Photo of the Week – January 30, 2014

Of the many categories of art in the world, the still life is not one of my favorites.  I appreciate the skill needed to create a nice still life photo or painting, but I don’t often find them very compelling.  Because of that, I think it’s ironic that I stopped to photograph this frozen plant mainly because when I saw it, my first thought was, “Hey, that looks like a still life!”

Arrowhead plant (Sagittaria sp.) encased in ice a the Helzer family prairie near Stockham, Nebraska.

Arrowhead plant (Sagittaria calycina?) encased in ice a the Helzer family prairie near Stockham, Nebraska.

I suppose it would technically be considered more of a portrait than a still life?  What do I know?  I’m not an artist, I’m just an ecologist with a camera!

I was pretty sure this plant was an arrowhead (Sagittaria sp) but I took it to my botanist down the hall, Gerry Steinauer, for confirmation.    Gerry first gave me a hard time for not bringing him the actual specimen (?!) but eventually agreed with me that it was an arrowhead and even identified it to the species – Sagittaria calycina.  I’m sure the botanists out there reading this will look closely to see if they agree with him or not.  Let me know what you think!

(By the way, if you don’t have your own “botanist down the hall”, I highly recommend them – though mine likes to wander into my assistant’s office and eat all the snacks from her desk.)


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.
This entry was posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Photo of the Week – January 30, 2014

  1. Sue Coder Kagarise says:

    Beautiful picture!

  2. Bob Stine says:

    What a picture! I’m sure you’d have a successful career as a photographer if you weren’t already a dedicated scientist. I “oh, wow!”-ed out loud when I saw it. (OWOL?)


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