Photo of the Week – February 16, 2017

You’ve probably noticed that my favorite photo subjects are insects and flowers.  You’ve probably also noticed that insects and flowers are pretty uncommon during Nebraska winters.  By about this time each year, I start feeling a little desperate for photo subjects.  Last weekend, I went for a long walk in a prairie north of town, trying to find something, ANYTHING, with some color other than brown.  The best I could come up with were some small rosettes of common evening primrose (Oenothera villosa) scattered along south-facing prairie hills.  I spent way more time than necessary photographing these little red leaves, but I did feel a little better afterward.

Rosette of common evening primrose (Oenothera villosa).
Rosette of common evening primrose (Oenothera villosa).

There were quite a few different rosettes to choose from, and each had its own unique beauty.

…ok, that’s not true – they all pretty much looked the same.  But there were a few minor differences, and did I mention I was feeling desperate?


See how different the rosette below looks from the first one?  It’s COMPLETELY different.  A little.



Look, these leaves have a little green in them!  Isn’t that exciting?


No, this is a different plant and different leaves from the earlier one.


Spring is coming soon, right?

(I have about a hundred more photos of these…)

15 thoughts on “Photo of the Week – February 16, 2017

  1. Pat February 16, 2017 / 7:50 pm

    Yes, please!!! And the rosettes are lovely.

  2. shoreacres February 16, 2017 / 8:21 pm

    I’m glad you photographed them. They’re truly lovely. I’d never seen anything quite like them, so I went looking, and found that, according to the USDA map, they’re recorded in just seven Texas counties. Two of them, Harris (Houston) and Liberty, are just north of me, so if I get to one of the pocket prairies up there, I’ll know to keep an eye out for them.

  3. Sharon February 16, 2017 / 8:31 pm

    They’re lovely. Really.
    Have you thought of bowling perhaps to wile away the long winters? 🤔

  4. margosnotebook February 16, 2017 / 8:51 pm

    They are beautiful, sometimes not finding what we think we want causes us to photograph something we would otherwise dismiss… i’m glad this caught your eye!

  5. thesliceiconic February 16, 2017 / 10:10 pm

    hey Chris, spring is HERE! In the Chicago area. Hang in there, it’ll be there soon I will bet. :)

  6. kocart February 16, 2017 / 11:49 pm

    Grin. I feel your pain.

  7. Betty February 17, 2017 / 6:51 am

    Love your sense of humor along with your “desperate photos!”

  8. lancemfoster February 17, 2017 / 6:59 am

    I’ve got a riddle for you. One of the Iowa tribe’s names for July is named after a plant: “When the big belly grass is picked to make brooms.” Any idea of what grass species that might have been?

    • Chris Helzer February 20, 2017 / 7:13 am

      Hi Lance, I have no idea. I checked with a couple others as well, and no luck there either. If I was going to make a broom out of July grasses, I’d choose little bluestem, but I have NO idea whether or not that’s what is being referred to. Sorry…

  9. Mary February 17, 2017 / 8:49 am

    You crack me up. : )

  10. Noel Rose February 17, 2017 / 9:34 am


  11. Ernest Ochsner February 17, 2017 / 11:15 am

    One of the great beauties of the prairie is it’s subtle nature. This really shows here and they are actually very beautiful don’t you think. Imagine the best blown up to 6 foot square on your living room wall.

  12. Jane Papsdorf February 18, 2017 / 2:20 pm

    That blog brought a smile and laughter. Thank you. I needed it!


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