Monday, October 29, 2007 ;
5:17 AM
Oct 27

Antelope Island State Park

Every year, around this time, the Park will have a Bison Round-Up. They'll use men on horses, dogs, and even helicopters to drive all the buffalo to an area where the buffalo can pass the winter. There, they get counted and examined, get medical attention and care as well.

Scientists have calculated an optimal number of bison that the island can support. And since on the island, the buffalo do not have natural predators, they thrive very well. So, all the extra bison would be auctioned off.

The public are invited to watch the round-up and also the tagging and examination of the bison over these weeks. We just went to enjoy the Great Salt Lake, and view some bison.

The Great Salt Lake is really enormous. It gets water from several sources, including melted snow. However, it does not have any outlets, and water returns to the water cycle via evaporation only. So the Lake gets more and more concentrated in minerals and salts.

Hence, not much can survive in the lake, only brine shrimp and some algae. However, why is Antelope Island full of wildlife? The great diversity of birds is truly exciting. The birds all come to feed on the brine shrimp. Cos the lake is teeming with them. Every month of the year, different birds can be seen, even the bald eagle. So many avid birdwatchers gather here.

The Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake. It is even larger than Singapore, I think, looking at the map.

Ripple effect in the sand, with brine shrimp exoskeleton in the grooves. (above right)

All the various beautiful sand patterns made by wave action, around the plants on the "beach".

Above right: mineral deposits, brine shrimp and foam.
Above left: the kids playing with pebbles on the "beach".

Above right: ds1 brought his fav Ultraman Dyna along on the trip too. He will request to take pic with it, and will also tell Dyna about the sights he sees, along the way.

Above: evidence of the wildlife -- all the dead carcasses, feathers...

More flora and fauna above, proving that even harsh habitats can also be colonised.

Above left: While I was snapping pics, a cute girl asked me to take her pic too! :-)

Below: the hundreds and thousands of birds, both migratory and resident, flying around and swimming in the lake.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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