Photo of the Week – October 23, 2014

I needed a walk in the prairie the other evening.  There are times when I just need to change focus and think about something besides my own life, and hiking through a grassland is the perfect tonic.

Our family prairie was resplendent in golds and browns as the sun was going down.  As the last light hit the fuzzy seed heads of stiff goldenrod and other late season wildflowers, the plants seemed to glow – as did the numerous thin strands of spider silk strung between the plants.

Stiff goldenrod seeds caught on a stray strand of spider silk.

Stiff goldenrod seeds tenuously held by a stray strand of spider silk.

More stiff goldenrod seeds.

More stiff goldenrod seeds.

As the sun continued to sink, I kept climbing uphill – until I finally ran out of light completely.  Just as the sun was dropping below the horizon, I spotted a wild lettuce plant with its beautiful wispy seeds waving in the gentle breeze.  I had just enough time to capture one image before the sun disappeared.

Wild lettuce seeds at sundown.  Helzer Family Prairie, near Stockham, Nebraska.

Wild lettuce seeds at sundown. Helzer Family Prairie, near Stockham, Nebraska.

I stood up, stretched, and enjoyed my long walk back to the truck.  The world looked pretty good…

 

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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 23, 2014

  1. bennysplace says:

    Love the photos Chris! Thank you for another great post. :)

  2. Nate says:

    I wish more people understood how much of a balm nature can be. If they did I think the world would be a much different place.
    Thanks for sharing the great photos and message!

  3. James McGee says:

    Sometimes we look so intently for the big miracles that we completely miss the small ones right in front of us.

  4. Angela Burklow says:

    My friend has been forwarding your articles, which I have enjoyed very much. Your photography is incredible! Please add me to your e~mailing list. Thanks!

  5. anastaciast says:

    Lovely photos, as always.

    Tuesday we were coming home from Lincoln and had a flat tire on Hiway 41. While we were waiting for help, I took pics of Milkweed seed pods in the lovely magic light.

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