Author Archives: Chris Helzer

About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is an ecologist and Eastern Nebraska Program Director for The Nature Conservancy. He supervises the management and restoration of approximately 4,000 acres of land in central and eastern Nebraska - primarily along the central Platte River. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press.

The Answer to Yesterday’s Plant Quiz

Many thanks to everyone who guessed at the identity of the plant species featured in yesterday’s post.  Here is another photo of the same plant species in bloom, from a little further away.  The species is commonly named “buckbrush”, which actually … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

What’s This Flower?

It’s been a while since we’ve done a plant identification quiz, so let’s see how you do.  Can you identify this common prairie flower?  It is found throughout the eastern half of the United States.  While it has a beautiful flower, … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , | 16 Comments

New Date! – Next Platte River Prairies Field Day is August 27, 2014

Our next Field Day will be on August 27 – – NOT August 29, 2014.  It was pointed out to me by several people that it might be a bad idea to schedule a field day on the Friday of … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – July 24, 2014

I’m definitely a better close-up photographer than a landscape photographer.  Part of that is just the way my mind works – I tend to look down instead of up when I walk around a prairie.  I can always find an … Continue reading

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Prairie Ecologist Spam

Ok, this is pretty tangential, but I just have to share. One component of this blog that is hidden to everyone but me is the abundance of spam comments that show up in my queue, waiting to be approved or … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Watching Wetland Water Levels – Timelapse Photography

It’s timelapse photography time again…  I downloaded more photos from the cameras at our restored wetland in the Platte River Prairies a couple weeks ago, and have been looking through the images for stories.  One theme that stood out in … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – July 17, 2014

A couple weeks ago, I posted a photo of a sunset from the Niobrara Valley Preserve.  In the post, I talked about having to scramble to get into position for the photo before the color left the sky.  Barely a … Continue reading

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Longhorns on the Prairie

One of the great things about prairies – and nature in general – is that there is way more to discover than I’ll ever have time for.  Especially within the world of invertebrates, there is no shortage of species to … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Introducing the New Hubbard Fellows!

We have entered the second year of our Hubbard Fellowship program.  Eliza Perry and Anne Stine completed their Fellowships earlier this season, and we brought in two new Fellows, Jasmine and Dillon, on June 2nd.   They have seen and learned … Continue reading

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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. . . .  

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments