A black-necked stilt walks along land near water. Notice how long the legs are.


After featuring a photo of a black-necked stilt in the column concerning Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area, I thought, "Why not feature the bird itself?"

So here it is.

A monarch butterfly drinks nectar from flowers.

Well, I promised a column about monarch butterflies, and here it is.

It's not easy, as the subject of monarchs is quite complex. Entomologists know much more about the species now than they did 30 years ago.

Randy Mitchell | For The Chronicle  Islands of western soapberry trees stand along a county road at Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area. These trees often serve as places of rest for thousands of monarchs each October during migration.


An oasis in Southwest Oklahoma


While Southwest Oklahoma isn't exactly a desert, it is far from the wettest part of the state.

A group of fall armyworm caterpillars (Spodoptera frugiperda) crawl along in a container. These caterpillars can vary in appearance and coloring.

The "armyworms" which are currently infesting certain areas of Southwest Oklahoma aren't really worms, they're caterpillars — caterpillars of the fall armyworm moth (Spodoptera frugiperda).

A killdeer stands among some small rocks. This bird was near its nest, but wasn’t particularly alarmed. Often, when a perceived threat approaches a nest, a mother or father bird may hold its wing out fainting injury while it runs away a short distance at a time. By doing this, the bird is attempting to lure the potential predator away from its nest. If one “injured” wing doesn’t do the trick, the bird may use both of its wings.

Killdeer are somewhat peculiar.

Although they are classified as shorebirds, you can see them just about everywhere, from parking lots to golf courses, large lawns and just about everywhere grass is kept low, or is nonexistent.

A “Full Sturgeon Moon”rises as fans watch the second half of an NFL preseason football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Detroit Lions, Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in Pittsburgh.

By the time you read this, the beautiful full moon will be waning. It caught my eye Sunday evening just after dusk and looked large and orangey hanging above the horizon as it was rising. Unfortunately, I was driving on a major highway and couldn’t stare at it as much as I wanted.

Bison on the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Reserve.

When a train carload of bison arrived at the Cache depot in October 1907, it was more than the beginning of a wildlife conservation success. It was also an important cultural marker for Native American tribes.

A banana spider spins a web.

With August winding down and temp and humidity a tad cooler, a lot of random thoughts are on my mind. Technically, by the calendar, summer ends and fall begins on Sept.