Monday, May 28, 2007

Return of the Wildwomen

It's Memorial Day, and we have returned this afternoon from the Wichita Wildlife Refuge after a long weekend of camping. The weather was chancy, but we ended up with heavy rains after 10 every night, with only an hour of so of rain one afternoon. We had planned to take a hike this morning before heading back to the city, but the rain started early this morning. We hustled to pack up and load the car because there is little that is less enjoyable than taking down a tent in the rain.

The refuge is gorgeous this time of year, with all kinds of wildflowers in bloom. There was Sneezeweed, Barrel Cactus, Cholla, Verbena, Coreopsis, Monarda, Indian Blanket, and so many more. My old enemy Indian Paintbrush is still in bloom, but I outsmarted it by starting Claritin before we got down there. It's a beautiful flower, and when I am not choking and sneezing I can appreciate its charms. Nearly everywhere we went was just a sea of blooms stretching as far as we could see. Photos really cannot do it justice.

There were two buffalo hanging around the campgrounds all weekend. One of them came through our campsite Saturday morning and hung around just across the street scratching various parts of himself on the trees and the campsite number sign. He was not happy to have people around - two girls came around the road and were rather close before they actually saw him. He stopped scratching himself and turned toward them - when they took another step forward he charged them. They backed up quickly; he was satisfied and went back to scratching himself. Another buffalo came within a few feet of us in another part of the campgrounds without seeming to be particularly disturbed by our presence.

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