A carpet of gold in Soapstone Basin, Utah

/, Utah, Wasatch County, Wildflowers/A carpet of gold in Soapstone Basin, Utah

Mule's Ears -Soapstone Basin, UtahMule’s Ears -Soapstone Basin, Utah – Nikon D300, handheld, f14, 1/80, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 18 mm, natural light

There’s gold in them thar hills! Not the nuggets of gold that prospectors work hard to find but a carpet of golden Mule’s Ears covering some of the hills in Soapstone Basin, Utah. There were other wildflowers blooming in the mountains yesterday but in the Soapstone Basin it was the Mule’s Ears that stole the show.

In the heat of summer Utahns and visitors to the state can escape the heat by heading to the mountains which is where I wandered yesterday. The Soapstone Basin is named after Soapstone Creek which flows through the basin and Soapstone Creek got its name for the soapy-feeling talc that occurs along the creek bed.

It felt marvelous to be in the mountains yesterday and to see that Bald Mountain and a few other mountains in the area still have some snow up high even in the middle of July especially because temperatures in the Salt Lake valley climbed to over 100° F.  It was a scorcher yesterday in northern Utah and at one point I saw a temperature reading of 105°.



  1. Kathiesbirds July 15, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Mia, what a great way to cool off! Just beautiful!

  2. Jolanta July 15, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Just beautiful!

  3. Elephant's Child July 15, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    The very, very best type of gold to hoard, cherish and share.
    Those temperatures? Bleah. You can keep them. Please.

  4. Jane Chesebrough July 15, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I love your fore, middle and background here with all this colour, makes for an interesting composition. Great shot and yes, I am enjoying the wild flowers very much, too.

  5. Utahbooklover July 15, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Looks like a beautiful way to escape yesterday’s high of 103 in SLC. I had to look up images of Bald Mountain — elevation: 11,942′ (3,640 m) — it has been many years since I was in that part of the Uinta Mountains. Cooling off to 95 degrees today but July is always a good time to head for the mountains!

  6. M. Bruce July 15, 2014 at 10:17 am

    You got some amazing depth of field from that setup, and handheld at 1/80 to boot. You didn’t mention your ISO and I was wondering how high you would go in a situation like this? I imagine you have some sort of limit in mind or else you might have stopped down even further.

    • Mia McPherson July 15, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Oops, I meant to put the ISO, I had it set at ISO 160. It was pretty bright yesterday.

      • M. Bruce July 15, 2014 at 11:34 am

        Interesting Mia – thanks

  7. Patty Chadwick July 15, 2014 at 8:05 am

    This image is like healing ointment for whatever ails you! It sure lift my spirits! 105 degree temps? Not so much…..I rather have this kind of gold any day….

  8. Sarah Mayhew July 15, 2014 at 6:44 am


  9. Lois Bryan July 15, 2014 at 5:53 am

    how magnificent!! thank you for sharing your visit to this amazing sight!!

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