Tuesday, March 29, 2011
The Wichita Mountains
Oklahoma doesn't boast many mountains--not loudly anyway--but those we have are glorious enough for me, since I'm more of a clamberer than a climber.
It's an area where the Wichita tribe used to winter, and if you know what you're seeking, you might find one of their hand carved water bowls or even a lookout cave with a hidden entrance.
The refuge harbors many different native plants and animals, the most obvious of which are buffalo.
In fact, sometimes they stand in the road and have to be gently persuaded to seek the softer meadows on either side of the pavement.
There are also deer and elk. Usually these animals are seen from a distance, but Marie managed to get close enough for several shots of these normally timid beasts.
The prairie dogs, on the other hand, are not at all timid, and will stand at the little round doors of their dens scolding any intruders and preaching like prophets.
There is a museum--a large, well-kept one, and a ranger station where day-hikers can check in for weather and trail news. Over-night campers can rent a site for their tent or request a three day stint in the wilderness area so they can chase lizards over the rocks, fish in the lakes, or clamber to the top of a peak to look down on a lake below ...or up to a wild eagle soaring.
Sunsets in this area are beautiful; the stillness is sublime.
In the evening, with sunlight on the tips of last year's darkening stems and tufts, these paths make a mystery of every destination...even the parking lot just beyond the footbridge.
It's not easy to say goodbye to these humble riches, and head back toward the screechy noise of nearby cities.
Not far from the refuge lies Medicine Park, a humble village recently decided by art and music lovers to be a noteworthy arena. Real estate followed their lead, and a lost hideaway was discovered by suburbanites, who proved very persuasive in converting the town into an "unspoiled" attraction.
Ah well, it still has plenty of charm, but a more expensive charm than what is offered for free by the refuge. It's a perfect place for a hot meal cooked and served in a restaurant with "atmosphere"; and after taking an eight-mile hike in the wilderness, who doesn't deserve to sit back and enjoy a plateful of calories with cream and sugar?
Pictures by Elijah and Marie
Our Three Word Wednesday prompt was:
Loud; adjective: (Of sound) strongly audible; having exceptional volume or intensity
Persuasive; adjective: Able, fitted, or intended to persuade; noun: Something that persuades.
Riches; plural noun: Abundant and valuable possessions; wealth.