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Diamond Craters is an ‘Outstanding Natural Area’ in SE Oregon just east of Malheur NWR. I searched the BLM website to find out just exactly what defines an area to be an ‘Outstanding Natural Area’ and didn’t come up with an explanation. Let’s just go with the idea that it’s a pretty cool place that came about due to natural forces. The Diamond Craters are a series of lava craters and domes and tubes where lava poured out of the earth perhaps as recently as 6000 years ago. It is in an area of Oregon’s high desert country with nice shrub steppe and juniper habitat. We saw pronghorn and interesting birds including a Black-throated Sparrow – a lifer for both of us.

 

A landscape that harkens back to the old west.

 

Standing above a large crater. You can see our truck near the lower rim for prespective.

 

Ripples of lava hardened to basalt rock covered with mosses and lichens.

 

This one had Rock Wrens and Canyon Wrens singing in it.

 

More ripples. It looked sort of like asphalt.

 

Back in that cave, just under the ceiling, is a Barn Owl. From the looks of the site, it has a nest in there. We saw it fly around the crater and wondered if it was scoping us out.

 

More amazing mosses and lichens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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