Oka’ Yanahli (April, 2012)
by S.T. Paxton
I recently visited and camped at the Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Oka’ Yanahli Preserve located south of Connerville, Oklahoma. The preserve is situated on the west bank of the Blue River. Oka’ Yanahli (pronounced oh-kuh yuh-naw-lee) means “water flowing” in Chickasaw tongue. TNC works to preserve the State’s diverse landscape and biodiversity. Oka’ Yanahli is one of 12 properties stewarded by TNC in Oklahoma. Properties adjacent to the scenic Blue River are valued for their beauty and Oka’ Yanahli is a real gem. A unique feature of the site is that the geological contact between the Arbuckle Group of carbonate rocks and the Simpson Group of sandstones and shales cuts diagonally across the property. Because the Arbuckle and Simpson rocks are fundamentally different in their physical and chemical properties, the rocks display major differences in resistance to erosion. For this reason, the geomorphic character of the Blue River alluvium changes from north to south along the eastern boundary of the property.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Oklahoma
Water is always a central theme when taking photographs in Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Water in most of the streams is crystal clear, spring-fed, and teaming with a relatively unique flora and fauna.