Wednesday, 08 September 2004
Best Kept Local Secrets Revealed
CREDIT: © Larry Fitzgerald/SGCity.org
WHERE: St. George, Utah, USA. WHAT: Tonaquint Nature Center.
MAP: SW Utah[web page], and St. George [PDF with the outline of the shaded area representing Tonaquint Nature Center at left & center resembling a dinosaur].
NOTE: thumbnail does not pop-up larger images, but does link to the source web site. Pop-up links have been removed because of technical difficulties.
On yesterday's visit to the City of St. George web site to acquire the marathon pictures, we stumbled across a page for the Tonaquint Nature Center. The town admits that this is the area's 'best kept secret', and we were astounded by the range of wildlife photographed so close to town by Larry Fitzgerald. The gallery of species looks more as though it was taken on some remote safari destination than in a nature reserve on the edge of a bustling city on a major traffic corridor.
The unexpected bounty of tortoises, lizards, snakes, hawks, ducks, roadrunners, herons, muskrats, and bobcats on the doorstep, is a wonderful privilege: we intend to visit as soon as possible. Meanwhile the center's web page is a good taster.
The name 'Tonaquint' comes from the name of the 1856 settlement, now a ghost town, which in turn was named for the First Nations band living on the nearby Santa Clara Creek, and led by Chief Tut-se-gavits. In 1861 Brigham Young visited the settlement, and foretold the future development of the valley. We doubt if even the expansionist LDS Church president could have envisioned the growth that was to come, and even though natural conservation was not high on the agenda of the early settlers, we hope he would have approved of the reserve at Tonaquint.
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)