A Pleasant Winter Morning in a Prairie Wetland

It had been way too long since I’d taken my camera for a walk, so I made some time early this week to spend a few hours at a nearby wetland.  I got there just as the sun was breaking through some clouds on the horizon.  As I walked into the prairie along the edge the wetland, a short-eared owl popped up out of the grass.  It was already a good day.

Here are a few photos from that morning walk.

Morning light on frozen wetland rushes at the Deep Well Wildlife Management Area in central Nebraska.

I spent a lot of time lying with my belly on the ice trying to find the right angle to capture the light and the wetland.  Fortunately for my pride, the gravel road that goes past the wetland is not well traveled…

Reflections and shadows.

As is typical, my favorite photo from the trip is a close-up shot that says nothing about where I was.  In this case, I started admiring the patterns of bubbles frozen in the ice and found this appealing little scene.  (This is why I am a poor family vacation photographer – you’d never know where we went by looking at my photos of flowers, acorns, and spiders.)

Frozen bubbles in the ice. Deep Well Wildlife Management Area - Central Nebraska.

The forecast had predicted overcast skies for the day, but I’d gotten an hour or two of sunshine before the clouds finally settled in.  Just as the light was disappearing behind the clouds, I found an old duck decoy that had been left behind and had partially frozen into the ice.

This entry was posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants and tagged , , , , , , 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.

3 thoughts on “A Pleasant Winter Morning in a Prairie Wetland

  1. By identifying the plants and bugs, we could at least guess the region to which you went on your vacation.
    One of my hobbies is cinematic biogeography – identifying the location of filming from what Ican see of the vegetation.

  2. Pingback: Ice Patterns | The Prairie Ecologist


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