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  • Chandler C.


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, our campsite was not in the Wichita Mountain Refuge where we typically stake out. Instead, we spread our tents in a more civilized park in the mountains. We occupied several of the closely-set campsites, with other campers on either side of us. Far from the “just us and nature” vibe of previous trips to the mountains, the situation was hardly giving me any high expectations for spotting creatures besides birds. But as the old adage goes, “looks can be deceiving.”

Soon after arriving, many of us hiked up the nearest mountain. Since we were in new terrain, I chose to leave my camera at the campsite to scout the area first to see if it was worth scaling the boulders with such a delicate instrument. I should’ve taken it. As well as the attractive vegetation and view of the park and dam, I wished I had had the opportunity to capture some of the wildlife along the way. A friendly lizard sunning on a rock and a graceful vulture soaring below us would have made great shots.

That night two skunks inspected our tents and a porcupine rummaged in the brush. Then we were blessed with the presence of several deer. They frequented our campsite regularly after that initial visit, passing through and sometimes lingering unafraid morning and evening. Never would I have expected to find such abundance of wildlife in a populated area. Disappointment stems from unmet expectations. My expectations were exceeded.


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