Dinosaurs at Hogle Zoo

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Yesterday’s visit to Hogle Zoo with Jill, Adelaide, and my grandchildren found us encountering dinosaurs. Their heads and necks moved and they made noises so as to appear more life-like. The Dilophosaurus even spit water out of its mouth which scared my granddaughter Aurora and quite surprised me just as I was about to take its photograph.

The dinosaurs are presented in alphabetical order. If you click on the photographs, they will either show a larger version of the same photograph or a different shot of the same dinosaur.

Allosaurus

Allosaurus (different lizard) is the state fossil of Utah. The powerful skull of Allosaurus was a perfect meat-eating machine. The jaws were large and massive, with serrated teeth for cutting meat. The skull was composed of separated pieces that could be disjointed allowing him to swallow enormous chunks of meat whole. Allosaurus constantly grew, shed and replaced it teeth, some of which averaged three or four inches in length.

Allosaurus

Allosaurus

Dilophosaurus

Dilophosaurus (double-crested lizard) had colorful crests that could have been used to attract mates. In the movie Jurassic Park, Dilophosaurus paralyzed its prey by spitting blinding venom in the eyes. There is no evidence of this but it does make for a good story.

Dilophosaurus

Dilophosaurus with baby. They spit blinding venom in our eyes that felt a little like water.

Kentrosaurus

Kentrosaurus (sharp-point lizard) had plates along the low back tail that most likely served a defensive function. The tail had two pairs of sharp, two-foot spikes that were probably used for lashing out against predators. The plates may have had blood flowing through them to help heat and cool the dinosaur’s body.

Kentrosaurus

Kentrosaurus

Megalosaurus

Megalosaurus (great lizard) had curved teeth with a serrated edge and strong claws on each toe and finger. The curved claws were designed for seizing and holding prey, while the jaws were the main killing tool. Megalosaurus was the first dinosaur to be discovered, in England in 1676.

Megalosaurus

Megalosaurus

Parasaurolophus

Parasaurolophus (crested lizard) had a hollow head-crest that allowed it to make a sound like a trombone. The noise may have been used to “talk” to the rest of the herd, warning them about approaching predators.

Parasaurolophus

Parasaurolophus

Rhinosaurus

Rhinosaurus (horned nose) is characterized by its large size, an herbivorous diet, large horns, and a thick protective skin. The Rhinosaurus can exceed 7,700 pounds in weight and have a head and body length of 15 feet. They are extremely nearsighted; making the Rhinosaurus dangerous and unpredictable, and likely to charge unfamiliar sounds and smells.

Rhinosaurus

Rhinosaurus. This one looked the most life-like

Styracosaurus

Styracosaurus (spiked lizard) used its horns for defense and could charge like a rhino to protect itself. But because its frill was not solid bone and was easily punctured, some researchers theorize that it may have been able to flush the frill with blood creating eyespots to scare predators away.

Styracosaurus

Styracosaurus and baby

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Tyrannosaurus Rex (tyrant lizard king) was one of the largest animal predators. With a 5-foot-long head, 8-inch long teeth and a bite three times stronger than a lion’s, it could eat 200 pounds of meat in one bite. The little arms were extremely strong for holding on to struggling prey. It had a keen sense of smell, bone-crushing bites, and super speed.

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Tyrannosaurus Rex

 

Notes and News

  • Not shown here but on display at Hogle Zoo: Coelophysis, Suchmimus, and Brachiosaurus.
  • Dinosaur details are from onsite information displays.
  • At 1 pm we were fortunate to experience first-hand feeding time at the zoo.
  • An extensive multi-animal habitat, called Rocky Shores, featuring polar bears, sea lions, seals and brown bears will open in the Spring of 2012.

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Spiral Jetty

Spiral Jetty from shore

Spiral Jetty seen from the shore

Last November Paul and I visited Spiral Jetty at Rozel Point. Then the Jetty was several hundred feet away from the waters of the Great Salt Lake. Yesterday Paul revisited Spiral Jetty, accompanied by Megan, with Julie and Dan. They found the Jetty almost submerged. Compare the photographs of the Jetty from November of last year with the ones that are published here.

