Mayfield Pond Recreation Area, is a 19,500 acre parcel of BLM land open to the Public. This High Desert Oasis is home to an Ancient Juniper Forest, Mayfield Pond and a bonanza of other interesting things. Near the turn of the Century, (from 1890-1915) this area was homesteaded by early farmers who, due to the dry conditions, failed or moved West by the 1920’s. Household dump sites abound, most dating back 40 years or more. Many of the Juniper Trees in this area are nearly 500 years old, they have adapted to live on less than 15 inches of annual rainfall. A Juniper tree can suck almost 30 gallons of water from the surrounding soil, preventing any growth of grazing grass for cattle. Many ranchers in Oregon consider the Juniper a weed that impedes upon natural streams and water ways that support cattle. Junipers this old, however, are generally protected and support a bustling ecosystem on their own. Rabbits, Coyote, Mule Deer, Osprey, Hawks, Flicker, and Blue Birds all live in this area.
Mayfield Pond is sourced from The Deschutes River (12 miles away) via canal. The pond was stocked years back with bass and sunfish and recent logs claim fishing is still good. Motorized use is limited to designated areas and hunting is allowed, target shooting within 1/2 mile of the pond is prohibited. We had the place to ourselves this Saturday and we were able to travel about 3 miles into the Woodlands nabbing 3 Geocaches along the way. There are 13 Geocaches in the area, all kid friendly and many accessible in light snow or even at night! I foresee many more trips out this way.
Ponderosa Pine infected with Pine Beetles. Pines overproduce pitch to create a barrier against and draw out attacking beetles. Pine Pitch has a sweet vanilla like scent, much like baking cookies. This sap can be used in salves as a powerful antihistamine, in teas as an immune booster, or in soap as an anti microbial. If you have a splinter, put a tiny but of pine pitch on top of it and in 24 hours the pitch will pull the sliver out.
To access The Mayfield Pond Recreation Area travel East on Highway 20 for 5 miles and take a Left on Powell Butte Highway. Take a Right onto Alfalfa Market Road. Parking is available about a 1/2 mile down on the Left just after Faulker Road.