Photo of the Week – September 23, 2011

Several years ago, Brian Obermeyer of The Nature Conservancy hosted our annual patch-burn grazing working group meeting in the Flint Hills of Kansas.  We stayed overnight at the Flying W ranch, a guest ranch in Chase County, KS.  In the morning, I went for a walk with my camera to see what I could find as the sun was coming up.

Tallgrass prairie, rocks, and the remnants of an old rock fence in the Flint Hills of Kansas.

It was a beautiful morning for a walk, but I was having trouble finding the right shot.  Sometimes smaller prairies are easier to photograph than large ones because there are fewer choices!  Often, when this happens, I pull out my macro lens and start looking for flowers and/or insects to photograph, but I really wanted to capture the landscape I was in, so I kept the wide-angle lens on and kept walking.  Eventually, I came upon an old rock fence and followed it until I found some color and texture to put in front of it.

9 thoughts on “Photo of the Week – September 23, 2011

  1. Steve September 23, 2011 / 7:03 am

    Great photo Chris.

  2. juliecache September 23, 2011 / 7:15 am

    I have the same trouble in getting landscape shots. Nice job. I love the colors of the prairie.

  3. Caroline Coleman September 23, 2011 / 9:18 am

    Beautiful color and texture. Although I live in Virginia, the Flint Hills is the place where I want to be!

  4. James C. Trager September 23, 2011 / 3:45 pm

    Just stunning, Chris. It really does make one want to be there!

  5. James C. Trager September 23, 2011 / 3:46 pm

    PS — What is the yellow composite(?) waving around in the breeze there?

    • Chris Helzer September 23, 2011 / 6:14 pm

      James – the yellow flower is broomweed (Amphiachyris dracunculoides). Likes disturbance, like grazing. This particular prairie had had plenty of that recently, I think! It can sometimes blanket entire sites, but acts (I hear) much like ragweeds act here – it diminishes greatly as grass vigor increases.

        • Chris Helzer September 27, 2011 / 4:53 pm

          Thanks Craig,

          I certainly won’t argue taxonomy with anyone. I struggle to remember latin names once, let alone all the changes! It’s nice that you can usually still find older names by doing an on-line search, and figure out what the most current analogue is!

  6. Teresa September 23, 2011 / 3:57 pm

    Wow – really lovely. Makes me wish I could stand right there and watch the light change on the rocks and the sumac. What a view.


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