Saturday, September 30, 2023

A Second Day with Mom: September 21, 2023

See my first day with mom here. Four and a half months after my first day with mom I felt that I needed to see her again. In the interim she had turned 97 and I was looking at ways to get away to see here. I finally decided on September 21 and 22, 2023. I would leave Redlands on September 20 after an appointment I had, drive as far as I could (which ended up being Beaver, Utah), then get to mom the next morning (she suggested 10:00 a.m.). The day before I left, September 19, I got word that my mom's twin brother, Maynard, had died. I tried calling mom all that day and she was not picking up. I was worried about her state of mind. The 20th, the day I was going to leave, my sister Merilee said mom was looking forward to seeing me. I felt relieved and felt my visit was that much more important. 

Encouraged by the words of the Bear River Blogger, quoted in my last post, I decided that it was okay to take mom to a place we'd already been (Antelope Island). He was taking his mother to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge about three times a week. I picked up mom a few minutes after 10:00 a.m. and we headed for Brigham City, Utah and the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. It took us about an hour and a half to get there. Along the way I stopped at Maverik and bought some water, smoked almonds, cashews and shelled pistachios. Mom particularly liked the pistachios. 

It was a cold, rainy and windy day. As a result I did not take any photos because it was just too wet and cold to roll down the car window. So any photos below are representative of what we saw but taken by me previously in the same area. 

Before getting to the auto route we saw a female ring-necked pheasant run across the road and into some bushes. 
We slowly drove the rectangular Auto Route which is 12 miles. It was a poor day for birding. Not many were out and about. The first bird we saw was a single white pelican just as we crossed the bridge onto the auto route. Later we saw large groupings of pelicans. 

We probably saw more grebes than any other bird, both western grebes and Clark's grebes. The way to differentiate them is that in Clark's grebes the dark cap is above the red eye and in western grebes the dark cap goes around the red eye. 
Clark's grebes

Western grebe

Mom spotted a number of groups of Canada geese flying and we saw a few individual birds on the ground. 
We saw lots of gray and white gulls, mostly far away, likely ring-billed gulls. 

A few ducks, most likely cinnamon teals.
Lots of American coots. 
A few great egrets.
We finished the auto drive and were hungry. So we drove to Maddox Drive-Inn in Brigham City, a place we were familiar with from our days driving up to Willard Bay with our boat. In those days Maddox was right on the main road. Now with the I-15 it takes a detour off the freeway. It was raining, so we drove into the covered Drive-Inn and ordered from our car and had food placed in a rack on my partially rolled-down window. Mom was unsure of a turkey burger or a fried chicken breast, so we ordered both. She talked about how she always loved turkey and got it whenever she could. Mom also got a small salad with extra tomatoes that came in a separate container with large round slices. She also put tomato on her turkey burger and ended up being too full to eat any chicken. I got a steak sandwich with onion rings and ate some of our order of fried chicken. 

On the road again we drove to Antelope Island. We drove up near the buffalo corrals and saw two great-horned owls in the open-sided barn, just as we had last time. Then as we drove back to the road down the eastern side of the island we spotted about six pronghorns quite a distance west in a group. Mom was quite excited and said that was her favorite view of the day. We had to be at Chuck-A-Rama Buffet in Lehi to meet Rachael and my granddaughters at 5:00 p.m. So we drove fairly quickly down the east side road and turned back before getting to Fielding Garr Ranch. We saw some bison, but mostly at a distance and did not stop for any length of time to view any. 

With mom in the car we used the HOV lane during rush hour traffic and got to Lehi only a couple of minutes late. Rachael and the girls met us and we had a nice dinner at Chuck-A-Rama. By the time we finished both mom and I were quite tired. I got her back to her assisted living facility in Taylorsville and arranged to meet again at 10:00 a.m. the next day. I'd suggested a drive into the mountains or a drive out into the west desert to see wild horses. She wanted the latter. I headed to my hotel for the night in Lehi.

1 comment:

  1. I love the little details you included about your mom, and I am really impressed that at age 97 she still has eyesight sharp enough to spot all these animals. Amazing lady.