Lichen of the Wichita Wildlife Refuge

Lichen is my favorite thing to observe anywhere I go.  The Wichita Wildlife Refuge has a stunning array of lichen, and I'm always really drawn to the brightly colored crustose species covering the granite rock faces there.  So beautiful.  We went out and hiked for a day recently, and I spotted some beautiful foliose and fruticose lichens as well.  These are just some images of what I observed.  Happy Friday!

Little Wildlife

These are from the Wichita Wildlife Refuge.  We always see the obvious longhorn, bison, prairie dog and deer, but I like to look for the little guys too.  Sadly, I have yet to see a snake here after all the time I've spent in the refuge.  I know some people would count this as a blessing, and I will say I'm glad I've never stepped on one or came too close to one without knowing it was there first.  However, it would be great to see one from afar...and then take a wide route around it.


Hiking is Good for the Soul

We drove down to the Wichita Wildlife Refuge this weekend, which is probably the closest area that has an abundance of hiking trails and gives one a feeling of solitude/remoteness.  The morning was cool, so there really weren't too many people out.  Aside from playing naturalist and observing minute details, my favorite thing about heading out of town like this is the silence.  No vehicles, no industrial sounds or people... all you can hear is the occasional tremble of the leaves... and that odd buzzing sound in your ears which is only apparent when either your hearing is stopped up or when you are away from the sounds of society.  It's funny how silence does, in fact, have a sound.  I drink it up like an elixir that hydrates and refreshes my tense mind.