Photo of the Week – October 12, 2012

It’s been a windy week, but there was a lull for a few hours yesterday morning.  I took advantage of some early morning light and took my camera for a walk in a local prairie.  There was a lot of red and gold color in the grasses and wildflowers, but I was really drawn to the white fluffy seeds of milkweeds and false boneset that were catching the warm sunlight.

A few remaining false boneset (Brickellia eupatorioides) seeds barely hang on to the flower head. Restored prairie at The Leadership Center in Aurora, Nebraska.

I have some more photos to share next week, but this seemed an appropriate one to end a week of blustery fall weather.  Have a great weekend.



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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6 Responses to Photo of the Week – October 12, 2012

  1. James C. Trager says:

    Collected this one yesterday around here, a touch behind your population in its fall-ness.
    Also, isn’t this the plant that Weaver documented to have the deepest root system among prairie plants?

    • Chris Helzer says:

      Hi James – yes, if it’s not the deepest, it’s one of the deepest rooted plants that Weaver described. 15-18 feet deep, I think? Pretty amazing – and the plants’ performance during this drought year backs up Weaver’s descriptions.

  2. Joan OShaughnessy says:

    Hi Chris,

    Chicago Botanic Garden prairie manager here. I want to get back into photography � can you tell me what you used, lens, etc. on this photo? Thanks, there are always gorgeous and the information you share always great. Have to visit out there one of these years.

    Joan O’Shaughnessy Ecologist Chicago Botanic Garden 1000 Lake Cook Road Glencoe, IL 60022

    • Chris Helzer says:

      Hi Joan,

      I currently shoot with a Nikon D300s camera and a 105mm Nikon macro lens. Almost always on a sturdy Gitzo tripod with a Kirk ballhead. Come on out anytime!

      • James C. Trager says:

        And note, Chris and other readers: Though Joan didn’t mention it, the CBG prairie is a really impressive collection of plant communities of several major types (wetness, soils) of prairies that occur in Illinois, well worth visiting if you’re in the area.

  3. Thanks for the great photo (and the education – I had no idea how deeply rooted it is). False boneset is one of my favorites, especially a bit earlier on when it contrasts with the bright color of downy goldenrod!


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