Photo of the Week – November 8, 2012

A Moment in Time

I actually saw this seed detach from a milkweed pod and float away on a breath of wind.  I tracked its flight until it got stuck – ever so slightly – on the seed head of a nearby grass plant.  I had just enough time to plop my tripod down, focus quickly, and squeeze off one shot before the gentle breeze lifted the seed again and carried it out of sight.

A butterfly milkweed seed clings (briefly) to the seed head of sideoats grama. Lincoln Creek Prairie – Aurora, Nebraska.

It was one of those rare, but gratifying, times when I actually caught a fleeting image with my camera.  Near misses are much more common – see earlier blog posts on photographing prairie dogs and bees, for example…  In fact, I often have to remind myself not to get so wrapped up in the (often fruitless) attempt to capture an image photographically that I forget to simply enjoy the moment.

This time, I got both the image and the enjoyment, which means I get to pass both along to you.


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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8 Responses to Photo of the Week – November 8, 2012

  1. James C. Trager says:

    Great post, Chris. The photo and story are just perfect for a fall morning in the prairie!

    PS – At the bee post, the “honeybee” pic is lovely, but not a honeybee. Too gray, configuration of pollen basket is wrong. (Better ask Mike for ID…)

  2. Becky says:

    Thank you for that brief moment of pure bliss!

  3. Paul says:

    Sincerely like all of your photos Chris – keep ’em coming. I haven’t seen a failure yet!!!

  4. Karen Madsen says:

    Lovely, truly lovely. . . . and I hope to be out on the Niobrara to see the sandhill cranes this spring . . . Karen Madsen


  5. MARK SALERNO says:

    Chris – your reflections and art work are like meditations for my soul. Thank you just doesn’t seem enough. But thank you. Thank you. Thank you.Carol

    Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2012 02:28:33 +0000 To:

  6. What a beautiful picture. Thank you for your patience!

  7. gorgeous photo. Our milkweed seeds are long gone. Chris, I’ve got a couple questions about milkweed seed dispersal – can you connect with me?


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