Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lake Evans Chambers

If there's one thing you can count on finding on the Plains, it's wind. Beyond the wheat field and tree line, you can see one of the many wind generator farms found in the area.  I got tickled yesterday by a newspaper article about a woman that moved to Oklahoma from Chicago, The Windy City.  After a year, she moved back to the Windy City because she couldn't take the constant, unending high winds of Oklahoma.

No. 1, Ibi launched from the shore.  There's a boat ramp a couple hundred
yards further to the NNE.  #2 is the dam.  #3 is where I backtracked following
a snake and got a picture of the cat-claw.
Click to enlarge.

After 121.7 miles, Ibi and I reached Lake Evans Chambers. It is a small 80 acre lake in far Northwest Oklahoma, just as you enter the Oklahoma Panhandle or No Man’s Land. It can be found in Oklahoma DeLorme, P. 17, E-9. There seems to be a disagreement even among state’s publications on whether it is Evan or Evans. However, I found an Evans Chambers, who died in 1911, and was a local who was the country’s most famous lariat twirler, and who, like Buffalo Bill Cody, Annie Oakley, Will Rogers and others, traveled all over the country giving Wild West exhibitions.

Yellow ox-bur and white daisy fleabane.
Orange butterfly on orange indian blanket flower.
Prairie carpeted with a patch of indian blankets.

The first Land Rush of 1889 brought 50,000 people onto Indian lands. That was on 22 April, just a couple weeks earlier in the year than this trip. At this time of year I can understand the settlers’ excitement. With a few drops of rain in the spring, the prairie turns green and wildflowers burst forth in force. The prairie is covered with blankets of orange, yellow, and purple. One could almost think it pretty, especially if they didn’t know what it would all look like in a few short weeks when everything becomes the same color of dead brown.

I followed the snake along a dry bluff face that looked almost like rock.  In a questionable claim on survival, this pretty wildflower forced its way from a crack in the unforgiving surface.  It is a cat-claw sensitive briar.   It is called sensitive, because if you stroke a leaf, it responds by curling up.

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