Fall in the Wichita Mountains

Although southwestern Oklahoma doesn’t have the spectacular fall foliage of the eastern deciduous forest, there were bright colors to be seen this weekend in that corner of the state.  Brilliant blue sky – yellow, orange, red leaves – magenta coral berries – chartreuse lichens – purple asters – all set against the pink granite of the Wichita Mountains.

The cooler moist canyons of these mountains harbor a disjunction population of sugar maple (Acer saccharum).  Sugar maples don’t normally tolerate the climate of southwestern Oklahoma, but the microclimate created by small canyons and boulder slopes allows these trees to survive farther west than you would expect to find them.  You can also find other western maples in Red Rock Canyon State Park.

So don’t feel like you need to travel to the east to see fall colors – they can be found across the state!

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