Wichita Mountains – Late June

June 19, 2016 at 1:26 pm (Bird photography, Birds - Oklahoma, Dragonflies and Bugs, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Wichita Mountains NWR, Wildflowers, Wildlife)

Cow elk and youngster

Cow elk and youngster

People who have been here awhile say the lushness of the wildflowers and prairie grasses is the best they’ve seen in awhile. There was a drought the previous few years, but this spring has been abundantly wet.

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The elk on the refuge were reintroduced in the early 1900s after the native Merriam’s elk were exterminated. The Rocky Mountain subspecies is larger, and numbers between 700 and 800 at the refuge. Read the rest of this entry »

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Early June in the Wichitas

June 12, 2016 at 2:47 pm (Butterflies, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography, Wichita Mountains NWR, Wildflowers, Wildlife)

Echinacea, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Echinacea, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Today the angels are having a bowling tournament, and they must have busted some water pipes because the morning has been as dark as dusk behind a waterfall. I planned to enjoy another sunny Sunday at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge but I’ll have to relive the memories of last week with this blog post.

Large Wood Nymph on buttonbush blossom

Large Wood Nymph on buttonbush blossom

Because of Oklahoma’s location in the country’s midsection, there are a lot of flora and fauna I’m familiar with from both east and west. Sometimes, like with the buttonbush above, I’m reminded of my year in the Okefenokee swamp. There were several butterfly species feasting on the nectar, several of which were new to me. Read the rest of this entry »

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Prairie Dog Pups

June 2, 2016 at 6:20 pm (National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography, Wichita Mountains NWR, Wildlife) ()

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There are two main prairie dog towns that are easily visible from the road in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. In April the pups started appearing, and have been very active throughout May. The threadleaf thelesperma is the predominant flower in the refuge, and it seems to really like being in prairie dog towns because they keep the grass short.

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These black-tailed prairie dogs show the black tips more as youngsters. Read the rest of this entry »

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