While looking for a nice local 2023 calendar, I was recently lucky to learn about the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA). Their mission is to protect, defend and restore Oregon’s high desert for current and future generations.
Deserts are something. At first look, nothing seems to happen in a desert, but if you take the time to look and listen carefully, you’ll soon realize a lot is going on. Plus, there are many types of deserts, and no definition fits them all.
I love hiking in the desert or just driving through it. I enjoy stopping at the side of a road that barely anybody transit, stepping out of the car, getting a little away from it, and observing my surroundings in complete silence. But I’ll admit, I also fear it a bit. It’s not my natural environment, and I don’t know much about it yet; I feel vulnerable and am not always comfortable spending long periods in it. I need more exposure and a lot of learning to become more and more at ease.
Going back to ONDA, I purchased their calendar and it’s hanging on the kitchen wall, the first page waiting for January to be turned. I also learned several ways to help them, some involving projects on the terrain. Will that be how I better know the desert and become friends with it? I’ll have to think about that!