Photo of the Week – February 5, 2016

Now that this week’s blizzard has come and gone, we are left with knee-deep snow all around us.  I made it to a small local prairie yesterday morning and trudged around with my camera for a while.  There was plenty to see, but I spent quite a bit of time just photographing the tracings made by grass leaves blowing in the wind.

Snow

An arc in the snow made by wind-blown grass.

It's rare that I see a complete circle made by grasses, but I found several yesterday morning.

It’s rare that I see a complete circle made by grasses, but I found several yesterday morning.

Another one.

A broader mark made by a curve in the leaf blade rather than the tip.

Multiple marks made by

Multiple marks made by curly leaves.

After two days of hearing the wind howl outside and the kids howl inside, it was a pleasant relief to be able to walk in relative silence, hearing only the muffled sounds of my own footfalls.  The morning was calm, but the grass leaf tracings and snow drifts testified to the strength of the winds during the previous days.  I’m hoping to do some more walking in the next few days before the snow starts to melt too much…

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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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7 Responses to Photo of the Week – February 5, 2016

  1. deb says:

    Great pictures.

  2. Kim says:

    Those curled leaves are so indicative of Panicum virgatum, Switchgrass. I love the circles in the snow; snow art or snart, perhaps?

  3. I love the idea that you find beauty in the ordinary!

  4. Judy Parks says:

    Lovely

  5. Jennifer says:

    Simple beauty…love it :)

  6. Angela Anderson says:

    Your observations in pictures are such a treat, thank you
    Angela

  7. Bobbie says:

    I love these photos! Thank you for sharing!

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