Sunday, January 17, 2010

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge #8


Sunday morning we got up and headed a few miles down the road (don't listen to Mapquest, it's just about 4 miles from the town of Medicine Park to the refuge, NOT 39, like the site says). Holly has been wanted to go to this refuge for years, and I read about it in 1,000 Places to See Before you Die in the USA and Canada by Patricia Schultz, which I got for Christmas last year,and love! :O) I also thought this would be a fun opportunity to use my new zoom lense! The refuge is one of those projects built during the depression by the work force the government created. The mountain ranges are very old, and eroded much more than the newer Rockies, but they are really pretty, even in the winter. We were able to make the easy drive to the top of Scott's Mountain with a really pretty view from the top. The road is really great, and there were some people making the hike up the mountain along the paved path, which looked pretty relaxing, though we opted to drive this go 'round and stop at the various lookouts.

We also drove past many pretty prairies, and lakes, recreational areas, and a really nice visitors center.

(I also saw there was a town nearby, Holy City, that has the longest running Promise Play. Something I may look into the next time we head this way. I went once in the past in Texas, and really enjoyed the biblical, outdoor play.)
The entire time we drove through the park we saw the reason behind the park's purpose-lots of wildlife. Their main wildlife are Elk, Bison, Longhorns and Prairie Dogs (which we saw) as well as Cougars, Coyotes, Hawks, etc. Here are a few of the animal photos I took during our short stay.
Bison

Longhorns

Prairie Dogs

I loved watching hundreds of these playing, digging, and barking in a little controlled area, as well as throughout the prairies nearby.

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