We drove over to the neighbor’s place this early this morning while the ground was still frozen to help them put their yearling heifers through the squeeze chute for their Brucellosis vaccinations. Then they hauled the bred heifers to their home place. By 10:30 AM we needed 4-wheel drive to get out…the top got really greasy in a quick hurry!
I took this photo with my camera phone in “panorama” view…didn’t turn out too bad!
Their grazing lands are adjacent to the Malheur Lake. The lake in the photo is the thin white line (ice this time of year) between the sage brush and the hills in the distance. SE Oregon is nicknamed “The Big Empty”…which is very true…miles and miles of nothing…but we love it that way!
Malheur Lake is located in the Malheur National Forest. Stretching from the base of Steens Mountain to the north shore of the Malheur and Harney Lakes complex, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is one of the crown jewels of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s refuge system.
The fresh water of Malheur Lake has no exit to the sea, but it empties into nearby Harney Lake which serves as the evaporation pan for the pair. Thus, Harney Lake is laden with minerals left behind in the evaporation process.
There are vast marshes, willow thickets, stands of large cottonwoods, and plenty of sage steppe which encompasses this area.