Morning Comes to Elk Mountain
Dispatches from the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of North Texas Press
Download PDF (92.7 KB)
Title Page, Copyright
Download PDF (59.2 KB)
Download PDF (38.3 KB)
Foreword by David Taylor
Download PDF (815.0 KB)
...las by way of Wichita falls, the mountains slowly overwhelm the northwest horizon. in an area defined by flatness, these granite projections are the focal point going north on hwy. 46 from texas. it was a relatively mild, early summer day and though we’d been in a long-term drought, we had had some rain the last few weeks. ...
Download PDF (153.2 KB)
...for barrenness. you’ll never run across a ski lift here, nor very much snow, for that matter. the weather is fickle to the point of that shear off tree limbs. Droughts that drag on for what seems tornado with enough wind speed and rotating volatility to fling ing fled a beating at the hands of brutal sun, wind, ice, and fickle ...
Download PDF (271.3 KB)
...priately, a buffalo robe drawn tightly around his burly shoulders as passengers lined up near his ferryboat for a final, dreaded ride. actually the stream is shallow enough during a dry January that i can cross in high-topped boots. the boatman’s price for passage, Charon, for those unfamiliar with Greek mythology, is the fierce ...
Download PDF (145.2 KB)
...number of carcasses along the roads leading into the refuge. it’s skunk breeding season and the animals haven’t learned that a glan-dular chemical defense system won’t deter a charging automobile. those that survive great horned owls and vehicular carnage will be responsible for a new generation of young skunks in about two ...
Download PDF (254.8 KB)
...like, but with a bit of an edge. the weather has been cool, tempera-tures held in check by low overcast, and the northeast wind has a elk are grazing on a flat mesa near the core of Charon’s Garden Wilderness and the Crab eyes, a pair of vertical granite columns supporting large boulders that look like softballs balanced atop the ...
Download PDF (248.6 KB)
It’s April, a time of both natural and spiritual renewal in the Wichitas, and therefore a perfect time to seek seclusion in the refuge’s Charon’s Garden Wilderness: a rugged, exposed jumble of granite boulders, water-carved canyons, and small streams bounc-ing over slick stairways of small waterfalls. this morning a fierce ...
Download PDF (311.4 KB)
Most of the time May in these mini-mountains is a month of rain-fall, of storms and high winds, hail and tornadoes, water sometimes descending in torrents. During May the refuge averages around five inches, a little more than two inches over the average for april and about an inch more than the average for June. By July the monthly ...
Download PDF (204.4 KB)
If the rains have been generous, June in the Wichitas is generally a time of plenty. each day the sun hangs over the land a little bit longer, edging towards the summer solstice, the longest day of the year arriving around June 21. Wild fruits borne on april and May flowers are ripening, grasses are growing lush and small herds of buf-...
Download PDF (228.3 KB)
It’s a hot July day in the Wichitas, and a buffalo bull, sleek, fat, and the color of a chocolate brownie, has retired to the shade of a solitary oak for a siesta. the afternoon high temperature will reach the mid-90s, and the time for grazing and strolling to water wind encourage wildflowers to dance. sons and daughters of white ...
Download PDF (233.5 KB)
...slice of the southern Plains, with most that meets the eye rolled out as flat as the proverbial pancake. the exception is this jagged backbone of granite rising over 2,000 feet in elevation in places, a stark contrast to the lowland prairie below, much of it composed of rubble washed down from the mountains over millions of years....
Download PDF (138.6 KB)
...likely have left their burrows to search for female companionship. Males in a mating mindset seek out lady tarantulas in their bach-elorette digs, make the appropriate moves to break the ice, and then, after breeding, leave the premises before becoming supper. female tarantulas generally are larger than males, and, other than ...
Download PDF (243.1 KB)
...why, was a mystery until 1976. then, following nearly 40 years of pursuit, Dr. fred Urquhart revealed in the pages of National Geograph-ic Magazine that millions of these insects wintered in the highlands of Mexico’s Michoacan. Monarchs reaching their wintering grounds congregate in mountainside trees at elevations around 10,000 feet. ...
Download PDF (160.4 KB)
...known then as the sierra Jumanos, as early as the 1600s, searching for gold. the same legends have it that lost treasure is scattered the gold in question, and maybe the impetus for all that misguided searching, is the way the rocks and pebbles at the bottom of no-water and light, coupled with the angle of the sun’s rays, make ...
Download PDF (239.8 KB)
...barely above freezing with wind blowing strongly from the south. the wind chill is such that walking in thick oak timber is more comfortable than walking across open prairie, especially oak timber the ridge and trees block most of the wind, but the trail’s a bit claustrophobic, considering the expansive views that prevail ...
Conclusion: A Last, Great Place
Download PDF (168.4 KB)
A spring day, cool and party cloudy. a morning in the mid-forties that’s morphed into the seventies by mid-afternoon. rain fell the bright red, blue, and yellow, buffalo calves a playful reddish orange, prairie dog pups the color of pale sand and as frisky as little terriers. a perfect day, basically, to be in one of the nation’s oldest managed ...
Download PDF (1.2 MB)
...(Previous page) West Cache Creek gathers strength before tumbling over a series of stair-stepping waterfalls that carve the granite chasm known as the Narrows. (This page) Clouds like these, building during a spring afternoon, can be as dangerous as they are ominous. The granite outcrops, prairie meadows and islands of oak trees (Top) A bull elk, strips of summer’s protective velvet still dangling from his ...
Download PDF (73.0 KB)
Download PDF (72.6 KB)
Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 20 color illus. 15 b/w illus. 1 map.
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Southwestern Nature Writing Series