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I spent a week in May, 2007, in the Wichita Mountains in the southwest corner of Oklahoma. I spent most of the time at Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge camping with Photon in the Doris Campground. This was a great place to stay, right in the refuge, with lots of bird activity right from my campsite! The cost is very reasonable, too. I was tent-camping but chose campsites with an electrical hookup so I could charge my laptop and my camera batteries every day. It was very rainy my first few days there, but I was in my Prius, which had plenty of room for my air mattress and sleeping bag, so until I could set up my tent, Photon and I slept in the car. Some birders may prefer staying in a motel--there are plenty of choices in Lawton and Cache.

There may be places on earth as beautiful as the Wichita Mountains, but there simply could not be any place more beautiful. I've only been there in May, once in 1991 and then this time, and I was blown away with the splendor. Prairie flowers were in full bloom. I came upon three diamondback rattlesnakes, one that quickly slithered away without allowing a single photograph but two allowed plenty of photos; bison and long-horned cattle and prairie dogs with babies, an amazing array of butterflies and other cool insects. And the birds! Painted Buntings, Summer Tanagers, and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were shockingly abundant--trapping cowbirds to protect the endangered Black-capped Vireos has had a huge benefit for other small songbirds by allowing far more babies to be produced each spring. I can't imagine a better way to spend a week in May.

I made several photo galleries:

I also made a few blog entries about the trip:

Here's a selection of photos that I like that are large enough to make into wallpaper or a screensaver collection:




All my writing, images, videos, and sound recordings are copyrighted © 1997 - 2007 by Laura L. Erickson. I love to share my work to promote bird conservation and education, and to help people enjoy and learn about the birds and other creatures who live with us on this little planet. I produce this webpage, my radio program, and my photography and sound recordings entirely at my own expense. I could not bear for my hard work to be used to promote any product, company, or organization that is in any way harmful to birds. Please do not use any of my work in any for-profit projects without written permission from me. You can ask for permission by emailing me at chickadee@lauraerickson.com.