Tag Archives: Zumwalt_Prairie

Time in prayer

Long ago, through prayer, I was blessed with a miraculous, intense healing of mind, body, and soul. As I have prayed the years since, I cannot specifically claim that “I” have caused anything equally miraculous to happen. I do know that I find incredible peace and rest when I let go of my “chattering voices” and in stillness, feel the incredible connections with God and His Creation.  And I do accept what Oswald Chambers writes: “The purpose of prayer is that we get ahold of God, not of the ‘answer.”

“God will probably not be interested in how many things we included in our day, but how much of our day included Him.” All Zobe-Nolan
Zumwalt_Prairie, Wallowa_Mts

White_Island, Bay_of Plenty_NZ

Are we supposed to be “happy” all the time?

Were we really created to be “happy” all the time?  I find I often blind myself to God’s reality if I get down or depressed when I feel “my” needs are not being met.

“There is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck.  I have walked in the early spring through fields that will suck your boots off, a world so wet and woeful it makes you yearn for the return of ice.  But in that muddy mess, the conditions for rebirth are being created.”  Parker Palmer

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA

Strawberry Lake

Zumwalt Prairie, Wallowa Mts

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


Devotion

Meg and I have been dog sitting a friend’s golden retriever. Once again, I am reminded how absolutely loving devoted these creatures are.  They seem to believe that God created human beings to give them constant love.  And again, I ask myself, how devoted am I am to loving God as deeply and as constantly?  I am grateful He is merciful.

Wallowa County, Hells Canyon

Wallowa Mts, Zumwalt Prairie


Sharing love

Sharing love is so much easier than we mortals make it.  

“Miss not a single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly work or word; always doing the smaller right and doing it all for love.” 
        St The′rese’ of Lisieux

Zumwalt Prairie

The Cat,s Back and the Wallowa Mts




The Zumwalt Prairie and the Cat’s Back

“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

This book provides a wonderful background for visiting both the Zumwalt and the Cat’s Back, two vast high grasslands the hold the silence and awe of Creation.

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


The saintly heroism of love

“There is a profound difference between celebrities and saints. In a narcissistic, self pleasing culture, we welcome celebrities because we lack courage and imagination. Traditional heroes make demands on us, but celebrities make no moral claim on us….No one ever asks how our constant exposure to the rich and famous is supposed to make us good, or wise, or faithful…But heroes–saints–stretch our imagination and stand as imperatives, calling, wooing us to a higher, holier life.” James C. Howell


Zumwalt Prairie and Buckhorn Springs

Were I to create my own “Eden,” I would model it after the Zumwalt Prairie.  Located in Wallowa County in the extreme northeast corner of Oregon, it is an incredible grassland of 330,00 acres atop a basalt plateau.  This high altitude prairie ranges from 3,500 to 5,000 feet and lies along the western edge of Hells Canyon. Cattle ranching here has respected the needs of land as the excellent book, “The Prairie Keepers,” describes. The high elevation, long, harsh winters, and poor soils made farming difficult.  Thus, much the original habitat remains for plants and animals.  Hawks thrive here. The Nature Conservancy also manages a considerable amount of land here as well.



Meg and I love to visit in the late spring/early summer.  The solitude, the quiet, the beauty of canyons, hills, and green grass decorated in wildflowers wrap around us, and resharpen our senses.  We follow the road as far as Buckhorn Springs, a majesty bench that overlooks the drainages of the Imnaha river before it flows into the Snake river.  The Zumwalt roads takes off between the towns of Enterprise and Joseph.


The Zumwalt Country






Obscure by Oregon geography standards, the Zumwalt Prairie in the extreme northeast corner of Oregon represents a wonderfully diverse ecological niche. As set out in the book, “The Prairie Keepers” by Marcy Houle, this area demonstrates how ranchers and grazing and wildlife “not only can coexist, but in some instances must coexist.” A single gravel road accesses these thousands and thousands of acres, where nature and silence have scarcely been disturbed from time immemorial. Whether one photographs, reads, or meditates, the silence makes its own music.