This photo was taken at Summer Lake, Oregon. The Summer Lake Wildlife Area supports 40 mammal species, at least 280 species of birds, 15 reptile and amphibian species, and eight fish species. The wildlife area provides habitat for aquatic mammals like beaver and muskrats. There are also three bat species that live in the Summer Lake area.
The various Summer Lake habitats supports a diverse population of upland game birds, songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl, and birds of prey. There is also a small breeding population of ring-necked pheasants along with Greater sage grouse and Chukars. Songbirds common to that area include Bullock’s Orioles, Sage Thrashers, Canyon wrens, Rock wrens, and Sage Sparrows. Songbirds commonly found in the marshy areas of the lower Ana River include Brewer’s Sparrows, Lark Sparrows, Marsh wrens, Red-winged blackbirds, and Yellow-headed blackbirds. And numerous shorebirds nest in the Summer Lake Wildlife Area.
Summer Lake, for which the town is named, is one of the largest in Oregon at approximately 20 miles (32 km) long and 10 miles (16 km) wide. It was named by Captain John C. Frémont during his 1843 mapping expedition through Central Oregon.
Frémont and his Army Topographical team were mapping the Oregon Country as they traveled from The Dalles on Columbia River to Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento, California. On December 16, 1843, the expedition struggled down a steep cliff from a snow-covered plateau to reach a lake in the valley below. Frémont named them “Winter Ridge” and “Summer Lake.” From the rocky cliff overlooking the lake basin, Frémont described the discovery and naming of Summer Lake as follows:
“At our feet…more than a thousand feet below…we looked into a green prairie country, in which a beautiful lake, some twenty miles (32 km) in length, was spread along the foot of the mountain…Shivering on snow three feet deep, and stiffening in a cold north wind, we exclaimed at once that the names of Summer Lake and Winter Ridge should be applied to these proximate places of such sudden and violent contrast.” (Captain John C. Frémont, December 16, 1843, Report of the Second Frémont Expedition)
Nikon D5000, f5.6, 1/1250, 300mm, 400 ISO.