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The wildflowers of western Oklahoma have been waiting four years for the drought to break and it happened this spring. They burst forth with a tremendous display of color and beauty. These photos were made between May 21st and June 27th, 2015 and are presented in chronological order.
Click on an image and then on left or right to see them larger and sharper.
The monarch butterfly migration passes through northwestern Oklahoma the latter part of September through very early October. These monarchs were photographed from the 14th through the 22nd of September 2011. They were feeding on the Rocky Mountain bee plant in the Cooper Wildlife Management Area.
The Rocky Mountain bee plant’s abundant nectar is very attractive not only to bees but also to butterflies and moths.
This monarch can be identified as a male by the black spots on its hind wings.
Because they usually rest with their wings closed, they are difficult to photograph with their wings spread.
This is a female. It lacks the spots on the hind wings as the males have. The veins are also wider.
The Rocky Mountain bee plant is also found on the Great Plains. It is a large plant growing up to five feet tall with many flowers and draws a number of migrating monarchs.
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.