Fossils, Beehives, and Pronghorns

Columbia Morning by David Scott.

Late last October, we were planning to go east to either Glacier National Park or Yellowstone. I had ordered a Canon R6, a rental, to give the new mirrorless camera a go before plunking down the money.

Well, the camera didn’t make it, and my trip was delayed so I decided to change our destination and head south to Oregon’s Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge. I’m not sorry we did.

So about the camera. The Canon R6 is one of the pair of full frame mirrorless cameras that Canon released this summer. The biggest difference between the R5 and the R6 is the size of the sensor. The R5 has a 45 Mega Pixel sensor compared to the R6’s 21 Mega Pixels. As far as I can determine, the best reason for the extra pixels is if you want to crop in tight. More pixels will give you more information and better image quality. Of course, you will pay more for those pixels. About $1,400 more.

I have a Canon 7d Mark II. This is a cropped sensor camera. This means the sensor is smaller than full frame (35 mm equivalent.) The advantage of this is cost – cropped sensor cameras are cheaper – and reach. Because the image is cropped in camera it give us about 1.6 times image size. A 100 mm lens becomes a 160 mm lens.

The 7d has about 21 Meg Pixels in its sensor. This is the same count as the new R6 but, the pixels are smaller and therefore more subject to noise.

Anyway, enough about the tech. My 7d has been a great camera and I expect it to continue to be so.

Columbia Morning

As I said, we got away late. I turned Princess Prius south towards Portland near noon on Monday, about 6 hours behind schedule. I called it a night just off I 84 near the John Day Dam. I woke up to this vista.

Columbia Morning by David Scott.
Just below the John Day Dam on the Columbia River, is a pullout where you can park for the night. In the morning you may be rewarded with view of Mount Hood, the Cliffs on the south side of the Columbia Gorge, and this old grain elevator.


Fossilized Leaf by David Scott.

Never having been to the John Day Fossil Beds, I headed south on US 97, then onto OR 206 to Condon. This became OR 19 which delivered us to the town of Fossil. The sign said turn right on OR 218 for the John Day National Monument, Clarno Unit so right it was.

There are lots of examples of fossils in the rocks like this one making it well worth the visit.

What caught my attention however was this beehive located in an exposed crevasse in the cliff side.

Liddy and I had already climbed about 100 feet up to reach a fossilized tree when I spotted the hive another 50 feet above us. Those were big bees too; at least an inch and a half long.


We continued along OR 218 in a southwest direction until I noticed a herd of animals at the bottom of the valley beside the road.

They were Pronghorns. We were too far away, and we had a good distance yet to travel so I snapped some shots and continued on our way. Of course, I dropped a pin in the map so I can find them again in the spring.

Eight Points in Camp by David Scott.

From here we drove over 275 miles to Page Springs Recreation Area at the south end of the Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge. A boring drive across miles of flat high desert scrub. All of it brown from drought and the fact that it was late fall.

Ah but the destination…

1 thought on “Fossils, Beehives, and Pronghorns”

  1. Pingback: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge | Northwest Moments

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