It is a peculiarity of the Oregon High Desert, days like this. A warm sun in midday, the dry grasses and distant hills appearing but little different than midsummer. Then you happen upon that rarity of rarities, open water in the desert, and it is a dry teat, unusable to livestock, hard-frozen all day through, evaporating slowly away into the air, a dream like water on Mars.
A few miles away is a remote sensing weather station named for Horse Ridge; the station often records the coldest minimum temperatures in Oregon; eg. October 9, 2017, with a morning low of only 6 degrees F (but an afternoon high of an astonishing 61).