. Yeah, they look cute, but people feel compelled to feed them--which is against the law--and since they've lost their fear of people (almost), they view human belongings as their own. I watched that rodent chew through a backpack, but the owner of it picked it up before the squirrel could munch on what it smelled inside.

About 100 yards from where I was confronted by a rattlesnake, I captured a rafter of wild turkeys sipping water from the Virgin River. Yes, a group of turkeys is called a rafter.

Reptiles are abundant in Zion, and this collared lizard is one of the more common ones there. They are not that hard to photograph--the trick is to stand still when you see one, then gently move toward it. Zoom in, then snap the picture.

Next: Kolob Canyons

Earlier posts:

The geology of Zion National Park
Overview of Zion National
Moqui Cave
Arizona's White Mesa and roadside stands
The dogs of Kayenta
Monument Valley at sunrise
Monument Valley at sunset
The road to Monument Valley
The monument is closed and in the wrong spot
More of Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park and the Ancients
Gerald R. Ford Memorial Highway
Flatlanders battle the Rocky Mountains and a car gets altitude sickness
Buffalo Bill's gravesite
Buffalo Bill's Scout's Rest Ranch
My rattlesnake sighting

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