Dry Falls Lake – Field Notes

Field Notes:

1st Location: Dry Falls Lake

October 12th, 2012

Late morning


Mostly sunny

Warm with slight breeze

Overall composition:

Rocks, grass, shrubs, trees

Buttes, basins, lakes, boulders

Beetles, centipedes, birds, snakes

Old persons fishing

Us, observers

Deer, deer tracks, deer scat, coyote scat

Pebbles, crumbles, dust, rocks, ‘ball-bearings’, rock piles, rock hills, rock terrain


Ducks, geese, small birds, crows

Bees, flies

Highway 17

Boat motors

Occasional fishermen’s conversations

Observations on rocks:

Mostly different shades of brown

Lines of  light red or dark pink

Sections of white or grey rock among the mostly rusty brown surface

Perfect habitat in the high peaks for birds, though too unstable for humans.

Sections of green, lichen

All the rocks have some degree of growth on them.  Dry lichen or moss spreads over everything despite maintaining a reserved presence once established.

Five layers: 3 layers are right angled, fourth layer is sloped and slanted, a very thin strip of white rocks at the bottom

Generally rough edged, not smooth

Observations on soil:

Soil looks clumpy and grainy

A thick clay and sand mixture near the water

The clay-dirt soil is difficult to distinguish from crumbled basalt and it appears inevitable that the two are in a constant state of change: rocks to dust, mixing with the red, dry soil.  When the soil is rubbed between to fingers it has the consistency of flour – a fine, powdery substance.

Generally shades of light brown to dark rusty brown

Twigs and branches

Barely see actual dirt and soil in the areas closer to the rock formation, mostly gravel

Observations on lake:


Dark green, gray, very reflective

The white of the rocks once below the water, shows 2 things:  *the water is basic  *the water is significantly low, a dry season

Thicker brush and taller grasses around the water means more nutrients around the lake


On the top of the cliff in the distance I see cars, contrails, power lines and buildings. Next to them I see trees of different varieties (Poplar) than are found anywhere in the nature of the Dry Falls landscape. Possibly a cultural influence.

Most cultural of the 3 locations

Other notes:

Most promenant color theme is yellow to golden brown

Not flat or open ground, high and low elevations

Grasses grow in most places, among the sage, between rocks, and, of course, over the great flat expanses . . .

A lot of geographic variation in a small area: some spots are cliff face to water, some are grass to swamp to water, some are cliff face to talus to water

Recognizing lots of geographical features we learned about on many scales, mostly miniature (weather or not they were formed by the same processes)

There are many dead trees and bushes

Some areas look very dried up

Found a praying mantis, Mantis religiosa (in Native American beliefs they are a symbol of stillness)

Blue Grama grass, Bouteloua gracilis

Found a pile, scattered across 5 feet, of clustered exoskeleton and fish bones.  Looked as though it could have been a feeding area for water birds, possibly herons since they feed socially.

The plants growing on the rocky areas look dry, unhealthy

Most life/culture of the 3 locations, present life as well as signs of life

Repetitive shape and forms are clusters and clumps, like the rocks, feces, bones and concentration of people

Most blossoms are yellow, seasonal?

Butterflies: Algais milberti, or Milbert’s Tortoiseshell Butterfly (common in all of western United States, feeds on thistle, is a sign of a wet area)

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