Category Archives: Nature

Autumn in Southeastern Oklahoma

Red maples along Talimena National Scenic Byway
Red maples along Talimena National Scenic Byway
Maples along Talimena National Scenic Byway
Maples along Talimena National Scenic Byway
Maples along Talimena National Scenic Byway
Maples along Talimena National Scenic Byway
Maples and oaks, Robbers Cave State Park
Maples and oaks, Robbers Cave State Park
Red maple trees, Robbers Cave State Park
Red maple trees, Robbers Cave State Park
Oak trees and rock ledge, Robbers Cave State Park
Oak trees and rock ledge, Robbers Cave State Park
Red maple leaves, Robbers Cave State Park
Red maple leaves, Robbers Cave State Park
Oak trees in Sulphur Canyon, Pushmataha County
Oak trees in Sulphur Canyon, Pushmataha County
Sunset near Talihina
Sunset near Talihina

The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve

The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is a remnant of what once covered over 142 million acres in parts of 14 states.  Less than 10% of the original tallgrass prairie remains, with the only large unbroken tracts in the Flint Hills of Oklahoma and Kansas.  The Nature Conservancy, a private, nonprofit conservation organization purchased the 29,000 acre Barnard Ranch in 1989 to establish the preserve.  The preserve now consists of 38,700 acres which The Nature Conservancy owns or leases in Osage County, Oklahoma.

One of Oklahoma's little-known treasures lies north of Pawhuska near the Kansas border.One of Oklahoma’s little-known treasures lies north of Pawhuska near the Kansas border.

In 1993, 300 bison were reintroduced and will eventually grow to a herd of 2700.
In 1993, 300 bison were reintroduced and will eventually grow to a herd of 2700.
Pale Purple Coneflower
Pale Purple Coneflower
Sensitive Briar
Sensitive Briar
Showy Evening Primrose
Showy Evening Primrose
Butterfly weed buds beginning to Open
Butterfly weed buds beginning to open
Butterfly Weed
Butterfly Weed
Atlantis Fritillary On Pale Purple Coneflower
Atlantis Fritillary On Pale Purple Coneflower

Geese

Winter brings many thousands of geese to wildlife refuges in Oklahoma. 100,000 or more geese may inhabit a single refuge. I have photographed on three of the four state refuges which attract large numbers of geese.

Snow goose, Sequoyah National Wildlife RefugeSnow goose, Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

Snow geese (blue phase in middle), Sequoyah National Wildlife RefugeSnow geese (blue phase in center), Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

Snow geese, Sequoyah National Wildlife RefugeSnow geese, Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

Snow geese landing on Sequoyah National Wildlife RefugeSnow geese landing on Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

_IGP2938wCanada geese and moon, Washita National Wildlife Refuge

_IGP0446wSnow geese and Canada geese, Washita National Wildlife Refuge

_IGP0480wCanada geese and snow geese, Washita National Wildlife Refuge

_IGP6509Canada geese, Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge

Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge

In southwest Oklahoma, the time worn Wichita Mountains are a remnant of an ancient mountain range which was once majestic, but is still beautiful in its own right.

White-tailed Buck at Sunrise, Wichita Mountains
White-tailed buck at sunrise, Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge
White-tailed Buck, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
White-tailed buck, Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge
Leavenworth's Eryngo, Wichita Mountains
Leavenworth’s eryngo, Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge
Barrel cactus flowers after a rain, Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge

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The Black Mesa

The Black Mesa in the northwest corner of the Oklahoma Panhandle in Cimarron County is a unique and interesting landscape composed of mesas, buttes and rock formations left by volcanic activity. The highest point in Oklahoma at 4,973 feet is located here. In June the tree cholla cactus blooms, making this my favorite time to photograph here.
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The Lesser Prairie Chicken

The lesser prairie chicken is on the verge or being placed on the endangered species list. This member of the grouse family has always had a limited range and that range is becoming more limited due to fragmentation of habitat made worse recently by the establishment of large wind farms in northwest Oklahoma. I have photographed them the last two springs during their booming season which is the time when males gather on breeding grounds called leks to do an amazing courtship ritual to impress the hens. These were photographed from a blind on a lek in Harper County, Oklahoma.
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