Spiral Jetty outer arm

Daniel standing on the outer spiral of the Jetty

The graph below shows a year of daily readings up until Paul’s visit yesterday. The water level has risen over a foot from the same day last year and nearly three feet from our last visit in November. NGVD 29 is the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 and is a hybrid model closely representing the mean sea level. Note that the equipment malfunctioned near the low readings and appears to have taken at least two weeks to repair.

Great Salt Lake daily mean elevation

Readings from 14 May 2010 to 14 May 2011

The historical average level of Great Salt Lake is 4,200 feet. Spiral Jetty is only visible when the level of Great Salt Lake drops below 4,197.8 feet. The maximum elevation of the lake was 4,211.6 feet, seen in 1986 and 1987. The minimum elevation was in 1963 at 4,191.35 feet.

Spiral Jetty center

Megan stands at the center of Spiral Jetty

Great Salt Lake is the largest U.S. lake west of the Mississippi River and the 4th largest terminal lake (no outlet) in the world. It is about 75 miles long and 28 miles wide, and covers 1,700 square miles with a maximum depth of about 35 feet. A remnant of Lake Bonneville, a prehistoric freshwater lake that was 10 times larger than Great Salt Lake. It is typically three to five times saltier than the ocean.

Spiral Jetty almost submerged

Spiral Jetty is almost submerged

Paul reports that the rough trail to Spiral Jetty has been graded and resurfaced and is now a smooth drive. A parking lot has been built near the Jetty. I suspect that those who do not visit the Spiral Jetty soon will have nothing to see for perhaps another three decades.

Spiral Jetty overcast

This may be the last you will see of Spiral Jetty for a time

Credits

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North Fork Park

North Fork Park camp

North Fork Park campsite

I believe this is the first time that Jill and I have been camping with all our grown children at the same time. Plus their spouses were with us as well as all three of our grandchildren. We did not go far, just to North Fork Park.

North Fork Park Bryson and Aurora

Bryson and Aurora enjoy giant marshmallows

North Fork Park Cassandra

Cassandra

Our children’s spouses are fun to be around. Jill and I are glad that they are a part of our family.

North Fork Park Derek

Derek

North Fork Park Rachel

Rachel

North Fork Park Adelaide

Adelaide

The sunglasses that Adelaide is wearing remind me of the ones Jill wore back in the early 1980s.

For cooking, we had Derek’s smoker, which provided us with some great chicken. Sarah cooked our evening meal using dutch ovens. The campfire was used to roast marshmallows and a homemade cooker, made from a 12 ounce can, carboard, and candle wax, was utilized to cook our bacon and eggs for breakfast.

North Fork Park Derek and smoked chicken

Derek attending to his smoked chicken. Mmm...tasty

North Fork Park dinner

Dinner, clockwise from left: Paul, Megan, Jake, Rachel, Dan, Steven, Aurora, Adelaide, Cassandra, Rick

North Fork Park Dan

Dan: Marshmallow, anyone?

For entertainment we visited around the campfire, played with grandchildren, and identified the stars using Google Sky. There was also…

North Fork Park moose

moose watching...

North Fork Park Dan playing guitar

music...

North Fork Park Jake and Cassandra

Jake making faces at Cassandra...

North Fork Park Jill and Cassandra

and smoke avoidance

The moose were just hanging around the campground.

Sleeping was uneventful except for Jake eating too much dinner and bursting his sleeping mat. And lastly, the mandatory group photograph, click for a 4000×3000 version.

North Fork Park Jake

We heard a loud bang late last night. It was just Jake and his exploding mat.

North Fork Park group photo

Rear: Jake, Paul, Dan, Steve, Derek, Rick. Front: Jill, Aurora, Rachel, Megan, Bryson, Cassandra, Ada, Sarah


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Family Home Evening Treacle Toffee

 
 
One of the main ingredients for Family Home Evening must surely be the treat. On Sunday, I spied an old can of Lyle’s Black Treacle (by appointment to Her Majesty) on the pantry shelf and prised open the lid, which had printed upon it, “BEST BEFORE OCT 2001” and “DISPOSE OF ON EXPIRY.” The contents still looked quite serviceable to me so I searched the web for a treacle toffee recipe.

