Photo of the Week – July 18, 2013

We had a terrific field day last week – thanks to the more than 100 people who came out to explore our Platte River Prairies with us.

There were two neat wildlife discoveries during the day.  The first came when Master Naturalist Mike Schrad caught a grasshopper mouse in a live trap while preparing for his session on small mammals.  Later, Chris Aubushon was looking for insects under old manure piles and instead found a western hognose snake!  I figured we probably had both hognose snakes and grasshopper mice on our property, but had never actually found either one, so it was nice to get both on the same day!

I didn’t get a photograph of the grasshopper mouse, but I did (with the help of Mike Schrad) get a few good ones of the western hognose.  Here’s one:

A western hognose snake caught at the Platte River Prairies.

A western hognose snake caught at the Platte River Prairies.


If you missed the field day this year, we hope to see you next summer!


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 – July 18, 2013

  1. jeanine lackey says:

    Hognose snakes are one of my all time favorite snakes…docile and CUTE!
    Nice photo Chris.

  2. George Manning says:

    Very cool photo! I really like how light the coloration is.
    I’ve never seen the Western Hognose. But used to see the Eastern Hognose, which were quite dark, all the time while tracking the Eastern Massassauga in northern Michigan.

  3. mjspringett says:

    Great photo of the hognose, MJ

  4. Deborah Barber says:

    Oh, my! Beautiful creature, beautiful photo! Thank you!

  5. Jennifer Pospichal says:

    Hi Chris, I greatly enjoy your blog and would love to join your field trip next summer. I found out about this years too late to make plans. Do you have an approximate date for next year? Thanks, Jennifer

    Jennifer Pospichal outdoor recreation products 402-289-0400 800-747-5437 1055 North 205 Street Elkhorn, NE 68022 check out our website!


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