Oregon (Black Butte)

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Before I headed up to the Black Butte trail I got these pictures of something that has bothered me for years. No, this is not a raging fire out of control. This is not a random brush fire or any fire out of control whatsoever. This is, in fact, a controlled fire. They have hundreds of these all around the Willamette Valley. After a crop is finished they burn off the whole field to kill all the bacteria and purify the soil for the next season. So what bothers me is the fact that they really don't have to. Yeah, they claim that they do but I don't buy it. I mean, what did they do before? How did they grow crops before burning the fields? Well, I'm sure that it saves money and time but I'm sorry, every time they do it the whole valley gets filled with a smoky haze and really wreaks havoc on people's allergies. I think that its awful and that they should be forced to stop burning these fields. Surely this activity cannot be good for the environment. In any case, Danny don't like it and I just had to throw out my opinion here, for whatever its worth.

I did get up to the Black Butte trail and much to my own surprise now, it looks like I didn't take any many pictures on the hike up the trail to the top. I surely thought I had so I must go through al my archives to see if I can find them. Maybe I just wanted to get yto the top quickly and focus on taking pictures up there and on the way back. That does often happen when I get focused on getting somewhere.

This next image is of the cabin that actually gets occupied by the people from the forestry lookout tower. They live in this little cabin from time to time while they are up there. There are no roads to the top of the peak so any supplies have to be carried up there.

From he top of the peak you can see for hundreds of miles in every direction. They don't allow visitors up in the lookout tower but all along the top you can still see in every direction. Interesting though, to the west you can normally see all the mountains along the Cascade range. Much like my views from Crescent Mountain except the opposite side. On this day, however it had become cloudy in the valley and the view of all the peaks were obscured by the random clouds making their way through the mountain range. However, on the east side you could see how the landscape changes very dramatic to very flat. If one was to travel off to the east even further they would run into the vast deserts of Eastern Oregon. Not one of the more popular attractions in Oregon, Eastern Oregon is very dry and doesn't get that much rain like the valley. Most of the clouds that make it through the mountains keep moving east on to Idaho and Montana and Wyoming.

Up on top of the mountain I found something that I would have never expected. A very small horned-toad lizard was there in the sand and rocks. I thought that it would have been too cold for one of these little guys. I thought that they were more adapted for the desert climates than the cold. I know it must have been about 45 degrees while I was up there and the wind was blowing pretty good. Not having brought up a coat with me I was quite chilled myself.

I was able to catch this little guy as it tried to run away from me but once I held it in my hand it didn't really want to leave. On the contrary, it grabbed hold of my thumb and wouldn't let go. I am assuming that my warm hands must have felt quite comfortable for this little critter. The second picture was used for a dragon picture that I created some months ago. Please go and check it out in my "Graphicals" section of my daily image archives.

Just a few more shots of the beautiful scenery before I head back down the mountain to the warmer air below.

Looking to the west as the clouds break their way through the mountain peaks I could see the various rays of sunlight shining down to the small valley below.

No, I wasn't angry in this picture here. I think that my face and lips were frozen.

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