Image of Gum Weed Plant

Oklahoma Prairie Country

~About Me~

Image of Gum Weed Plant
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   I am 88 years old and a retired research chemist. The mystery and beauty of nature have always been high among my interests. After retirement I spent about 23 years as a docent (volunteer) at The Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Pawhuska, Oklahoma. It is owned and operated by the Nature Conservancy, a wonderful organization dedicated to the scientific preservation of plants, animals, and natural communities by reestablishing and protecting the ecosystems that they require for survival. I am now retired as a docent.

   To be an effective docent and to satisfy my curiosity I have studied diverse subjects such as wild flowers, bison (commonly called buffalo), Native American (Indian) history,history of the ranching business, oil industry history, etc. I have concentrated on botany the last four years to be able to identify the many plants and wild flowers found on the prairie. I have taken photos of many of the wild flowers found on the prairie. I have to confess that I am still very much a neophyte at this.

   I enjoyed meeting and talking to the many visitors to the prairie. Amazingly the visitors come from every state of the union and many foreign countries. I presented some of the history of the Chapman-Barnard Ranch, Osage Indian history, conservation objectives of The Nature Conservancy, the bison, etc. It astonishes me that people from outside of Oklahoma, and especially from foreign countries, find out that The Tallgrass Prairie even exists. I have met people from distant states that have the Tallgrass Prairie as their main destination. Some visitors have special interests, such as the bird population, or the bison, or the immense open spaces of the prairie, or the history of the West and Native American tribes. I feel truly blessed that I could do this at this stage in my life.

JKJ Benefits

This section was updated on 7/19/2018.