Photo of the Week – October 20, 2016

Rosinweed

Rosinweed (Silphium integrifolium) seeds hang tenuously to the flower head.  Lincoln Creek Prairie (Prairie Plains Resource Institute) in Aurora, Nebraska.

I stole an hour of photography time this week as a foggy morning worked its way toward a sunny afternoon.  The small restored prairie on the edge of town was a great place to explore. A few surprises awaited.  Though most flowers were well done with flowering, a few late ones were still in bloom – possibly plants that were injured earlier in the season and were trying to squeeze out a flower on hastily regrown stems.  Insects were surprisingly abundant – taking advantage of a day with temperatures in the high 60’s and rising.  Here is a selection of images from my prairie walk.

Late

Late goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

More goldenrod

More goldenrod

Beetle

A tiny beetle takes advantage of a rare pollen dinner on a stiff goldenrod plant (Solidago rigida) that was flowering extraordinarily late.

Stink bug

This stink bug blends in wonderfully with the drying head of pitcher sage (Salvia azurea) it was exploring.

Giant milkweed bug

Giant milkweed bug on a common milkweed pod.

damselfly

There were quite a few damselflies feeding on tiny flying insects as I walked around.  They were difficult to get close to, though…

damselfly

After many failed attempts, I did finally manage to get close enough to a couple damselflies to get reasonable photos.  Here is one of them.

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

3 Responses to Photo of the Week – October 20, 2016

  1. Wallace Ward says:

    That damselfly pictured close-up could be a Familiar Bluet.

  2. ritaotis says:

    Love the up-close fall colors

  3. Michael Smith says:

    I love these short studies on particular species or microhabitats, with your great photos and casually shared natural history, embedded in an evocative description of a day on the prairie. Your longer essays are great, and I look forward to them, but these short ones are wonderful, too!

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