You know it is full on spring in Northern Nevada when the livestock truck shows up on the edge of BLM land and lets out its cargo of hungry sheep.  The desert has gotten as green as it is going to get and the government wants to make its nickel off that hard earned greenery.  I walk these hills all the time and it seems like a waste of gas to bring the sheep here. Better to stop at McDonalds and get them all a giant McSalad or something.  Be easier on the sheepherder too. However, in some areas of new soft cheat grass they do offer a pre emptive fire control by eating up a potential fire fuel that burns easily when it dries out.  A nice vinaigrette would go good about now.



Springtime sheep. Washoe Valley. photo by Bruce Czopek


Sheep on Jumbo Grade.  Photo by Bruce Czopek



6 thoughts on “Sheepish

  1. Those are nice shots. I was surprised on how camouflaged they are! 🙂

    It does seem very wasteful to drive sheep their to eat. McDonald’s might see this and next thing you know McLamb Chops! ha It seems that all the preventive measures they take on seem to appease the politicians when if it were left to burn on its own with non-damed and channeled springs and creeks then there would be less “wildfires”. It seems funny to call them wildfires because no where in the country has man no affected the natural order of things. 🙂

    • It is tough to manage mother nature, that is for sure. And it is an incredible challenge to balance using the land without exploiting it. A balance that is not always met in the real world.

    • It doesn’t really. The sheep come and go, moving along to grab what little there is for them. It seems over that over the years the amount of sheep that come to this area are less so maybe there is a quota system the government practices but I’m not sure.

  2. What an amazing panorama. Did you wake to it, or walk to it and did you know it was happening or was it sudden discovery. They’re so beautiful, those pale violet and pinkish-blue hills, it has all the quality of some Brigadoon.
    I think BLM is doing much to end livestock grazing. They own 80 percent of the land in Nevada alone, and have their own ideas about how to use it, sans animals and people.

    • Hi Barbara,

      That is actually the view from my out the front door of the Airstream! I live right on the edge of BLM land between Reno and Carson city in Washoe Valley. Jumbo Grade is a old mining road that went from Washoe Lake to Virginia city in the Comstock mining days. Lumber from the Sierra for the mines and other supplies were shipped up the road to Virginia city. It is still in use but is a 4 wheel drive road now.

      I love the round quality of the hills here. The morning and evening light are wonderful. And this is really the “lushest” time of the year, with the subtle colors you mentioned while things bloom when they can.

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