Black Mesa by Kim Baker copyright
Black Mesa is a Nature Conservancy Preserve in the arid panhandle of Oklahoma.
Conservation Photographer Kim Baker shows us the wild and beautiful spots in Oklahoma not only to capture them for posterity but also in the hopes of promoting their preservation. Most people outside of Oklahoma are not aware of the diversity of microclimates and spectacular landscape and many types of trees that live in these many unique spots.
We attended "The Illinois River Survey" on the opposite side of the state from the Black Mesa. It was a three day event that Kim put enormous energy into planning in order to bring attention to the need to preserve this Oklahoma wild and scenic river. Here are some production stills at the event on the banks of the river at various spots. The river had just undergone a 500 year flood so the waters were much higher than usual and the banks much changed. While there was a great deal of flooding damage in Tahlequah for which we are greatly empathetic for those affected, on the positive side as Ed Fite, Administrator of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission pointed out this kind of event actually helps to clear some of the pollution and bacteria out of the river.
Kim Baker and her equipment
Filmmaker Bob Demboski and Kim walking to a beautiful spot on the Illinois River much changed by the flood.
A gravel bar that wasn't there before the flood.....
Kim getting ready to shoot a very changed spot on the river where she has shot before.
Ripples in the gravel bar from the fierce action of the flood waters.
Beautiful spots along the river...
Some with rock ledges....
Examining the life and health of the river at the Illinois River Survey
See a past blog for a full itinerary of what took place in the three day event.
Seining to find life in the river....
Lower Mountain Fork River by Kim Baker copyright