Posted by: atowhee | October 12, 2020


Here is note from good birding friend who lives in Ashland. My wife and I were smoked out of that beautiful town five years ago. It has only gotten worse, with annual smoke-ins and now covid.

I thought you might be interested in the attached photo which I took of the very southern end of Emigrant Lake from Hwy. 66 this afternoon. If you look carefully, you can see what’s left of the the lake. Of course those are cows grazing in the foreground. Who woulda thought? I know you follow the happenings here in the Rogue Valley, so you know that had the wind been blowing at 40 mph from the north instead of the south a month ago, I probably would not be composing this email to you. To drive north on Hwy. 99 from Ashland, through Talent and Phoenix is a gut-wrenching experience. Today was the first day in many that the sky has been this clear. Hopefully, the one-day rain event dampened the wildfires in California enough to prevent a return of the bad air. We both know that this is now the normal pattern, and that we humans have indeed fowled our nest.

In the more normal past I would bird the shoreline, finding migrant shorebirds and ducks. Now cows graze and much of the former lakebed will be covered with pennyroyal and cockleburrs. The tree line is the high water mark when the reservoir is full.


  1. Very sad indeed!! We’ve had a similar experience in NW Nevada for the last couple of months with smoke from California plus our own. Worst summer since we moved here. Finally had good AQI and no smoke this weekend and spent the weekend outdoors for the sheer joy of it.

    Kirby Flanagan 330-903-2578


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