26 December 2012

Oklahoma Prairie Country - online resource

A wonderful find! Oklahoma Prairie Country is a website dedicated to the author's photos of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, Oklahoma history, and conservation.
Here's a link to his site -  http://www.okprairie.com
Here's a link to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve site (the largest preserved tract of tallgrass prairie).
http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/oklahoma/index.htm
The Kansas portion is introduced at http://www.nps.gov/tapr/index.htm

LASR
The author's bio "I am 83 years old and a retired research chemist. The mystery and beauty of nature have always been high among my interests. After retirement I decided to devote part of my time working as a docent (volunteer) at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Pawhuska, Oklahoma. It is owned and operated by the Nature Conservancy, a wonderful organization dedicated to the scientific preservation of plants, animals, and natural communities by reestablishing and protecting the ecosystems that they require for survival.
To be an effective docent and to satisfy my curiosity I have studied diverse subjects such as wild flowers, bison (commonly called buffalo), Native American (Indian) history,history of the ranching business, oil industry history, etc. I have concentrated on botany the last four years to be able to identify the many plants and wild flowers found on the prairie. I have taken photos of many of the wild flowers found on the prairie. I have to confess that I am still very much a neophyte at this.


I enjoy meeting and talking to the many visitors to the prairie. Amazingly the visitors come from every state of the union and many foreign countries. I present some of the history of the Chapman-Barnard Ranch, Osage Indian history, conservation objectives of The Nature Conservancy, the bison, etc. It astonishes me that people from outside of Oklahoma, and especially from foreign countries, find out that The Tallgrass Prairie even exists. I have met people from distant states that have the Tallgrass Prairie as their main destination. Some visitors have special interests, such as the bird population, or the bison, or the immense open spaces of the prairie, or the history of the West and Native American tribes. I feel truly blessed that I can do this at this stage in my life."
 
His enthusiam has made me put the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve back on my bucket list. Locals warn to avoid it during tick season - they brought home dozens of ticks each.

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