Martha Songbird

November 18, 2016 at 5:00 am (Autumn, Birds - Oklahoma, Butterflies, Dragonflies and Bugs, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography)

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There’s a pretty little nature park in the middle of Fort Sill, Oklahoma, named after the last passenger pigeon on earth. Martha died in 1914 in the Cincinnati Zoo. Her billions of other kin had been exterminated out of existence by greed and thoughtlessness.

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Several decades ago, Fort Sill naturalists wanted to reclaim a part of the well-groomed military grounds for wildlife. They planted many native trees and shrubs, and let it go wild. Then they named it after Martha the passenger pigeon.

Dark-eyed junco

Dark-eyed junco

The gravel trails are still there, but nobody has volunteered to maintain it now. A summer gullywasher gouged a small canyon down the middle of the main path, and many of the wooden walking bridges over low spots are either gone or in need of repair.

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Still, it’s a lovely spot in all its ungroomed wildness. It’s close to a post housing area, and I’ve often seen families or young Soldiers out walking there.

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But it’s mostly a quiet retreat where butterflies, dragonflies, and birds go about their business.

Texan crescent butterfly

Texan crescent butterfly

I didn’t visit it at all over the summer. It was too darned hot. I wish I had, because there’s evidence that there were some pretty cool wildflowers there.

Greenbriar vine

Greenbriar vine

Now the weather is perfect. I was there in my shorts the other day. I heard a pair of barred owls calling to each other. The building where I work isn’t far from there, and when I got out of work late one day last week, I heard two great horned owls calling from the trees near the parking lot.

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The eastern cottonwood, bur oak, pecan, and other trees are huge and gorgeous in the Martha Songbird park. I heard sandhill cranes calling and knew they would be up high, migrating south. It took awhile, but I finally found one of the flocks.

Sandhill cranes

Sandhill cranes

And their rattling calls made me also discover a dozen white pelicans looking for a good patch of water.

White pelicans

White pelicans

October and November have been, for the most part, unseasonably warm. Yet trees are yellowing. The poison ivy is looking rather pretty. I even saw some Virginia creeper but forgot to photograph it when a bird distracted me.

Tufted titmouse and greenbriar berries

Tufted titmouse and greenbriar berries

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The spider was in a web above my hand. No way will I touch a spider.

Robin

Robin

Question Mark butterfly

Question Mark butterfly

I definitely need to make this a regular habit.

 

Chervony Hall across from the park

Chervony Hall across from the park

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Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

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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5 Comments

  1. Jet Eliot said,

    Thanks for this truly lovely walk through Martha Songbird park, Cindy. So much beauty and peace here, and impressive repertoire of birds (sandhill cranes, two species of owls, and more). I really like the quote at the end too.

    • Cindy McIntyre said,

      I’m behind in responding to comments, Jet, but glad you liked the post and the quote!

  2. anroworld said,

    Gorgeous shots!

  3. Daniel V said,

    I remember this place from my childhood in the early 70s. Such wonderful memories from walking through this wildlife area. I am glad it is still there. We lived at Ft Sill for 3 years, and the park was across the street. I never knew it had a name. I think I came to appreciate nature from so many walks in the woods looking for insects, birds & mammals. We played Army, made forts, gathered walnuts, pecans and berries, caught tadpoles and frogs and suffered plenty of poison ivy rashes over the years.

    • Cindy McIntyre said,

      Daniel, too few kids today are having these kinds of experiences. We need to get them outside more!

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