One place we like to get lost in is the Ochoco Mountains of Oregon!
We arrived early Sunday morning. A little chilly, somewhere in the 30's f.. I was grateful I brought warm cloths and our heater worked fine! I hope to get this post done sometime this week of June 15th 2015!
The Antelope, or Pronghorn were seen either by themselves or in herds. It looked to me as if in family units? Almost as many Antelope as Mule Deer!
Wildflowers were in bloom! Some of the wildflowers were already done for the season and I did not photograph all the wildflowers, there were just to many!! This species of wildflower you can rest assured there is water around! Every time I have seen this particular species of wildflower water was sure to be found nearby!
One reason I look for curtain areas I want to explore are the butterflies! With time you can learn in what areas such things as the Fender's Blue Butterfly will be attracted to! Males and females doing their thing, with of course water nearby!
Other species can be found breeding at this time of the year up in the Ochoco Mountains, such as these Beetles!
Hoverflies of all species can be found all over! Different sub species of the Hoverfly then we have here at home.
Another thing that was blooming is these large mushrooms! After I took this ones photograph I wished I had some kind of money on me to show you how big this mushroom really was!! The photograph just does not do the size any justice! This one was easily a foot across!
Mushrooms, or these mushrooms are pretty simple to spot! They are BIG and as you can see they typically are growing on or around stumps, tree matter. Burned areas , sometimes you can find these larger ones on the prairies however if you notice there is typically tree matter breaking down turning into rich soil.
This Mule Deer Doe has new family members to look after! Not very old are the fawns who are just as curious as to what we are as I was to get this photograph!
If you see one of these fawns on the trail, leave it alone! You are not saving anything. Mule Deer hide their fawns and go off and eat. If danger is present the fawns tend to hide almost as if something inside them gets triggered! The Mule Deer Doe will try her best to get your attention, or whatever it is that posses a threat to them away from their fawn. So unless you have killed the Doe, and know for fact she is not coming back - leave the fawns alone!
I also seen a Cougar hunting the Mule Deer! Trying to get a shot, it took off! You never know what might just be stalking the Mule Deer, just be careful out there!
This spot is pretty well known to us who come to the Ochoco Mountains due to that fence right there! This is also cougar country! There is a community board in this area. Look for that fence, you can not miss it if you are around it. Read the boards when ever there is one around! The state employees and even people will put notices on the boards that are informational! Such as Cougar warnings, we have even read where folks have lost their dogs! Though it is up to the state employees to keep up what notices where.
This is the big prairie. Nothing like the Prairies in the middle of our country by no means, but big for the Ochoco Mountains! The wildflowers are blooming and there is lots of activity going on here! If you look you will find old line shakes the cowboys used to use. There is old cabins here and there, a lot of the old log cabins are laying on the ground. Herds of Antelope, Mule Deer and Elk can be found here, of course their predators. Cattle in some locations. The state does lease out the land to help with the cost of upkeep to the cattlemen. You really do not think there is that much tax dollars, hunting fee's to pay employees and to keep up this land do you?
Here is another shot of the big Prairie.
This is a perfect spot for butterflies!! This area did not disappoint me either! Song birds and even a owl was around! I was going to make it a point of photographing hiking trails. Well, not all that many hiking trails! Not like the Cascade Mountains!! In the Ochoco Mountains everywhere can be used for hiking! You will notice what we call, "deer trails". Which heck the cattle may have used these, or the elk , antelope! Or even the wild horses! There are signs for these wild horses. Following these deer trails is something one can do if so inclined?
Paintbrush can be seen splatter all over our area right now! Also has been called Indian Paintbrush and some other names I have heard it called. Wildflowers are blooming everywhere! Some of the wildflowers were even done blooming and it is only June!!
The Payette Beardtongue was also blooming here and there. Keep in mind so many wildflowers were blooming in the Ochoco Mountains I did not photograph all of them!
The Purple Geranium is another wildflowers that was blooming here and there!
The Yellow Monkeyface Flowers were only blooming near a direct water source. As if someone had taken their time to drive hours into the Ochoco Mountains to plant them, or drop seeds where they were blooming. The chances of someone doing this is very low so we just figured we were in the Ochoco Mountains at the right time to see these wildflowers blooming.
One thing we found odd this time to the Ochoco Mountains was the lack of the bigger birds of prey! In the past the bigger birds of prey were seen all over!! Other then that owl we heard somewhere in the tall tree's, the lack of bigger birds of prey were just not seen! Odd.......
We also seen logging equipment. It is about time! The tree's there are breathing living and dying things. As a garden is taken care of so do the forests have to be taken care of! These trees in the photograph above you can see they are healthy, green, alive... not in all areas do the tree's look like that!
My concern is the wildlife that are effected by such practices. However logging is one of those things that is good for the wildfires , the "widow makers", and the greed of the need for wood. On the other hand, how many roads do we really need? The water sources being polluted, the wildlife being effected? Thoughts to be chewed over.......
The underbrush is also being cleaned up. Or at least we seen plenty of piles all over the place in areas....
This Taylor's Checkerspot Butterfly was something I was actively looking for to photograph more. Again I was not disappointed. Once you figure out what anything needs to survive it is not hard seeing the area you need to find such things!
You may have seen this one in the public? I was speaking with someone in private, so I showed her this photograph and figured why not put it in public in the social media places at least for now? I mentioned how I would love to be a fly on the wall as I am photographing such things as the butterflies ha!
I do not really care for this shot of the Sandhill Cranes, to much exposure. Anyhoo, as we came down out of the Ochoco Mountains we go through farm and ranch land. Another thing we did not see to much of this time were coyotes..... We did see these Sandhill Cranes. The Ravens were thick around the farmers doing their thing! No eagles, no hawks. Weird.....
Here are some more landscape shots I took in the Ochoco Mountains,
Thank you for coming by and checking out our visit to the Ochoco Mountains of Oregon! I will do write ups on the different things I photographed up there. Stay tuned!