Category Archives: Prairie Insects

Pretty but Powerful

Because they can’t run away, plants may seem helpless against the many large and small herbivores that like to eat them.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Many plants have physical defenses such as thorns or stiff hairs to … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – February 27, 2015

Here are two photos that are completely unrelated to each other. Why?  Because I feel like it. So there. Ok, I guess both photos were taken in a Nebraska prairie.  That’s makes them kind of related, right? 5 points to … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – January 29, 2015

Ok, I admit it – I’m a sucker for crab spiders. As much as I enjoy looking at prairie flowers, I enjoy them even more when there’s a crab spider lying in wait among their petals.  I must have more … Continue reading

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DON’T PANIC! It’s just a crane fly.

“WOW!  That’s a GIGANTIC mosquito!!” That is a common response to most people’s first sighting of a crane fly, a flying insect with a wingspan of 1-2 cm or more.  Although they do somewhat resemble very large mosquitoes, crane flies … Continue reading

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A Hole New Mystery to Consider

On my last trip to the Niobrara Valley Preserve, I photographed the bark of wildfire-killed pine trees in warm late day light.  I liked both the patterns and the color and was just trying to make some visually-interesting images.  As … Continue reading

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Survival of the Fittest?

He was engaging and informative – feeding our tour group piece after piece of the fascinating history of the people and landscape of the Wildcat Hills Landscape.  The first guest speaker on the 2014 Nebraska Natural Legacy Conference Field Trip to the … Continue reading

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Contrasting Approaches to Prairie Management: Leopold, Land Health and Cabbages.

“A Land Ethic” is the concluding essay in Aldo Leopold’s 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, and is the most powerful and relevant piece of conservation writing I’ve ever read.   Leopold’s essay spells out the changes we need to make in … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – December 11, 2014

For no particular reason, here are two unrelated photos from the same day.  Both photographs were taken on September 28, 2014 at our family prairie south of Aurora, Nebraska.  I wish I could come up with a pithy and informative … Continue reading

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What I Look For When I Walk Through My Prairies

Back in August, I posted some questions to readers about what they look for when evaluating their own prairies.  I got some excellent responses, which I really appreciated.  If you missed them, you can re-read that post and those comments … Continue reading

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Wanna Know What Really Makes A Sunflower Lose its Head?

Nearly-decapitated sunflower heads, scattered across the prairie.  Oh, the devastation!  Who could be carrying out such an evil plan? (Ok, more accurately, a weevil plan?) The head-clipping weevil, aka the Silphium weevil (Haplorhynchites aeneus) is a small dark-colored weevil, less … Continue reading

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