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Bird & Crystal Festival-May1-3-98-Cherokee-NW Okla.Salt Plains Lake-

Be a Prospector-
To uncover crystals these items
are needed: shovel, a container,
such as a jug or bucket, filled with
water, a cardboard or sheet to

work on;and a container to store the fragil crystals.

The Selenite Crystal
Selenite is a crystallized form of gypsum.
Chemically it is hydrous calcium sulfate.
Gypsum is a common mineral which takes
on a great variety of crystal forms and
shapes. Here on the Salt Plains, the crys-
tals are formed just below the salt-encrusted
surface. They are seldom found deeper than
two feet below the surface.
At certain places on the Salt Plains, gyp-
sum and saline solutions in the soil are suf-,
ficiently concentrated to promote crystal
growth. When temperatures and brine conditions are ideal, the crys-
tals may form very rapidly. When heavy rains or floods bring great quan-
tities of fresh water to the plains, some of the selenite crystal go
back into solution until conditions are again right for recrystallization.
Because these crystals form in wet soil, sand and clay particles are
included within the crystal. The included particles often form
characteristic hourglass shape, which is found only in this area. The
chocolate brown color is due to the presence of iron oxide in the soil.
Other foreign objects in the soil such as sticks, rocks, bones, and even cockleburs are occasionally encased as the crystals form. Single crys
tals, penetration twins, and clusters are the typical shapes most fre
quently encountered here. Exceptional individual crystals as much as
seven inches long are found here, as well as complex combinations of
crystals weighing as much as 38 pounds. As long as nothing happens
to change the mineral content of the waters draining into the Salt Plains,
these crystals will continue to form, just as they do today.
The digging of selenite crystals on the Salt Plains Wildlife Refuge
is permitted during the period from April 1 to October 15 of each year.

Reprinted by courtesy of the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge

May1-Friday Nite-
Friday evening Bean Supper and oldtime meladrama Reservations 1-580-569-3053
Great Salt Plains Association-Kay Henderickson
1-580-596-3053-Send for Brochure

Registration at Cherokee CourtHouse(watch for signs)
SATURDAY, May 2-1998
6 a.m. Advanced Birdwatching, Bill Howe
8 a.m. Intermediate Birdwatching, Jack Hill Oklahoma
8-10 a.m. Family Birdwatching
8-8:30 a.m. State Fish Hatchery Tour
8-10 a.m. Shorebird Identification
9 a.m. Bird Photography, Classroom
instruction followed by field work
10 a.m. Boat Trip to Ralston Island -Reservations made at registration-Cherokee Courthouse
Downtown Cherokee (watch for signs)
10 a.m. Private Land Development

10 am-2 pm Crystal Digging Contest-3miles south & 6 miles east of Cherokee

Observation Tower can be seen at the entrance gate

Shovel & Pail are all you need, maybe plastic to sit on, --get started for the big prizes-LUNCH- avaliable at the Regisration Tent.

10:-10:30am Fish Hatchery Tour - 5 miles north of the lake.
Noon Boat Trip to Ralston Island
1 p.m. Habitat Restoration and Upland Quail
Management, Steve Demaso
1-3 p.m. Attracting Birds to Your Backyard instruction followed by fieldwork
2-2:30 p.m. State Fish Hatchery Tour
2 p.m. Boat Trip to Ralston Island -
Reservations obtained at registration at the court house in downtown Cherokee-limited
2 pm. Private Land Development
2-5 p.m. Shorebird Identification
3 p.m. Retriever Dog and Duck Call Demo
4 p.m. Boat Trip to Ralston Island
4-4:30 p.m. State Fish Hatchery Tour
4-6 p.m. Advanced Birdwatching, wooded area
identify by sight and sound, Bill Howe
5 p.m. Retriever Dog and Duck Call Demo
4-5:50 p.m. Childrens Beginning Birdwatching
4:30 p.m. Bird Banding Demonstrations,
Dr. Paul Nighswonger

Saturday Evening
7pm Crystal Bingo at the Legion Bldg. by the Cherokee FireDepart.

7-8pm Endangered Birds of Northwest Oklahoma and the History of
The Salt Plains before the refuge was established- by Dr. Paul Nighswonger

Sunday May 3-98

6am Advanced Birdwatching -salt flats-Bill Howe

8am Intermediate Bird Watching-Jack Hill

8-10Family Beginning Birdwatching-Shorebird Identification
9am Bird Photo-class & field work
10 -12am Fish Hatchery Tour-Boat Ride to Ralston Island-Reservations-
Dog and Duck Call Demo -also at 1pm
1-2 pm Attracting Birds to your yard

2pm Habitat Restoration and Upland Quail Management-Steve Demaso
2:30pm Bird Identifiaction and Band Demonstration-Dr. Paul Nighwonger


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Travel Help
-EnidTravelConsultants 1-800-375-2929

Best Price on Car and Air and Service

Cherokee Inn-1-800-580-596-2828-Lon & Karen Hawkins

Newly Remodeled-Moderately Priced-South of Cherokee73728

Great Salt Plains Association 1-580-596-3053

111 South Grand ------Cherokee, oklahoma 73728----Kay Hendrickson,Exec. Sec.

Send for Brochure and additional information. Reservations for Bean Supper-Trail-hookups avaliable

Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge
Rod Krey-Ron Shepherd-Biologist -Shorebird Preserve 1-580-626-4794
State Park-Trailer Hook-ups avaliable