Photo of the Week – February 12, 2015

Last week, Jasmine (one of our two Hubbard Fellows) and I spent a morning at the Derr Wetland Restoration here in the Platte River Prairies.  We wanted to get some photos and video of the site before the latest snow melted.

…Ok, to be honest, we were mostly hoping to test out the capabilities of our new drone (UAV).  Two of our Nebraska board members, Jim and Nancy Armitage, donated the funds to purchase the drone as a way to help us better capture our sites and the work we’re doing here in the state.  We’re just starting to figure out the potential for drone photography, but I sure like what I see so far!

Here is a short 3 minute video of footage shot from the drone, followed by some still photos from the same morning.  Both the aerial video and still photos provide powerful images, but the video certainly captures the context of the site in a way that’s not possible for me as I walk along the ground with my camera.  I think the drone is going to be an awesome complement to the other ways we photograph and monitor our sites – it’s going to be exciting to keep exploring the possibilities.  Stay tuned for future videos!

Click here to see the video on YouTube.

 

Tracks of a river otter sliding across the ice/snow.  No, I didn't see the otter.  Thanks for asking.

Tracks of a river otter sliding across the ice/snow. No, I didn’t see the otter. Thanks for asking.

Canada goose tracks were all over the site, along with coyote, mink, rabbit, and many others.

Canada goose tracks were all over the site, along with coyote, mink, rabbit, and many others.

Photographing from the surface of the ice provides a neat perspective of the wetland, but a very different one from the drone's aerial view.

Photographing from the surface of the ice provides a neat perspective of the wetland, but a very different one from the drone’s aerial view.

A final ice-level photo.

A final ice-level photo.

Advertisements

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 Animals, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Photo of the Week – February 12, 2015

  1. elfinelvin says:

    Fantastic! I can’t wait to see what you’ll be able to do with this. Cool toy, too. :)

  2. Karen Hamburger says:

    I am jealous!!!

  3. Inger Lamb says:

    wow, very cool! I can only imagine how much info can be gathered in a short time frame – and sometimes in conditions that it would be very challenging for humans to be onsite. Wonder whether the wildlife will pay much attention? Or might a territorial bird take offence….can envision some hilarious footage involving a crazed red-winged blackbird….

  4. Joanne says:

    Beautiful pictures ! And re. the crazed blackbird, have you heard about the owl diving at runners in a park in Salem OR? It is all over the news here in OR –

  5. Jim in IA says:

    That’s excellent. It will be a valuable tool for you.

  6. dave in western mn says:

    Be sure to have the drone available to get a great perspective during prescribed burns!

  7. James McGee says:

    Piloting a drone sounds like much more fun than driving a tractor. That will give your fellows something extra to add to their resumes. They should bring videos they have captured to show off at future interviews.

  8. Benny says:

    Love these! Thank you very much!

  9. Bill Kleiman says:

    Nice photos and comments. You have a fine blog, Chris.

  10. marilyn says:

    These deep perspective stills are incredible. The drone introduces a whole new range of possibilities for viewing the prairie! I want one!

  11. Adam says:

    Curious on the type of drone and/or camera that you are utilizing? Great video and cool way to get that perspective for sure!

  12. C says:

    I love Nebraska’s beauty – I hope you never stop taking still photos – because that’s the sense you get from your photos, stillness.

  13. C says:

    Could a drone fly upside down and get pictures of the stars? I’d love to see the prairie sky!

  14. Pingback: More Timelapse and More Wetland Restoration | The Prairie Ecologist

PLEASE COMMENT ON THIS POST!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s