Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Wichita Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, OK




In 1901 President McKinley set the Wichitas aside as a Forest Preserve. President Theodore Roosevelt established the National Wildlife System in 1903. In 1905 the Wichitas were made a Forest Reserve and Game Preserve and in 1907 were renamed a Forest and Game Preserve. In 1935 the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge was added to the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is the oldest managed wildlife facility in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife system. 

source:https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Wichita_Mountains/FAQs.html



The Wichita Mountains are approximately 500 million years old.



You can spend hours watching the playful prairie dog. They are entertaining and funny and make noises, like a squeaky chirp. I am sure there is a distinct reason for their barking and it most likely is signalling territorial boundaries.




Befriending the Buffalo prevents Bullying.




Who me?



Texas Longhorns are a special and fortunate bred. They were starting to become extinct in the 1920's and now share the grasslands as a cultural and historical species.




Boulder or Buffalo is the eye catching game as you travel through the 59,000 plus acres of the refuge. Look at the beautiful signs of spring with the golden carpet of fresh blooms.



Killdeer from the plover family is enjoying the spring flowers along with the praise grass landscape.




A bountiful supply of moths and butterflies















Parallel Forest aka Cedar Plantation is a must experience various claims on the Internet of what exactly these plantings were make for.  One said for fence postings throughout the National Park Service and planted so close together so they would grow up instead of out. Many sites especially the reviews say "it's haunted". If you can find you way through the maze and not get lost there is also remnants of



The view of Lake Lawtonka from atop Mount Scott is a popular spot and I will share a funny, yet educational link to a oral history story from an interviewed previous SRA (Senior Retired Agent), Richard Gritman about an incident that happened after hours at Mount Scott. Click on text and you can do a text search for Oklahoma and it will come to the story or read the whole transcript about this gentleman's experience working for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is a great story and you can just imagine him sitting next to you telling the details.



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