Those of us who enjoy wandering the arid landscapes east of the Cascades and Sierra Nevada know a secret about these places that is missed by many. Although dry by coastal standards, the emptiness of the Great Basin provides an absolutely essential pathway for huge numbers of migratory birds. And these birds rely on the region’s numerous terminal and often saline lakes – places like Malheur and Harney lakes.
Written by Peter Pearsall/Photos by Dominic Bachman, MNWR Fish Biologist As Malheur Refuge endures a prolonged drought that has intensified over the past two years,
Arborist Jon Brown arrived on September 15 to assess the wind-damaged tree. The front side of the trunk was completely dead and disconnected from the living back portion and the ground. He determined that height reduction was the first step and used a pole saw to reduce and/or remove the live branches that were tall enough to strike the Nature Store in the event of the whole tree failing.
In September, I finished the last of my fieldwork for my master’s project on Malheur Lake. It has been an exciting growing season out on the lake this year, and we have seen a boom in vegetative growth— including annuals, perennials, and vegetatively-producing perennials (plants with rhizomes). As cooler weather rolled in, some areas of the lake that have been lacking vegetation historically are seeing quick growth of cattail.
“This was definitely my most memorable moment…the tenderness of the parents towards their young, the little ones energy and eagerness all backdropped by a beautiful sunset…it was a heartfelt scene to say the least, that touched me so deeply I drove away crying, tears of beauty, tears of gratitude.” – Calley Lovett