Melt 4 ounces of butter in a pan and then add 1 pound of dark brown sugar, 4 dessert spoonfuls of treacle, 4 tablespoons of milk, and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir until the sugar dissolves, turn the heat low and boil for 30 minutes. Pour into butter-greased pan and place in refrigerator to harden.

I only had 0.8 pounds of light brown sugar but when you are using treacle 10 years past its expiry, who cares? Another google gave me the insight that a dessert spoon is of a size between a teaspoon and a tablespoon (but closer to a tablespoon). So I merely dug out 4 tablespoons of treacle with an extra scoop to empty the can — after all, it was past its expiry.

The 30 minutes of boiling wasn’t working for me so Megan put a candy thermometer in the pan and we waited until the temperature reached 270 degrees Fahrenheit. That fixed it and I poured most of the gooey mess into a large flat baking dish and saved the rest to fix the leak in the roof.

On Monday, after hardening, I broke the toffee in pieces, ready for family home evening. Paul had some of his tasty cookies as backup, in case I burned the treacle.

Treacle toffee
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Grand Canyon Addendum

Family members who have seen this video have requested that I post it. A kind of Grand Canyon addendum to our recent trip. I about fall over laughing every time I watch Jill’s little stumble.

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The Best Easter

Target practice rifle Mark

Mark with a Robinson Armament Company XCR

Last Easter weekend the family gathered west of the Golden Spike. Instead of a silly Easter egg hunt we fired a variety of weapons for several hours. We also had three ATVs, a bicycle, and even a few kites. The weather was not too hot and the rain stayed away. We had a great lunch. It was The Best Easter yet.

Rifles

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Target practice rifle Jake

Jake

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Pistols

Target practice pistol Susan

Susan

Target practice pistol Randy

Randy

Target practice pistol Megan

Megan

Target practice pistol Jake

Jake

ATVs

Target practice atv Megan and Paul

Paul and Megan

Target practice atv Dan

Dan

Target practice atv Rachel and Jake

Rachel and Jake

The Children

Target practice hill Jake and Dan

The children, Jake and Dan, scrambled around on the hills when the range was closed


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The Watchtower

Grand Canyon Watchtower view

The Watchtower has an internal steel framework designed by the bridge builders of the Santa Fe Railway

When I first saw the Grand Canyon Watchtower I thought it to be an ancient structure that had been restored. But no, the Watchtower was constructed in 1932 and opened in May 1933. Architect Mary Colter designed the tower and took care of every detail, even down to the placement of most of the stones, leaving weathered faces untouched to add to the ancient appearance of the tower. She said:

“First and most important, was to design a building that would become part of its surroundings; one that would create no discordant note against the time eroded walls of this promontory.”

The 70-foot Watchtower, a National Historic Landmark, is located at Desert View, the eastern-most developed area on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The design takes its influences from the architecture of the ancestral Puebloan people. There is a gift store, with the upper floors utilized as observation decks for views of the canyon and the Painted Desert.

Grand Canyon Watchtower trees

The top floor of the tower is without decoration which might detract from the beautiful panoramic views of the Grand Canyon


Grand Canyon Watchtower and Colorado River

From the Watchtower is a magnificent view of the Colorado River

Desert View, named after the views to the east of the Painted Desert, has a grand view of the Colorado River, the North Rim can been seen more than 10 miles away, and a on a clear day a panoramic view is visible for over 100 miles.
Grand Canyon Watchtower mural

The first gallery, on the first landing, was done by Fred Kabotie, a Hopi from second Mesa


Grand Canyon Watchtower paintingGrand Canyon Watchtower artGrand Canyon Watchtower

Watchtower Family Photographs

Click on the links to view the family pictures shot at the Watchtower.

