Best of 2016 – Stories and Photos From This Year

This is the 114th post on The Prairie Ecologist in 2016, and the 770th since I started back in 2010.  As always, I’m humbled and grateful that anyone besides me cares enough about prairie conservation, management, and/or photography enough to read this blog.  Thank you very sincerely.  I can hardly believe we’ve reached nearly 3,000 subscribers, and that there are many others who just check in regularly.

I’ve picked out a few posts from this year that I’m particularly proud of, and have provided links to them below in case you missed them or just want to revisit them.  Below that, you’ll find a slideshow of some of my favorite prairie photos from this year.

If your financial situation allows, please don’t forget this is a good time of year to support the conservation organization of your choice.  I’m a little biased, since one in particular pays my salary, but support whichever organization does the work you most appreciate.  Thanks.

Natural History Posts

Plants on the Move – Timelapse images showing plants moving between years.

Crappy job – Dung beetle natural history.

Sage hopper – A grasshopper perfectly camouflaged for its favorite food plant.

Prairie Management/Restoration Posts

Role of history – History shouldn’t necessarily drive management decisions.

Don’t just manage for plants – It’s dangerous to forget about the needs of animals.

Mechanics of conservation – A thoughtful post about how best to influence conservation.

Milestone in restoration – A celebration of our proven ability to defragment prairies.

Fun Posts

Another otter post – in which I finally saw an otter, but not on the Platte River.

Toadal mystery – how did a toad imprint get in a concrete parking lot?

An accomodating prairie dog – a prairie dog inexplicably lets my daughter and me get close.

Best Photos

Here are my favorites from the thousands of prairie photos I took this year; you can click on the arrows within the slideshow to make it go faster….

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If the slideshow doesn’t work for you, below is a four minute YouTube video with all the same images.  If you can’t see the video automatically, try clicking on this link.  Feel free to share this post or the YouTube link with others who might appreciate them.

Enjoy the remainder of 2016 and a have a great 2017.  We can make this world a better place by working together with empathy and purpose.

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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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9 Responses to Best of 2016 – Stories and Photos From This Year

  1. Mitch Coffin says:

    Chris,
    Thank you so much for your informative posts and amazing photography. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. Bill Kleiman says:

    Nice works Chris!

    Sent via phone, Bill Kleiman

  3. Cindy Crosby says:

    Thank you for sharing your words, and your beautiful images!

  4. James C. Trager says:

    A great year’s worth of photos, Chris. I eagerly look forward to those of the coming years, too.

  5. James McGee says:

    I’ve known many conservation heroes throughout my life. Many conservation heroes have dedicated their lives to this work, more show up to volunteer, and those who do the other things that keep society going and simply write a check are just as important and appreciated. Recent events are going to make generous donations from private individuals even more important. I hope you all increasing your donation to conservation organizations as taxes and corresponding government funding are decreased. As for myself, I find the monthly giving plan to be the easiest. We all need clean water, clean air, and the other services nature provides.

  6. Gary Dunsmoor says:

    Great photos, enjoy each and every one. Merry Christmas, and looking forward to your pictures and discussions in the new year.

  7. Pingback: Photo of the Week – December 22, 2016 | The Prairie Ecologist

  8. Jane Papsdorf says:

    Thank you so much for your posts. The photos are awesome. I try and ID the photo before I read the caption. It is a great review for me. The information is highly informative. So much more is known than when I was in school and in the field. Keep up the excellent work.

  9. Chris, as a fellow prairie and nature lover I always appreciate reading your blog and seeing your images. They serve to fill me with inspiration and provide me with new locations I need to visit. Thank You!

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