By Alan D. St. John
A superbly produced, delicate survey of the complexities of "the different Oregon." a pleasant mixture of historical past, geology, normal heritage, and private impressions of either the well known and vague.
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Additional resources for Oregon's Dry Side: Exploring East of the Cascade Crest
Not only does this slim ribbon of clay reside exactly at the expected strata level of 65 million years ago, it also contains iridium—extremely rare on the earth’s surface, but a major component of meteorites. Like a spreading fog of death, the dust clouds thrown into the atmosphere from the exploding meteorites not only obliterated the sun, they also contained sulfuric components that created toxic acid rain. Additionally, the incinerating collisions undoubtedly ignited huge, smoky forest fires that increased the density of the sun-shroud, while the shock of the impacts caused coastal regions to be swept by immense tsunami waves.
Adding a southern component are a number of Sierran species characteristic of California, such as sugar pine, incense cedar, white fir, Klamath plum, birchleaf mountain mahogany, and wide-stemmed onion. Contributing botanical diversity from the east are some Rocky Mountain species at the westernmost extent of their distributions, examples being alpine lily, snowline spring parsley, and dwarf lousewort. Basin and range saltscrub desert This zone marks the northernmost limits of the Great Basin and is the primary vegetative cover of Oregon’s only true deserts.
Broad stretches of these open, semiarid plains extend for mile after mile, culminating at the base of a rimrock plateau, or being curtailed at the forest-line of higher, more moist mountain ranges. Initially, a cursory viewing presents a seemingly desolate land, covered with only one kind of plant—sagebrush (actually, there are several sagebursh species). But closer examination will reveal many other types of vegetation adapted to this parched landscape. examination will reveal many other types of vegetation adapted to this parched landscape.