Lave Lek

Finishing a project never means you’re done with anything. It only means that you now have time to start something new. And for me, this is always a welcomed treat. This allows for a ever varying array of tasks and brings you to new locations. After finishing the last trend plot the other day we immediately headed of in search of Sagegrouse leks. This brought me to many locations that you would expect to be a lekking site but also brought me out to another that I still question. After parking the truck, my partner headed out approximately 0.35 miles out into the middle of a lava flow in the Craters of the Moon National Monument. Although the spot was a pretty wild one, surrounded by rock boiled up from the center of the earth, with deep crevices strewn about, holes down into the earth, and just a seemingly endless sea of lava, I found it humorous thinking of a lone sagegrouse in the midst of this extreme environment, dancing and strutting his stuff for the delight of the ladies, or more likely, lady, if any female Sagegrouse would be as crazy as this male to think this spot the best place to showcase his male prowess. It also made me think, for just a moment, if not just a passing thought, that if this was an actual lek, this Sagegrouse may just be the smartest of all the Sagegrouse. Picking a spot, where undoubtedly he would have no competition. But more often than not my mind wanders back to the picture of the lone male, dancing his heart out in an unforgiving landscape to an audience of none. But his will never waivers, and year after year, he will return to perform his show, knowing that from somewhere, there is always somebody watching.

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