"Seen Any UFOs???"

        I grew up a couple blocks north of the LDS Temple. Back then St. George was a little town enclosed by red hills to the north, black, flattop hills to the east and west, and gray, open rolling hills to the south with a river running through. The only time I got to see Pinevalley Mountain was when my folks took me to visit their friends on flying objectsthe other side of those barriers. Since moving to Bloomington Ranches I am joyfully obliged to see Pinevalley Mountain wherever I go, and I love living here.

        One crisp evening, just before dusk, I could see sunlight highlighting the mountains from Pinevalley to Zion with rose-colored tints. Whenever I see a sight like this, I know for sure, why people move to southern Utah. We were driving the road from Bloomington to Tonaquint Park and as we neared the Santa Clara’s drainage, a flock of 50 plus Canada Geese were just forming in the sky. It was a large cluster of silhouetted figures against that rose-colored hue. The geese eventually went into a magnificent V and headed up the drainage, probably on their way to Gunlock Reservoir.

        Watching and listening to Geese flying is a spectacular event. Fifteen minutes later, we were headed back to Bloomington and there, high in the failing light of the day was another cluster of dark shapes twisting and wheeling upwards. No flying formation had developed, so we quickly pulled to the side of the road, gathered up our binoculars and got out of the vehicle. This was a strange formation. One we hadn’t seen before. Hey . . . those aren’t birds. Geese aren’t round with strings attached. It was a cluster of balloons that had broken lose and were taking to the skies. The joke was on us.

        It’s okay to get fooled once in a while. If you don’t keep a sharp eye to the skies, you could miss a fabulous sight. Take a drive and see the outdoor sights of southern Utah. Or, for a guided tour to see what birds are here and where they hang out, come to the St. George Winter Bird Festival. All field trips are free and begin at the Tonaquint Nature Center. For more information about trick sightings or our monthly field trips, call 435 673-0996. Keith Davis is the artist this week. Picture drawn with color pencils.


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