Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve outside Pawhuska Oklahoma........

If you enjoy minimal distractions from all the degradations that tend to be associated with "civilization", then by all means make a trip to The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve located just south of the Kansas border.  More than 60 square miles of land is protected by the Nature Conservancy resulting in a place where you can (sometimes) hear nothing but grasses and plants being moved by the breeze, insects buzzing and various birds singing.  It brought back memories of my childhood out in the country in southwestern Oklahoma.  It is not pristine since gravel covered county roads and oil wells exist on the land, but it is refreshing nevertheless.  Late fall will probably be my next visit, the plants will be full grown and browned out and should offer a totally different experience than late spring, early summer.

The Nature Conservancy deserves credit for establishing and overseeing the preserve even though their notion of "conservancy" includes condemning buffaloes to death when the numbers exceed the estimated carrying capacity of the area.  My enthusiasm for their organization is drastically dampened by their willingness to promote violence and/or carnism.

The preserve is a good day trip if you live in central Oklahoma, and well worth it.

Driving north on I-35 from Norman was depressing, the carnage along the roadways is appalling, the crushed bodies of armadillo people and bird people and raccoon people are bad, bad sights....always.

The drive also will expose you to fences out the is astonishing and discomfiting to realize  how much we human people have arranged the land to control animal people.  Somewhere I read a description of the U.S. as being just an extended concentration camp for the animal people.  Think of it, mile after mile after mile of fences of all kinds, primarily designed to prevent the movement of various non-human peoples.  Land of the free?

Possibly the greatest pleasure of the preserve.... places where no fences could be seen, no houses, no cars.....just planet earth, her hills and trees and flowers and grasses. Oh, and some buffalo calling cards populated with appreciative insects (see pic).


Christina said...

There is something about the Buffalo, standing alone in the grass, open sky behind him. The things it brings to the imagination.

Murph's mom said...

I too am greatly saddened by the animals killed on the roads, in particular the turtles. No one should die there of course but the slow moving turtles have so little chance of getting across a busy road. Just yesterday I spotted a small box turtle in the middle of the slow lane of a 4 lane road and he was just getting started across all those lanes. I was in the fast lane and traffic was brisk. I got to the nearest street to make a left hand turn to come back and it took much longer than I had hoped because of heavy traffic. When I returned to the spot I saw him he was not there. No tragic remains, no turtle. Knowing the drive of their nomadic ways and that he would not likely turn back, the only explanation was that a kind hearted person found a place to pull over quickly and escorted the little box turtle safely across the road. Thank you whoever you are!!

One other happy story and I will get back to work. One of our friends lives adjacent to a busy road. She was working in her backyard one evening and heard the sound of brakes and someone getting out of their car. Our friend said a big burly guy picked up a turtle in the road and escorted him across and gave him a lecture about staying off the streets. I chuckle even now when I think about it. There is a lot of vegetation and trees in that area and the guy didn't know someone had witnessed his act of kindness. I think of that big burly guy sometimes and my heart smiles. I like him a lot.