Wichita Mountains in April

April 30, 2016 at 4:01 pm (Bird photography, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography, Wichita Mountains NWR, Wildflowers, Wildlife)

Mammatus clouds preceding a thunderstorm

Mammatus clouds preceding a thunderstorm

April is winding to a close and there’s been a few bouts with serious weather in the last week. The above photo wasn’t one of them, but it sure looked dramatic. The mammatus clouds preceded a thunderstorm that kept its distance to the west of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Oklahoma.

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A nighthawk was flying against the darkening sky, then taking a sudden dive with his wings whirring as he tried to impress a lady somewhere on the ground.

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The black-tailed prairie dog pups are out eating fresh greens and seeds. The little ones have tails much blacker than those of their parents.

A black-tailed prairie dog pup

A black-tailed prairie dog pup

When a car pulls up they all run to the burrow, their tails flicking in unison.

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The photos above were the prairie dog town on the Holy City road. The one below is at the designated prairie dog town on the west side.

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Bison

Bison

The bison finally showed up in significant numbers, but the light was too dim to get anything other than this nice silhouette.

 

Yellow wild indigo

Yellow wild indigo

There are a few pockets of color along the roadsides.

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The antelope horns is a strange looking milkweed, but it is still needed for the monarch caterpillars.

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The prairie verbena was actually photographed at Fort Sill, though I expect to see some at the refuge soon.

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The prairie groundsel is also from Fort Sill.

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Indian paintbrush tends to color the short grasslands in groupings of red. It was certainly plentiful alongside the roads between Wichita Falls and San Antonio earlier this month.

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Resinous skullcap makes lovely little clumps.

Question Mark butterfly

Question Mark butterfly

This is a life butterfly for me. On the underside of the wings is a little curve and a small slash, which someone thought looked like a question mark.  You can see it below if you look hard enough. There’s a similar butterfly called the comma. It lacks the small slash.

 

Question mark on the Question Mark Butterfly

Question mark on the Question Mark Butterfly

My photos of the upland sandpiper aren’t that good, but I managed to get the great-crested flycatcher.

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Next post: the Oklahoma state bird!

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

 

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