Life and death and life at Fort Rock

Fort Rock State Natural Area — there are few accessible parks in the high desert where you can have the run of the place these days, so I suggest you check it out while you can.

It was born as a submarine volcano, and it would be perfectly crater-shaped were it not for the fact the south wall blew out at some point. Good for us, because you get to enter the space without a challenging climb. The photo above was shot from the north wall looking south toward the blown-out wall.

But geology isn’t the story today, no. Today is about the walk I took around the north side of the crater wall. On the way back from shooting the sunset view above, I happened upon this amid the fragrant sage:

So someone’s day took an unexpected turn. About 15′ feet away, the other hoof dropped:

Things are not looking up for our plucky hero. Then the punchline, another 20′ further on:

For those of you keeping score:

But I refuse to accept what you may regard as inevitable. I will remind you we have three legs and a torso accounted for, plus a smattering of floating ribs, but no head, and the ultimate leg is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere out there is a mule deer head pogo-ing around on its last leg, gamely pushing forward, refusing to accept defeat. I’m sure of it.

(just a flesh wound)

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