Finally feels like the desert

Now at the end of July, the desert moves from lush green to brown and beige, and I’ve been drinking more water every day than I ever have before. Water never tasted so good until I moved here. The dry heat is really what challenges me, but I am slowly seeing myself be able to handle longer days working outside with no problem, and even with pleasure. Seed collecting is somehow really therapeutic and satisfying, and gives me plenty of time to think about how great this job is and to find elk droppings and see badgers and explore the strange geology of the area. My love for the great basin over the past month or so has deepened tremendously.  In a place that, at first, seems so simple and so homogenous, new things keep popping up at us all the time. First of all, this is embarrassing, but I did not know there were badgers in the western united states! Secondly, I had always just thought of grasses as these simple undifferentiated organisms that didn’t have as much personality as other plants. Now, the ones that we see and collect are becoming a whole new world to me, full of grasses that are as cute as bunnies and as beautiful as the redwoods. I am learning so much every day and finally beginning to feel at home in Lake County, OR. Also, time is moving much too fast. Slow down, summer!

Lisa VanTieghem

Lakview BLM


Big Rock in the Middle of Nowhere

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