Friday, June 27, 2014

Reno and a Trip to Oregon

50% of the wild horses in the United States live in the Nevada deserts.  When I learned about this about a month ago, and that many lived around the Reno area, I knew I finally had a cause I could work for.  Most of the horses are rounded up on BLM land and end up in the Palomino Center for Wild Horse and Burro Adoption where many are eventually gentled and adopted.  Some, like those above, are trained by inmates at the Prison in Carson City. Unfortunately, if the horses are rounded up on Nevada land (as opposed to BLM land), they are sold to slaughter houses for dog food.

Beautiful Chevy, above, is typical of the wild horses.  With carrots and kindness you can make friends with just about any of the mustangs. Making videos of the horses in Nevada will be an ongoing project as long as I live here.  Another ongoing project, below, are the two unfinished paintings in the child and animal series I've been working on since I lived in Tucson.

Last week I went with my friend David up to Oregon to help him work on an old house he'd bought.  But first we went to visit Pyramid Lake on the Paiute Indian Reservation of the same name north of Reno. It was beautiful with spectacular formations of tufa.  Seeing beautiful blue water was a shock to me as I've been surrounded by brown desert for the last 9 months. All the rock formations we found along the trip from Reno to Oregon are the result of ancient volcanic activity.  Below, the pyramid in the lake (natural tufa), David, one of the many weird tufa rock formations around the lake. 

Below are a few shots from the trip to Mitchell, Oregon, population 126.  Mitchell, even though it's a tourist attraction because of its strange geological features, seems to be slowly dying.  Most of the buildings are over 100 years old, crumbling and abandoned.  Nevertheless, it's a beautiful area and so green after living in Reno's monotonous brownness.

The Painted Hills, just outside Mitchell is also the result of volcanic activity.

Back home - if you look closely you will see a baby blue jay behind the leaves.  The following day he left the nest and is now flying around the yard.  Below is his daddy, a hard worker and devoted baby feeder.  He is so used to us sitting outside that he allows us to get within a few feet of him.


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