Crazy Things

I inquired about creating an environmental education opportunity in town. We ended up working the BLM booth at the Harney County Fair. We developed a nature, picture scavenger hunt for kids to explore on the fairgrounds. We made s’mores as prizes and handed out “Leave No Trace” materials. We received great feedback about the scavenger hunt directly from the kids, parents, and other vendors.

BLM Range is required to remove horses off of private land. I had the opportunity to be a part of capturing wild horses. I spent a day setting up the horse “traps”, which were portable horse corrals and “wings” coming off the edges that funneled the horses in. I sat on a hill to watch the capturing process. A wrangler waited with a pilot horse, as a helicopter herded the wild horses towards the trap. When the group of wild horses were close to the trap, the wrangler let go of the pilot horse, which was trained to run towards the trap, causing the wild horses to follow it into the trap. It was very eventful watching the wranglers herd the wild horses through the trap and into the trailer. The wild horses were brought to the horse corrals. If you want to buy a wild horse, they sell in the horses at the Hines, OR Wild Horse Corrals  for $125.

Wild horses captured!

While WSA monitoring, I got our truck stuck on a sand trap of a “road.” The sand was deceiving, my feet sunk at least 12 inches to 18 inches in the fine sand. My co-intern and I did not manage to get the truck out of the sand trap on our own. We needed reinforcement, so we contacted one of our supervisors. Our supervisor showed up about an hour and a half later, only to also get stuck in the sand trap road. The three of us could not get our supervisors’ truck unstuck, so we all sat in a truck for another two and a half hours until someone could help us. The guy who helped us made quick work of pulling us out with the wench on his truck. We were very thankful to be out of the sand trap, after having been stuck there for 5 hours. The worse part of the ordeal, is that the wind was constantly blowing sand. It felt like being in a sand storm from the movie Star Wars.

My foot sank 12 inches to 18 inches in the sand trap road.

There is already snow back on the Steens Mountains as of Thursday, September 21. It was an interesting experience to go from sunny weather at the bottom of the mountains, into the snowy weather heading up the mountain. Needless to say, it wasn’t far up the mountain before my co-intern and I turned around as the snowflakes became thicker.

First snow storm in the Steens Mountains.

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