Sunday, July 18, 2010

South Idaho

IMG_0021Home on the range cows, wandering around the sagebrush, munching on cheat grass. Pretty happy cows, who like to stare down your truck in an endearingly benign fashion. Ranching is a large industry here, with herds of cows dotting the landscape.

(Sometimes, the cattle trucks park for a rest outside my open window. That particular scent is less than endearing.)

P1200887This is where milk comes from. Or some variety of dairy product, at least. Dairy is another large industry here, responsible for other herds of cows.

IMG_9826Native bunch grass, which grows abundantly in Laidlaw Park. Laidlaw Park is a very large area completely surrounded by lava flows, so it’s had some natural protection from invasive species.

IMG_9830Virga, a kind of rain that falls, but evaporates before hitting the ground.

IMG_9834In the middle ground, those dark areas are lava flows from the Great Rift, and some small cinder cones dotting the horizon.

IMG_9883The Snake River canyon, at sunset (obviously.)

P1200880This is the Snake River, farther upstream, cutting through basalt flows.

P1200922Cheat grass is a non-native species found all over. Before it dries out for the summer, it turns this nice purple color. Then it dries out, the seeds get caught in the undercarriage of your car, lights on fire, and torches the desert. (I hear that’s not appreciated.)

P1200938I know some people don’t like it, but I rather enjoy the desert, mainly because you can see the sky. Though I do wish it would cool off a little – it’s getting well over 90 degrees, and there's really only so much water one can drink!



Gaelyn said...

Thanks for sharing your new neighborhood. I could really do without the cow's ambiance. Love the snake river pics. And that grass may be non-native, but sure is pretty.

Paul said...

Its probably also "invasive" and "predatory". I can see it stealthily stalking the native grasses across the plains in a fierce struggle to stay alive!

Its 115 here.

Katharyn said...

Virga eh? We've had a lot of rain and Virga over the last two days - thanks for the vocab addition.