White-tailed bucks photographed in Boiling Springs State Park, Oklahoma from November 10 through December 6, 2011.
November 10th, the rut or breeding season is just beginning. Notice this buck doesn’t yet have the swollen neck which bucks have during the rut.
Early morning light adds a beautiful warmth to the color in this image. The frost on the grass in the shaded foreground has not yet melted.
This one has a nice symmetrical 10-point rack.
The center of interest
During the rut, bucks are active night and day and get very little rest.
Ouch! This one has gotten too close to a porcupine. Note the five quills stuck to the left side of his face. Believe it or not, porcupines are not unusual in northwestern Oklahoma.
A light snow has blanketed the park on the morning of December 6, 2011 and the rut is almost over for another year.
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.