Photo of the Week – July 10, 2014

When I was at the Niobrara Valley Preserve in late June, I did some macro photography, in addition to the sunset photo I showed last week.  Here are four photos from that trip.

Echinacea angustifolia

Purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia) is in the loamier soil along the edges of the river bluffs, but doesn’t seem to stray out into the sandhills to the south.

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Grasshopper on spiderwort

This grasshopper didn’t really my lens pointing at it, but wasn’t quite nervous enough to jump away.

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If I didn't know leadplant (Amorpha canescens) was a legume, I'd never guess by looking at the flowers.

If I didn’t know leadplant (Amorpha canescens) was a legume, I’d never guess by looking at the flowers.  Leadplant is one of the most common wildflowers in sandhills prairie.

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I keep seeing this caterpillar at different sites.  It must be pretty common - or maybe it just doesn't hide well.  Regardless, I enjoy taking portraits of it.

I think I keep seeing this caterpillar species (salt marsh caterpillar?) at different sites. It must be pretty common – or maybe it just doesn’t hide well. Alternatively, I’m mistakenly calling different species the same thing…  Regardless, I enjoy taking portraits of it.

 

About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.
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4 Responses to Photo of the Week – July 10, 2014

  1. Absolutely loved the close ups! Who knew they could be so amazing? Thanks for sharing.

  2. elfinelvin says:

    Macro shots are my favorites. That caterpillar is delightfully bejeweled.

  3. James C. Trager says:

    Beautiful. I love the grasshopper apparently peeking shyly over the leaf edge.

    For very weird legume flowers, see those of Gymnocladus dioica, nicely depicted here: http://www.friendsofeloisebutler.org/pages/plants/kentuckycoffee.html.

  4. Patricia Mettenbrink says:

    very nice photos! we love the coneflowers. Would you be able to tell us what small blue butterflies would be around cedar trees in Hamilton County? A friend has a couple on film, would like to send to you to ID, how do we send pictures to you?
    Thanks Chris and give a warm Nebraska welcome to the 2 new Fellows!
    Patricia Mettenbrink
    Grand Island

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