Navigating Seattle's streets and bustling marketplaces was an exhilarating experience. The city's scale and complexity were a stark contrast to the familiar streets of Salt Lake City.


Utah's public biomes present a unique opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. As someone who frequently visits these areas, I have had the privilege of witnessing and capturing the grandeur of the local fauna, particularly bison, in their natural habitat.

Close Encounters with Bison

On one memorable occasion, while taking a break with friends, we were unexpectedly approached by a herd of bison. Initially spotted at a distance of about five miles, the bison gradually made their way towards us. Their presence was imposing, and their demeanor somewhat aggressive, leaving us with no viable escape route. Trapped in our vehicle, we seized the opportunity to photograph these magnificent creatures, experiencing a mix of awe and apprehension. This encounter, especially intense for my friend who had never witnessed such a scene, highlighted the unpredictable nature of wildlife.

Photography and Wildlife Observations

These experiences are not just limited to bison. The public biomes in Utah also offer glimpses into the lives of other wildlife. I have photographed coyotes in pursuit of deer and observed deer swimming in swamps, an activity I was previously unaware of. These moments underscore the rich and diverse ecosystem that thrives within Utah's natural landscapes.

The Mosquitoes and the Ecosystem

A less glamorous but equally important aspect of these biomes is the presence of mosquitoes. While they can be a nuisance, leaving sizable marks with their bites, they play a crucial role in the local ecosystem. Mosquitoes serve as a food source for brine shrimp, a keystone species in Utah's aquatic environments. Brine shrimp, in turn, are critical for the survival of many fish species, serving as a primary food source for fry in fisheries worldwide. This highlights a complex food web where even the most seemingly insignificant creatures have a profound impact on global food chains.

The Brine Shrimp Industry

It's fascinating to note that the harvesting of brine shrimp in Utah employs approximately 200 people. This industry is integral in providing essential nourishment for aquaculture globally. The sustainability of numerous fish populations, which form a vital part of the human diet across the world, is heavily reliant on these tiny crustaceans.

Bird Refuges and the Circle of Life

Visits to bird refuges in the region further reveal the interconnectedness of this ecosystem. Here, birds feed on mosquitoes and flies, which in turn sustain the brine shrimp populations. This cycle exemplifies the delicate balance of nature, where each species, regardless of size, plays a significant role.


In conclusion, Utah's public biomes are not just a haven for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts but also a living laboratory that demonstrates the intricacies of ecological relationships. While the proximity to wildlife can be thrilling, it also serves as a reminder of our responsibility to respect and preserve these natural habitats. The photographs captured during these visits are not just snapshots of moments in time but also tell the story of a complex and interconnected ecosystem that sustains life far beyond the borders of Utah.