Tag Archives: Zumwalt

The Zumwalt Prairie country of Wallowa County in NE Oregon

The Zumwalt Prairie seemed a polycultural sea of greens–springtime mint greens, forest greens, shamrock greens.  They were every hue and shine–pale, bright, dull, and verdant–and always changing from the height of the sun in the sky or the volume and cover of the clouds. The wind changed the colors as did morning and evening dew.  Morning color was heightened, noontime was flat, and late afternoon shone gold-green and shadowy.”  Marcy Houle, The Prairie Keepers

Many of these pictures were taken on property that the Nature Conservancy manages. The vast vistas of the grasslands and the Wallowa Mts always call me back.  Meg and I are blessed to be able to live close to areas like this one.

Zumwalt Prairie

Wallowa Mts, Zumwalt Prairie

meadow lark, Zumwalt Prairie

Zumwalt Prairie

Zumwalt Prairie, Wallowa Mts

Zumwalt Prairie, Wallowa County

Zumwalt Prairie

Zumwalt Prairie, Wallowa Mts

Zumwalt road and barn

Wallowa Mts, Wallowa County

Zumwalt Prairie, The Nature Conservancy  


Zumwalt Prairie, Wallowa Mts


The always present Presence

I realize with prayer that I truly do may myself available to the presence of God, to His holiness.  This awareness, at least briefly, lifts  me beyond thoughts and words and actions. it is a delightful place to be, knowing also that God delights in each of us, His children.

Looking into the Imnaha river canyon, near Buckhorn Springs, OR

Saddle Creek, Hells Canyon


Light eternal

Several weeks of rain culminated last Saturday (June 9th) with Meg and me “enjoying” a picnic in the rain at Morgan Lake, normally a beautiful flower filled location within fifteen minutes of La Grande.  I had promised Meg the weather would clear and we would see a rainbow, but the drizzle never let up. Sunday, however, the weather cleared, the sun shone, and the blue sky was filled with white, puffy clouds.

As we drove into the remote Zumwalt country, I felt as though my eyes had never seen this kind of light.  The weeks of rain had dulled my senses and memory. Light was new and glorious. Since then I have thought about our transition from earthly life to eternal life.  We live with occasional intimations of Heaven, but those moments are dulled by all the material aspects of the life we live. We “sort of/kind of” know what life after life will be like.  Yet as I think of how surprised and grateful I was for this week’s sunshine–a phenomenon I already know–how much more surprising and praiseworthy will be our life after death.  “In your light we see light.”  That can only happen when we are in the Presence of our Creator.

Zumwalt Road looking toward the Wallowa Mts.

Lower Imnaha River canyons from Buckhorn Springs overlook

Rugged and Remote

Rugged and remote, the Zumwalt Prairie lies in the extreme northeast corner of Oregon. Rich diversity of plant and animal life, particularly hawks, make this an enchanting place.  Several hundred thousand acres of grassland grows on top of this basalt plateau, between 3500 and 6000 feet in elevation. Much of it has not be cultivated, so it remains a remarkable example of an ecosystem that existed before the white settlers arrived. Meg and I recently shared the trip with Marshal, our Chinese MBA student.  He remarked how much of the area reminded him of the high plateau country of Tibet.  We are blessed to be so close–instead of days of travel to reach similar diversity in Tibet, we only needed to drive a few hours from La Grande to enjoy the serene and sublime beauty of the Zumwalt.

View from Buckhorn Springs

Lower Imnaha river canyon
Zumwalt Barn