Oregon High Desert

This blog post is included in:

No Time to Spare
Thinking About What Matters

by Ursula K. Le Guin
Introduction by Karen Joy Fowler

December 5, 2017
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt











Notes from a Week at a Ranch in the Oregon High Desert

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Oregon High Desert; photo by VNMThe house where we stay is on a small cattle ranch, in the valley of a creek that comes energetically down off a mountain, cutting a steep, winding oasis of willows and grass between ridges topped with basalt rimrock walls. Across the creek is the ranch-house under a huge old weeping willow. The eastern ridge rises immediately behind it; immediately behind our house, the western ridge. Level pastures fill the narrow land between; the steep slopes are sagebrush, rabbit-brush, bare dirt, rock. Far up the long valley, most of the ranch stock are still in summer pasture. The nearest town is three miles to the north. Its population this year is 5.

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Oregon High Desert — 5 Comments

  1. O, Ursula, you have me pining for the high desert again. My family went out to the Malheur wildlife refuge most summers while I was growing up. My Father led birdwatching expeditions from Central Oregon Community College. Last year, we went back, inspired by “Out Here”. We stayed at the P-Ranch in exchange for some volunteer work. How I miss that Silence. Thanks for helping me remember again.

  2. I love that our world is high fantasy when viewed through your eyes. Beautiful observations.


  3. I just finished re-reading The Earthsea Quartet (only now realising you have two more books for me to discover 😀 and I wished to thankyou for the beauty and depth of your words and thoughts. Waaay back in 1987 in my English finals I was fortunate enough to have a teacher who could not speak more highly of your works and so I chose you as my elective author, I have never regreted that choice. Thankyou and Blessed Be.

  4. So beautifully seen and written. Reading your loving evocation and then seeing the photos in your next post reminds me again of the work of a poet: to see and say the essence; to speak to the center of the worlds we live through.

    Thank you.

    With love.