|Rainbow over Malheur Lake|
Shades of gold have been one of the main colors here in the desert. Now, even the wetland grasses are golden. Some of the trees are also turning golden. And the wildlife is golden too, in the sense of riches.
Here is a retrospect of my favorite pictures of the golden place. . Many of them have golden colors and the rest represent the riches of Malheur.
|Our famous cottonwood tree on Central Patrol Road|
|The oh-so-entertaining Chicogoans, AKA California quail.|
|The first bumblebee I met up here|
|One of thousands of yellow-headed blackbirds that came to breed here|
|Monkey flower showing its nectar guides - the red spots.|
|Willow blooms- for feasting bees, flies, and beetles|
|Black-headed grosbeak getting grape jelly snack|
|Headquarters fawns on one of their first forays away from Mom|
|Black-crowned night heron.I woke him up and he's a little indignant|
|Hungry deer eating from my willow tree|
|One of our breeding sandhill crane pairs|
There is also dross here. Malheur Lake has been so degraded by invasive carp that it can only support about ten percent of the historic numbers of waterfowl and waders. I came back from my vacations to find almost no water or birds in the wet fields.. And there are very few birds on Malheur and Mud lakes. But the good news is that the refuge is working with other partners to learn ways to control the carp in all of Harney Basin and there is lots of research going on to determine all the ways they can get the upper hand with the carp. I'm hoping that our pot of gold will be carp numbers greatly reduced and maintained, the turbidity in the lake cleared up, and food needed by the ducks, geese, swans and native fish once more able to get enough light to grow. This will make this place a golden stopover for birds in the fall, as well as in the spring.
I'm leaving all this gold in a on October 30. It's always a bittersweet time, looking back at what I'm leaving and looking forward to visiting friends and relatives while waiting to confirm my next assignment. And Lucy is going to ride with me to share adventures and costs so that will be fun.