Friday, January 16, 2015

Perils and Pleasures in the Lower Deschutes River Canyon / NOV 11 & DEC 29 - 30

The Lower Deschutes River Canyon in winter is a place of stark beauty, where the dynamics of life and death in the wild are on display for those who would but seek them. These photos were taken during two fishing ventures in the late part of 2014.


Ovis canadensis
bighorn sheep ewes with yearling lamb




Mr. Larson being dragged by a snagged salmon. 


Crotalus viridis
western rattlesnake

I was particularly surprised to see this beautiful individual sunning on the hillside. Temperatures had been in the upper 20's with a nasty windchill. Just goes to show that you have to keep your eyes peeled in rattler-country.







(click to embiggin pano)

We came across a bighorn ram carcass hidden beneath vegetation near the bottom of the canyon. Based on the size of the individual and the bite-marks I believe that this was a cougar's cached kill. Once I realized what we were looking at, I became extra vigilant. Mountain lions have been known to defend their caches when they feel they are threatened. Awesome find.





Psaltriparus minimus
bushtits
(click to embiggen)
(click to embiggen)
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Phalacrocorax auritus

Two kills in one day! On our way back up the canyon, we came across a double-crested cormorant carcass lying right beside the trail. This carcass was very fresh and had not been there when we hiked in in the morning. Perhaps a bald eagle that was in the area was the perpetrator?








livin' large in The Dalles

a beauty 


lips









Jamie contemplates the cold with a cold one




note the ram hunkered down low in the grass amongst the ewes





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