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Ken was worried about the possibility of the honeybees swarming and sure enough, on Saturday, the strongest hive split apart. They made a new queen and thousands of bees followed her out of the hive. I noticed excessive activity down there and told Ken about it. He walked over to see what was up and had the chance to watched the swarm take off and land on a nearby bitterbrush. There were so many bees that they weighed the branches down to the ground. Ken suited up and got a spare hive box with a few frames and cut the branches and dropped the girls into the box. They stayed so they must be happy with the new, less crowded box. Now there are six hives.

After the Nightscaper event in Kanab, we had a couple of days left in Utah. It was too hot for Luna to really enjoy it and our campsite offered no relief in the way of shade or water. The landscapes are amazing with another unbelievable formation around every corner.

One afternoon, to escape the heat, we drove up to Bryce where it was much cooler. However there were so many people, some parking lots were at full capacity. Instead of seeing park rangers, I saw parking managers. Still I did enjoy the scenery.

And I got out one night for milky way photography with a little low level lighting. Ken helped me with the lights. It really doesn’t take very much. I still need so much practice.

The evening light was beautiful where we camped and the girls and I enjoyed walks after dinner. I admit to being obsessed with the pastel pinks and greens of willow and sage and rabbitbrush and the stark aspens, not yet leafed out. And that geologic feature – the rock fin that came straight up out of the ground with its small arch on top. The female Northern Harrier must have had an unseen prey item and didn’t want to move even though we walked by her coming and going. Those two photos are heavily cropped. We were not overly close to her.

On our recent road trip, the girls and I spent a week in eastern Nevada. It was all new to us. I had never really contemplated what the phrase ‘basin and range’ meant. I thought it was mostly flat and desert-like with mountains here and there. That’s not the case at all. It has broad flat valleys that start at 5000′ elevation and are surrounded by high mountains, many going over 10,000′! As we drove through these valleys and over high passes, I was constantly amazed at the rugged snow-capped mountain ranges. Since it was May, the temperatures were cool and sometimes freezing overnight. I imagine it is brutal during the hot summer months. We saw familiar wildflowers but they were all short and seemed to be putting out all their energy before summer arrives. It must be a very short growing season.

Our friends from Montana joined us for a few days. Luna and Sky were surprised that Junie is almost grown up at nine months old. Gus was skeptical. We tried to get a four dog portrait but it never really worked. While Junie looks grown up, she is still a big puppy! Next time! We did a day trip to Great Basin National Park. The road to the high point was not open to cars due to snow so we walked on it instead. I’d like to go back and see the bristlecone pine trees and enjoy the night sky at over 10,000′!

Nevada is full of tiny towns, some on the brink of disappearing into history. Some are having a kind of renaissance, improving on historical features and counting on the great natural beauty to bring a few tourists to their communities. I wanted to say, be careful what you wish for. Don’t become Utah.

The girls and I recently returned from an adventurous fifteen-day roadtrip to Nevada and Utah. Did you know that eastern Nevada has LOTS of really high mountains? Like 10,000 feet and higher? Really an amazing landscape. And it’s so large, we barely saw any of it. And it’s remote. Really remote. Sky had a medical emergency on a Sunday and I managed to get a large animal veterinarian on the phone and he said, ‘Lady, you are in the middle of nowhere. No one here can take care of your dog. You need to go to Vegas or Salt Lake City.’ We ended up going to Elko, but that’s another story. Thanks to the wonders of modern veterinary medicine, Sky is fine now.

Our destination was the Nightscaper Conference in Kanab, Utah. Ken flew down to explore the sights and wrangle the dogs while I was filling my brain with more information than it could ever hold.

Here are a few images from the trip down there.

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