If you’ve spent any time in the southeast corner of Oregon, you know that water is the defining characteristic of the landscape. Survival for plants and animals depends on access to enough moisture to meet their daily needs. Without water, plants turn brown, and animals look for new areas to forage. You really notice this when you're out hiking and come across a dried-up stock pond or water hole. There’s no reason for animals to visit the bare, sun-baked earth anymore, and the only sign of their past visits is the deep footprints left as the pond turned to muck before the water dried up completely. There may be some water when the snow melts in spring, but otherwise these dry beds seem to mock the intelligence of their builder as they lie there, dry and forsaken, with no water or animals in sight.