Yesterday we went to check out the Zumwalt Prairie Preserve Summer camp where will be living for the next 4 weeks. The drive is beautiful as you drive northeast from Enterprise. We climbed for around 15 miles up to the Zumwalt Prairie Preserve. This is the largest intact prairie in the U.S. We saw American Kestrels everywhere. The last few miles of the drive are a bit bumpy- it will be a slow drive in with Shak3.
After checking things out at the camp we drove down the road a few miles to the Horn Lark Trail. It is beautiful and the smell of the grasses were so sweet and new to me.
A Red-tailed hawk was sitting on a bluff keeping a close eye on us.
We had a few Swainson's Hawks putting on a show as they were hunting the grasslands around us. (They migrate all the way to Argentina!)
As we were walking we heard this low wail coming from the hillside above. We put our binoculars up and there were fields of elk!! We estimate at least 300.
Today we went the other direction to the Wallowa Lake State Park. The sign said "Little Alps". This is the headwaters of the Wallowa River. There were a number of trail options - we took the Chief Joseph Mountain Trail. It was splendid!
We were strolling along keeping our eyes and ears aware for birds. We saw a grosbeak and Gray Jay and heard nuthatches and chickadees - but then we came upon a Black-backed Woodpecker!! This was the first time we have seen this particular species and it was wonderful. It just hung out very focused on feeding and did not mind our presence.
That brings us to Sunday night as we batten down the hatches and get ready for our next adventure.
We will be in touch :)