As a nature photographer, I always seek out unique and inspiring landscapes to capture with my camera. On a recent trip to the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, I discovered the Jed Johnson Tower, a fascinating piece of history sitting atop a hill near Lake Jed Johnson.

Jed Johnson Tower
Jed Johnson Tower

Built in 1941 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, this old fire-watch station has a rich history and an air of mystery about it. Despite being abandoned and off-limits to visitors due to its structural unsoundness, I was drawn to its rugged beauty and the story it holds. Standing 60 feet tall, this tower serves as a reminder of a different time in American history and the sacrifices made by those who lived and worked in the area.

I set up my Fujifilm X-T3 camera with a Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens and a Fringer EF-FX Pro, and parked in the south side of the lake. With my camera resting on a bean bag draped over the open window of my pickup, I was ready to capture the essence of this historic tower and the surrounding wilderness.

Jed Johnson, for whom the tower and lake are named, was a United States Representative from Oklahoma and a Judge of the United States Customs Court. He may be gone, but his legacy lives on in this tower and the stunning landscape that surrounds it. It was an honor to spend time capturing the beauty of this unique and historic site, and I look forward to sharing these images with others and continuing my journey as a nature photographer.

Camera Settings

  • AV Mode
  • Aperture f5.6
  • ISO 800
  • Shutter speed – 1/1250 sec.
  • Focal Length – 360 mm

Here are more photos I took this year at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge:

  1. Wild Texas Longhorn
  2. Black-tailed Prairie Dog With Muddy Nose
  3. Two Rio Grande Turkeys Displaying
  4. Charon’s Garden Wilderness