Publisher’s Note: Leaning In

"Things are tough all over,” a phrase coined by a popular movie from the early 1980’s — but every bit as accurate today as it was then. Surrounded by a national economic crisis, social instability, and political unrest, I think it is crucial to acknowledge that this is not the first time that any of these things have happened in our great nation. If we look back at the pioneers that settled in the Heber Valley, we would recognize how difficult life was for them. An expression commonly used by these pioneers when…

Power in Positivity

By Ryan Bunnell Publisher, Heber Valley Life Magazine “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.” - Marcus Aurelius - ANXIETY. It is safe to say that every single one of us has processed this feeling in the past several months. This edition of Heber Valley Life magazine has been written and assembled in the middle of the Wasatch County ‘Stay at Home’ order for the COVID-19 pandemic. The continued and now amplified disruption of ‘normal’ to the Heber Valley has…

Breaking The Mold

I have heard it popularly stated that by small and simple things – great things could be accomplished. Spring is a season where I feel this principle is illustrated quite clearly in nature. Consider the example of a small and seemingly insignificant seed, perhaps even invisible to the eye, that has been lying dormant under a blanket of organic cover and snow since autumn. As the snow melts and the temperature increases, that seed begins to germinate and comes to life. Within a relatively short window, that seed grows into a…

How Human Are You?

One of my all-time favorite science fiction stories centers around a dystopian future in the San Francisco of 2021. In Phillip K. Dick’s 1968 classic “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” Earth is suffering from the remnant radiation of a global nuclear war. All remaining life is cherished. Due to scarcity in the marketplace, possessing something like a house pet is prohibitively expensive while, at the same time, encouraged in a society that values life above all else. Thus, bending to the empathetic tendencies of…

The Taxonomy of an Identity

I love taking nature walks with my children in the Heber Valley and the fall season is arguably one of the most favorable climates in which to do so. Sometimes we walk the Provo River trails and other times we head for higher ground on any of the numerous and growing trail systems along the benches of the valley. As the children explore, we discuss the taxonomy or identity of the various life forms on the walk. The children drink it up. I attempt to point out the unique characteristics of each plant and insect with

Living Sculpture

One of my personal hobbies is styling and tending to bonsai trees. The overall goal behind the art of bonsai is to create a portable window into nature in the form of a potted tree. That tree, in miniature, should illustrate all of the characteristics of an ancient and venerated monument of endurance and survival as it may be found on the mountain itself. The discipline involves, initially, creating a design or a plan generated from careful observation of the natural characteristics of the tree. A good design will

Tread Lightly

The transition from winter dormancy to tender spring awakenings has a soft spot in my heart. Our mountain desert environment is so harsh, and yet the most delicate and intricate flora and fauna have somehow become specialized enough to survive our seasonal transitions. The annual rebirth is a miracle in my eyes. When those frail and dainty, newly-emerged little shoots start to stick their heads out from the left-over blanket of expired vegetation of seasons past, I cannot help but think about their – albeit

Layer Upon Layer Of Snow

One of my favorite life moments is to wake up on a cold, crisp winter morning only to find that a new, deep layer of snow is covering the existing landscape. I love to gaze upon an unblemished field of light, fluffy powder. I adore that fresh coating of pure white; clinging to the trees and softening the rocky summit line of our surrounding mountain landscape — only noticeable after the clouds break and the light returns with all of its blinding clarity. I delight in how the snow drifts and covers everything that I once

History In The Making

The autumn landscape is a perpetual sequence of change. Within a slight glimmer of time the heat of the high desert summer passes, days grow shorter, the landscape itself explodes with a celebration of color and morphs into a preparatory state suitable for the endurance of the season to come. As we assembled this volume of Heber Valley Life magazine I have seen a likeness between the autumnal transition and the condition of the Heber Valley. The Heber Valley stands in its own transitional period. The acknowledgement of…

There’s Something Fishy Going On

In spite of previous efforts to manage the Jordanelle fishery, the stocked rainbow trout returns have been in a steady decline since 2004 and sit below the state averages in both creel and gillnet studies. The population of smallmouth bass is seemingly stable; however, these fish tend to experience an unexplained stunted growth rate after the age of two. The result of these two variables is that angler usage has decreased and citizens are not using this state-managed resource to its fullest potential. The Jordanelle…

Who Are The People In Your Neighborhood?

The seasonal transition from spring to summer in the mountains is a magical time. The deciduous landscape itself morphs from sterile dormancy to a vibrant, colorful and delightful palate of texture and color. The air is scented with the fragrance of blooming flowers, the dampness of the river bottom and the crisp cleanness that drapes our mountain summits. Children can be found playing in the streets, riding bicycles and celebrating the open-ended freedom of long summer days with limited obligations. Yardwork commences and…