2011 has been an exceptionally dry year in northwestern Oklahoma. This area has received less than five inches of precipitation so far this year, about one-third of normal. To make matters worse, the drought began in October 2010. From April through June wildflowers are usually abundant in this area and I concentrate on wildflower scenics and close-ups. This year, however, it seems an effort in futility and a waste of gasoline to search for wildflowers to any extent. Therefore, I am posting images from prior years.
The gaillardia or indian blanket is Oklahoma’s state wildflower.
Variegated fritillary butterfly on indian blanket. Cooper Wildlife Management Area.
Prairie coneflower, Cooper Wildlife Management Area.
Missouri goldenrod, Cooper Wildlife Management Area.
Purple poppy mallow or wine cup, Woodward County.
Horse mint and sagebrush, Cooper Wildlife Management Area.
Regal fritillary on butterfly weed, Cooper Wildlife Management Area.
Prickly poppy, Cooper Wildlife Management Area.
Eastern cottontail rabbit among indian blanket, Boiling Springs State Park.
Prickly pear cactus, Cooper Wildlife Management Area.
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.