Today’s photographs come from our “quick” visit to the tall grass prairie preserve today. The Tall Grass Prairie Preserve is located just outside of Pawhuska, Oklahoma and is home to a fairly good size buffalo herd.
I’m betting you noticed that I had “quick” in quotes—when we were leaving the preserve, we ended up with a flat tire, just inside the preserve. Now, if you know Oklahoma geography—Pawhuska is a fairly small town, with the next largest city to get triple A service is a good hour away. So by the time triple A almost showed up, some kind strangers had stopped and helped us change the tire.
So the first few buffalo that we saw were probably within just a few hundred feet of the opening of the preserve. These guys were just grazing and enjoying having this part of the preserve to themselves.
So we managed to see some of the herd of buffalo—it numbers between 1 and 2 thousand animals. Some of the bulls were close to the road, while a another portion of the herd could be seen in the distance. Since there are calfs present, and we’ve had decent rainfall the herd has quite a good area to graze on this year.
There were probably about 150-200 buffalo that we saw off in the distance (which is a good percentage of the total herd). The calves, are the light brown ones.
So if you can see the one or two pale brown animals–those are the calves that were just born this year.
There were also still numerous wildflowers in bloom. These flowers included:
Butterfly milkweed, this was one that I had to google once we got home, as I hadn’t seen any blooming for quite awhile. This is another wildflower that is native to the prairies of the midwest. Prior to the 1930s, it was actually listed as dietary/herbal supplement, as it was served in tea to help treat chest inflammations.
Black-eyed Susan, which were growing along the road and out in the prairie. This plant is native to the prairies of the midwest, and while some parts of the plant are edible, other parts aren’t (it is used by certain Native American tribes as medicinal herb).
So it will be nice to maybe try to get back again in the fall to see possibly more of the herd (but without the added headache of a flat tire), and see what type of possible fall wildflowers we may see.
If you’re ever in the northeastern part of Oklahoma, the drive through the Tall Grass Prairies is totally worth it–you may or may not see buffalo, but you will see some land being transformed back to how it looked a couple of hundred years ago–prairies, which are a vital ecosystem for North America.
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