Photo of the Week – February 21, 2013

This photo reminds me of something, but I can’t figure out what it is.  Help?

Melting snow around the base of prairie grass.

Melting snow around the base of prairie grass.

The photo shows melting snow crystals around the edge of some prairie grass.  You can’t see the grass because I focused in very closely on the snow crystals, with shadows in the background for contrast.

The “character” on the left is very familiar somehow…

This entry was posted in General, Prairie Photography 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.

29 thoughts on “Photo of the Week – February 21, 2013

  1. Kind of reminds me of a cartoon monk with a tuft of hair at the back of this head, his hands clutched together in front of him, wearing a long robe. He does have a really long nose, but I think that’s part of what makes him look cartoonish.

  2. It sort of reminds me of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”, when Ursula transformed people/merpeople into little piles of animated goo. I don’t remember more of the story than that though…

  3. Too funny. The first thing that comes to mind (and I suppose it dates me) is from Looney Tunes, the “henchmen” of Marvin the Martian. They were those green, bird-like creatures.

  4. Do any seeds of wild prairie grasses have to be frozen first, before they sprout? The seeds of the Giant sequoia have to be frozen first, before they sprout. I am finding out, how common this is for Northern Hemisphere plants.

    • Tim, many prairie species germinate better after being cold-stratified. I’m sure there are resources that can give you lists, but I’m not coming up with one off the top of my head.

      • “The Prairie Nursery” divided seeds up into both moist stratification and dry stratification. Only a minority of seeds require moist stratification from anywhere from 10 to 30 days. They include Junegrasses, prairie dropseeds, and asters. The International Crane Foundation recreated a tallgrass prairie in Baraboo, Wisconsin. It is used for public education purposes. But they re-established a population of whooping cranes at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin. The first population of whooping cranes, east of the Mississippi River in 100 years. The population is at 105, and were all taught by ultra-light aircraft to migrate to Florida. All cranes are long-range migratory birds. But the inter-connection of the prairie ecosystem is vital to know, especially in recreating habitat and wildlife populations.

        • Very nice. :). I have been watching crane migration for a couple of years now. I appreciate your link of fauna to flora. I am studying invasive species and ecosystem function as a graduate student and hopefully as a career … we need to spread the concept of connectivity. :) Chris commented a week or so ago about a three minute presentation he conducted. I liked his presentation (I have done a lot myself) Oddly, I have listened to several Nature Conservancy presenters and one of them actually said we need to decrease our biologist staff and concentrate on food production instead of land conservation. So glad I found Chris’ uplifting and enlightening blog and conversation with so many caring people. :). Again nice job Tim.

  5. Gonzo – from the Muppets! Or – do I get two guesses? The pre-chipmunk creature in the animated short that goes before the Ice Age movie?


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