Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is flat, right?  Except for a chunk of interesting geography called the Wichita mountains in southwestern OK near Lawton.  The rocky 2000 foot promontories here are the result of a failed continental rift that filled with granite 500 million years ago, was covered with sediments of the inland sea, and was pushed up late in the Paleozoic.

Sediment erosion has exposed the granite tops of the Wichita Mountains.

A variety of wildlife, including bison (originally from the Jackson Hole herd) and elk, both of which had gone extinct here in the 1800s from hunting pressure, roam this almost 60,000 acre national wildlife refuge.

Buffalo mix in with Longhorn Cattle, also introduced to this refuge. They seem to get along amicably and don’t hybridize.

Even though they were a long way from the road, these cow elk were in a big hurry to get away from us.

We managed a few hours stopover here on our way south to Texas.  The wildflowers were blooming everywhere, especially the Indian Paintbrush and lupine, prairie dogs were sunning their new-born pups, and Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers were busily setting up territories.

Indian Paintbrush

The prairie was abloom.

Beautiful scenery here in the Wichita mountains.

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are quick, and don’t slow down to let you photograph them.

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers seem to like the view from the fences, as they search for errant insects.

Mama prairie dog must have quite a few pups!

The pups scurry to their burrow for some reassurance from mom when nosy photographers come around.

2 thoughts on “Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma

  1. I SO miss Oklahoma. Okies don’t get it though. They think that Oklahoma would be less interesting than California; but that is because they know Oklahoma. I don’t know Oklahoma. I intend to get back there eventually.

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