Photo of the Week – October 11, 2010

Sometimes good photos really do come from being in the right place at the right time.  It’s a horrible cliche, but not inaccurate.

Sunrise rainbow over loess hills prairie at The Nature Conservancy's Broken Kettle Grasslands in Iowa.

I was visiting The Nature Conservancy’s Broken Kettle Preserve in the fall of 2008, photographing the reintroduction of bison to that prairie.  The night after the bison were unloaded from a big semi-trailer from South Dakota I camped out nearby so I could get up and photograph them the next morning.  When my alarm woke me before sunrise, however, the skies were cloudy and it was cold and drizzling – not the conditions I was hoping to see for my photography.  I very nearly rolled over to go back to sleep, but told myself I’d come a long way and might as well get a good walk in. 

I got up and drove the short distance back to the hills above the corral where the new bison were being temporarily housed.  I hiked up into the hills, still wondering why I was out in the drizzle and cold, when the rising sun suddenly broke through a small break in the clouds and lit up a beautiful double rainbow over the loess hills.  It was a stunning sight that lasted just long enough for me to wrestle my camera out of the bag, sprint to the top of the nearest hill, and squeeze off a few hurried shots. 

Then the clouds covered the sun back up and I stood in the cold drizzle trying to catch my breath and thinking about serendipity…
This entry was posted in General, Prairie Photography, Uncategorized by Chris Helzer. Bookmark the permalink.

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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