Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Blitzen Moves to Drewsey

Morgan, MacKenzie, Spike and Blitzen
 Blitzen celebrated his first birthday, April 8, in his new home with the Cronin family on a ranch in Drewsey. (If some of my friends and relatives thought I was in the middle of nowhere, this ranch is east of that.) Harriet, his mother, is with him. MacKenzie, thirteen year old daughter of Toby and Lisa, is Blitzen and Harriet's new trainer. She has already trained two horses and some of her other pets.  Blizten shares the round corral with his new horse pal, Spike, a two year old buckskin who MacKenzie is also training. Both boys are not clipped yet but that is scheduled for this week. Then Blizen should calm down a bit. Mackenzie has made good progress with him. He now leads much better and doesn't bite anymore. Harriet and Blitzen will be saddle trained. Lisa and Toby have a cow/calf ranch operation and make hay. Besides their three daughters, they also have two goats, five dogs, a collection of cats, oh yes, and more horses out in the pasture. Blitzen and Harriet have found a really good home. Horse heaven.
Mackenzie and Morgan with Harriet

One of Harriet's cow pals. Lisa milks four cows. I was very impressed.

McKenzie puts Blitzen and Spike through their paces.

Lisa and Morgan.

The boys with their trainer.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gaggles of Geese

 As I was driving into town recently waves of snow geese were flying over Burns. When I got to the library I got out of the car and snapped these photos. What fascinated me was the patterns they made in the sky as they flew high overhead. This weekend the John Scharff Bird Festival is in full swing in Harney County. Birders come from all over to see the birds. Someone said they saw ibis this week. I haven't seen any yet. The hay fields around Burns are flooded now which makes great feeding for water fowl. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Back when we still had some snow on the ground, I was driving home from Burns one day, watching the snow squalls circling around the hills. I stopped several times and snapped some photos with my IPOD camera. It was bright sunshine where I was but rain or snow was falling from these clouds. The squalls leave as fast as they come. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Visit to Bend

Mt. Bachelor chair lift
 John and I enjoy visiting Bend and we had occasion to make a trip recently and stay overnight for a little mini vacation. We took a trip up to Mt. Bachelor which is not even half and hour to the west of Bend. The town actually sits smack up against the Cascades and the Three Sisters. It was the week of spring break but the fog over the mountain did not deter skiers. There was a steady stream of cars going up the mountain. The parking lot guide said they ski on the mountain from Thanksgiving to Memorial Day.  On the way back down the mountain we stopped at an over look.  In the distance was the Newberry Crater, a dormant volcano. There is also a long black strip of lava flow in the distance which didn't come out in these photos.  The pine forests are spectacular. Hiking is great around Bend as is fishing and camping. The Newberry Crater is on our list of things to do in Bend.  We're waiting for the weather to get a little warmer.  There wasn't any snow in Bend and the weather was seasonably mild. 
Fog over Mt. Bachelor from parking lot

Easy way to get to the slopes from Bend.

Looking toward Newberry Crater
John takes a walk in the pines.
A place to sit and commune with Nature.

Same view more pines toward Newberry.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Birdwatching in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

Cows on the move
The Monday after Micki Selvitella's workshops, I took her on a sightseeing tour to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. On the way we passed a herd of cows being driven north on the highway we were traveling
Lawen Road
south on. We headed down Lawen Road and spotted snow geese and tundra swans in the distance. At the Refuge HQ we checked out what birds were in. Coots were feeding on the front lawn.We saw lots of coots everywhere. From the refuge HQ we started south on the Center Road which I hadn't taken before. Micki's comment was "I feel like I'm in the Old West."  Well, she sort of was. The Slough hasn't filled all the way yet because the snow melt hasn't started in the Steens Mountains. We went as far as Benson Pond where I thought the swans and geese would be hanging out. Of course, they weren't. Beavers have done quite a bit of damage to the old trees there. I'm not sure what that is all about.  We came back through the Diamond Craters, old lava beds, completing a giant circle we made of the middle part of Harney County.  We spotted golden and bald eagles on the way.  It was so warm at Benson pond we took off our heavy coats. The rest of the journey was pretty windy but fine, very fine and gorgeous. It restores the soul.
Coots feeding at Refuge HQ

The Slough

Micki at Benson Pond

Beaver damage at Benson Pond

Benson Pond with Steens Mountains in background

Diamond Lava Beds