Last updated: August 20. 2014 1:06PM - 417 Views
by Sue Hokanson, Quartz Mountain Nature Park sue@quartzmountain.org

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Wildlife lives year round at Quartz Mountain. There may be hundreds of thousands of human visitors each year, but only two people live at Quartz Mountain. The rest of us are visitors. Some are frequent visitors (350 days a year) and others just come once or twice year.

As we are guests we need to be on our best behavior. Do not leave trash and litter in your wake. That spit cup you used and tossed on the ground may become lodged on a skunks head. Diapers belong in dumpsters and trashcans not left wedged in trees.

Remember food attracts wildlife. Be aware if you leave a patio door /car window or tent zipper OPEN-even just a crack you may attract a skunk, raccoon, snake or opossum. Years ago, someone reported their “convertible had been shredded by bears”. Southwest Oklahoma has not had bears since before Statehood. This person seemed to have lived in their car. They had pizza boxes, hamburger wrappers, stray french fries strewn about the back seat. Raccoon smelled all the enticing smells and clawed their way into a locked vehicle.

Nimble raccoon figures can unzip a tent and they are practicing on opening coolers and soda/beer cans. Those hamburger buns you left on the picnic table last night are gone in the morning. Raccoons probably took the package down and scurried away. They may have eaten most of the buns but any crumbs left behind are tasty treats for deer and skunks.

Fall is around the corner and many plants are heavy with fruits /nuts. While we relish pecans, walnuts, prickly pears and other natural foods, lease do not come into the park to collect or gather these foods. The wildlife that lives here need the food as they prepare for winter. We can go to the grocery store and buy our food they cannot.

Again, Please SLOW down when driving through Quartz Mountain Nature Park. Does and fawns have been hit and killed this week. Driving the posted speed will reduce accidents and save lives. Speeding may save you 5 minutes but at what cost?

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