A day trip to Oklahoma

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June 17th 2016
Published: June 23rd 2016
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And the very next day... We were driven on a road trip to Pawnee for a fun-filled day of firsts.

Firstly, we met our 'soon to be' new travelling companions at their ranch. After quenching our thirst (it was 98 degrees Fahrenheit) with gallons of iced water, we discovered they had hummingbirds just outside their window. I was stunned to find that hummingbirds are so tiny and so very fast. Whenever I had seen photos of these 'fastest little birds' they had always looked much bigger. The smallest extant bird species is a hummingbird. This 5cm bee hummingbird weighs less that 2.5g. (thanks wikipedia). I was just so pleased I managed to get some photos of the little hummers although I hope to get the chance to improve my captures in future sightings.

Next stop: Pawnee Bill Ranch where I was most impressed with the historical exhibits and wealth of information about this colourful piece of history - the Wild West. This was once the showplace of the world renowned Wild West Show entertainer, Gordon W.. "Pawnee Bill" Lillie. We toured the 14 room mansion which is fully furnished with their original belongings, memorabilia, photographs. The museum's exhibits related to Pawnee Bill, the Wild West shows, and the Pawnee. The five hundred acre grounds include the original Ranch blacksmith shop, a 1903 log cabin, and a stockade. All very interesting to wander around.

And then there were the buffalo and draft horses. Very cute buffalo babies and a huge male basking in the sunshine were my highlights. Are they buffalo or are they bison? That is the question. No matter what, they were very impressive at close range even in small numbers. I can only imagine how they must have looked in the vast numbers that once roamed the plains.

We ate an early dinner with a very large mouth-watering ribeye steak (not buffalo) and my first taste of American baked sweet potato. I have to say I still prefer NZ kumara though.

The last 'first' for this day was to experience the 'scent' of the skunk! Several skunk were to be seen alongside the highway and it was pointed out to me that the strange smell occasionally wafting through the air was indeed skunk. Needless to say, I wouldn't want an upclose encounter! Sure didn't want to stop for a photo opportunity!

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