Oklahoma Fieldwork

Fieldwork in the Wichitas and Arbuckles

The Botany meeting was in Fort Worth this year (post on that to follow), and in advance of the meeting, James Beck organized fieldwork in the Wichita and Arbuckle Mountains, Oklahoma. Over the course of the week we found 27 species of ferns and lycophytes (I think that was our final tally), which seems quite respectable to me! Our team included James from Wichita State, me (Carl), Forrest, and Ingrid from UC Berkeley, George Yatskievych from UT Austin, and Layne Huiet, Wei-Ting, and Tzu-Tong Kao from Duke. Good times and chiggers were had by all.

Forrest, Layne, Ingrid, James, on top of Elk Mountain, in the Wichita Mountains. Look at that parasol Ingrid’s sporting!
Ingrid being a keener and field-pressing her plants.
Happy Myriopteris gracilis on a limestone “mountain” not far from the Wichitas.
And the highlight of said limestone mountain–Astrolepis integerrima! I think it gave James flashbacks.
Wichita Mountains, special use area: plotting our next steps. The staff biologists were absolutely fantastic, and extremely generous with their time.
An exceptionally lovely Centurea sp. specimen.
Ingrid: a study in the perils of underestimating the muck. But she really wanted that Potamogeton
Quartz Mountain, near the Wichitas. Surprisingly, rather lacking in quartz. But boasting an abundance of Notholaena standleyi and some Myriopteris wootonii!
Quartz Mountain Myriopteris rufa.
And the infamous Desert Star Cloakfern, Notholaena standleyi! Such a cracker. Just look at those farina!
Back in the Wichitas proper, and against all odds, Myriopteris lindheimeri in the “Juniper Plantation.” This is maybe Oklahoma’s only site for this species? (There’s also Myriopteris rufa hiding there–the greener ones).
Wichitas Woodsia (obtusa). Question–is the plant at the top the same as the one on the bottom?
Some visitors came to help with the plant pressing.
James and Ingrid were particularly excited about the Cherry Coke “Tall Boys”.
Took a much needed dip at the Turner Falls Park.
Then off to the Pontotoc Ridge Nature Preserve (thank you Nature Conservancy!), where there were some very cute angiosperms.
The Pontotoc Ridge wet meadows were past their prime, but still gorgeous.
There be Isoetes butleri along that drainage! (At Pontonoc Ridge).


At the fieldhouse we had a very small very fiesty visitor (a Copperhead?).  No botanists or snakes were injured in the recording of this video.


Another great victory of “twitching” for plants–this cliff was full of Cystopteris tennesseensis (Bois D’Arc Creek).
Such swanky digs for our plant pressing!
Couldn’t say it better myself.
Also very true.



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