Pontotoc Ridge Preserve in Spring (The Nature Conservancy)

April 15, 2015

A field of Indian blanket adorns the Nature Conservancy’s 2900-acre, Pontotoc Ridge Preserve in Oklahoma. I chose to feature this image because of its impressionistic feel. Sometimes the background blur of an image is what makes it so special. I also loved the uniformity of this scene, totally dominated by a “blanket” of Indian blanket.

A few years ago, I visited The Nature Conservancy’s Pontotoc Ridge Preserve on a warm spring morning. My compadre, Mike Arduser, joined me for the trip and we met with our good friend, Mike Fuhr, who would be our guide for the day. Mike Fuhr holds the title of Director of the Oklahoma Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, so we knew he would have an inside track on the area’s beauty. After a great evening at a riverside cabin that included some tasty Mexican food and a sip or two of fine whiskey, we headed out for a hike across Pontotoc the next morning.



Walking across the Pontotoc landscape is tricky because the rocky glades are home to a fair number of western diamondback rattlesnakes. We spotted three of these formidably camouflaged customers during our short hike. I made several nice images by lying on my belly with a 300 mm lens to get an eye-level look at the coiled critters, all of which were docile in temperament, as far as I could tell.



A lace cactus, rises from the rock, surely inhospitable to most other vegetation. The intricate columns of “lace” were amazing to this Missouri boy and the flower was popping with color, even with the saturation slider on my camera set at zero. I’ve always loved Missouri’s prickly pear, but this cactus was simply sublime.



The end of the morning brought my first ever sighting of a roadrunner as it looked out over a classic Pontotoc Ridge view, featuring a blanket of flowers and a touch of purple in the background. Joyce pointed out the little red flower standing proud on its own to the left of the roadrunner. Beautiful!

Our visit to Pontotoc Ridge Preserve was a great success. I was even treated to a scorpion so tiny, I could barely capture it in a photograph. By mid-afternoon, we began our hike back to the car where some cold refreshments awaited us.

As I was writing this edition, I emailed Mike Arduser to get some ID info on the flora we saw at Pontotoc. The last sentence of his response was, “I wish we were there right now!” I wholeheartedly agreed!

Thanks for looking,

Danny Brown

Email me at:  NatureFrames@Rocketmail.Com

Note:  If you would like to learn more about Pontotoc Ridge Preserve (The Nature Conservancy) go this link:  Pontotoc Ridge Preserve




10 comments on “Pontotoc Ridge Preserve in Spring (The Nature Conservancy)”

  1. An area that I don’t know…yet…thank you for showing me the various beauties of the place.

  2. Lovely story and images! Sounds like an awesome trip! I also wish I was there right now! Thanks for sharing these from the archives.

  3. WOW!

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. Those are some of the most beautiful photo shots, of nature in there own element. You are such a brave man, to lay on you belly, to capture that image of that western diamondback rattlesnake. I think that I would have stayed at least 10yds away. Thanks for sharing.


  5. Hi Danny,
    I’m diggin’ the field of Indian Blanket. Have a bunch of those planted in flower beds in my yard.
    Take it easy,

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