  • Jake on the top floor
  • Paul outside the Watchtower
  • Jill on the deck of the Watchtower

Sources

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The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon with Phantom Ranch

The Grand Canyon with Phantom Ranch center right

On our return to Utah from the Mesa Easter Pageant, we stopped at the Grand Canyon. The Canyon is 277 river miles long, is up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep. It tells of geological processes in a unique combination of size, color, and dazzling erosional forms. There is a fascinating variety of plants and animals, from the desert next to the Colorado River deep in the canyon to the forests atop its North Rim.

The Making Of The Grand Canyon

The Colorado River flowed across the Colorado Plateau on its way from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California. Each rain washed sparsely vegetated desert soils into the river.

A steep gradient and heavy sediment loads created a powerful tool for erosion. The river’s volume varied seasonally and over time. As the last ice age ended, the flow may have been 10 times today’s volume.

As the river cuts down, the canyon deepens. Tributaries erode into the canyon’s sides, increasing its width. Erosion carves faster into the softer rock layers, undermining harder layers above. With no foundation these layers collapse, forming the cliffs and slopes profile of the canyon. Erosion wears away the ridges separating adjacent side canyons, leaving buttes and pinnacles.

Grand Canyon

Revealed strata preserve a lengthy, although incomplete, record of Earth's history

Grand Canyon Vista with Phantom Ranch and Kaibab_Bridge

Grand Canyon Vista with Phantom Ranch and Kaibab_Bridge

Grand Canyon Kaibab Bridge

Grand Canyon Kaibab Bridge

Grand Canyon visitors

Grand Canyon visitors enjoying the magnificence of their surroundings

Jill at the Grand Canyon

Jill at the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Colorado River from the South Rim

Grand Canyon Colorado River from the South Rim

Bright Angel Trail

The most popular trail into the canyon begins west of the Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim. The trailhead elevation is 6,785 feet and descends 4,380 feet to the Colorado River. The Bright Angel Trail offers wonderful views all along the trail. It has an average grade of 10% along its entire length. At trail’s end, the River Trail continues another 2 miles to the Bright Angel Campground and Phantom Ranch.

Hazards hikers can encounter along the Bright Angel Trail include dehydration, sudden rainstorms, flash flooding, loose footing, bootpacked ice, rockfall, encounters with wildlife, and extreme heat. At the Colorado River, additional hazards include hypothermia (due to the river’s consistently cold temperatures), trauma (due to collisions with boulders in rapids), and drowning.

We decided to walk for just a half-hour down the trail.

Grand Canyon group shot

Along the Bright Angel Trail: Jill, Bryson, Paul, Sarah, Derek, Jake, and Rick

Bright Angel Trail

Along the Bright Angel Trail: Derek carrying Bryson, Sarah, Jill, and Paul

Jill on the Bright Angel Trail

The end, or the beginning, of the Bright Angel Trail

Jill pausing for a photograph on the Bright Angel Trail

Jill pausing for a photograph on the Bright Angel Trail

Grand Canyon Family Photographs

Click on the links to view the family pictures shot at the Grand Canyon.

Colorado River from the South Rim of the The Grand Canyon

Colorado River from the South Rim of the the Grand Canyon

Sources

  • National Park Service Grand Canyon brochure
  • National Park Service Grand Canyon Guide & Maps
  • Wikipedia Bright Angel Trail

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Daniel Has Such Cool Girlfriends

Daniel and girlfriendNow that Daniel is back from his mission he can concentrate on his schooling and maybe the odd girlfriend. His latest date, Krystal, was somewhat cold and a little flaky but she didn’t talk much so that was a positive. She has no heart for studying but did try a semester at Snow College.

Krystal likes ice skating, snow cones, and being outdoors. Her favorite movies are The Day After Tomorrow, Snow White, and Cold Mountain. I think she likes Daniel because she literally melted in his arms. Daniel’s brother said not to let this one slip away.

Krystal under construction

Krystal under construction

Unfortunately Krystal told Daniel she will be leaving for the summer but will be back next winter, probably with the first snows.

What do you think of Krystal?
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