What precipitated this drive to go out to the mountains you ask? Well-My sudden love for dyeing yarn with natural materials. After an amazing experience dyeing with lichen from my trip to N Carolina I wanted to see if our very own moutains had anything new to give. It didn't even dawn on me at first that the Wichita's would have lichen since I tend to think very little grows out on those barren windswept dry granite crags. All my previous trips out there left me with the impression all that grew there was cactus, prarie grass and poor little stunted oak trees. But I googled "Wichita Mountains" and every entry came up with "Lichen covered" so I knew I had to go out with new eyes.
Next was the Jed Johnson lake area. After getting out of the car I chose the quick trail to the lake first. I had to walk thru some pretty heavy vegetation to get to the water but oh my-what treasures I found to the eye!! I can not name either one of these flowers just right now but are they not amazing?? No I did not pick any of this, it was way to beautiful just where it was.
This is probably some sort of campanula
Then I took the longer trail that circles the lake part of the way and works it's way up to the tower overlooking the lake. I am not sure what the tower is for, perhaps an old lookout post?
Back at the trailhead my car was still sitting all by its lonely self. I had yet to see a single soul on my walks. What a glorious day the rest of the world was missing. I mused at where I should head next. The park headquarters still to the west or back to the east where I would find Mt Scott and also some food cause by this time I was starving. But I did head west and stop in at the visitor's center. I didn't find much in the bookstore and I have been thru all the exhibits before so I made a quick turn around and back to the east. I did make a few quick detours down a few roads along the way back. The one to the Holy City of the Wichita's was thick with Buffalo. At one point I had to sit with my car in idle to let the massive beasts cross the road both in front and behind me. They took their leisurely time and let me get a good look at those lovely coats that yeild some of the softest, warmest fiber on earth. Right now I do not own any Buffalo yarn but sorely want to soon. But I think I will let those expert buffalo wrangler's get if off the beasts for me!!
One last stop to make-the summit of Mt Scott. The drive is a short one winding you round the mountains a few times before coming to the parking lot at the top. I can not even begin to tell you how resplendent the rocks were lining the drive up the moutain. Every rock was covered in the bright yellow green lichen that I had hoped to be able to collect some of. And the colors of the lichen just glowed against the red of the sandstone and grey of the granite rocks. Add the crystal blue sky above and it is no wonder my pictures came out so spectacularly that day. I walked around a bit at the top almost alone in the parking lot. I took the time to snap a few more pics including a few of Audry II since I had dragged her along just for that purpose. I climbed down a bit and sat on a rock out of sight of the world for just a few minutes and drank in all the glory God had given me that day. But eventually hunger really was taking over and I needed to go back to my mundane life and every day activities. And of course I wanted to see what my new lichens were going to give me in the way of color. I was barely in the house before I was boiling water to test out my new finds. But alas the colors of the day would all be in my pictures and in my memory cause all I got was the same orange I had gotten with my N Carolina lichen, nice but I have enough of that for awhile!!
So after a quick trip back down the mountain, I headed home. Well at least with a pitstop at Burger King and then to the commissary on the way. And here are a few of the final pictures I took on top of Mt Scott-please enjoy!!