This week marks the 150th anniversary of Nebraska becoming a state. Nebraska will be celebrating all year, but there were a number of events this past Wednesday, including one at which the U.S. Postal Service introduced a new postage stamp. The stamp features a photo of sandhill cranes by my friend Mike Forsberg, a native Nebraskan and fantastic conservation photographer.
In honor of Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial (fancy word for 150th anniversary) celebration this week/year, I’ve put together a few of my favorite Nebraska photos from the last several years. We live in a state of great ecological diversity, ranging from oak woodland and tallgrass prairie in the east to dry sparsely-vegetated rocky bluffs in the west. It’s an honor to work on the conservation of those natural systems, along with many other conservation professionals, ranchers, farmers, educators, and nature enthusiasts. I’ve tried to represent some of the ecological diversity of Nebraska in these photographs.
A bumblebee rests on a lanceleaf blazing star (Liatris lancifolia) in restored tallgrass prairie at Spring Creek Prairie near Lincoln.
A panoramic look at the rocky landscape around Scotts Bluff National Monument in the Nebraska panhandle.
A male dickcissel sings its territorial song at The Nature Conservancy’s Platte River Prairies.
Morning dew on spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis) in the Nebraska Sandhills.
Reflections of sky in a Sandhills wetland and meadow.
Yellow lady’s slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum) in oak woodland at the Rulo Bluffs Preserve in southeastern Nebraska.
Bison bulls in recently-burned prairie at The Nature Conservancy’s Niobrara Valley Preserve.
A bush katydid feeds on purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea) in the Platte River Prairies.
Fog and the Niobrara River at the Niobrara Valley Preserve.
Migratory sandhill cranes float gently to their overnight roost on the Platte River.
A migratory dragonfly and morning dew at its overnight roost in a small prairie outside Aurora.
Stiff sunflower (Helianthus pauciflorus) in mixed-grass prairie in Central Nebraska.
Hay bales and windmill in the Nebraska Sandhills.
A red-bellied woodpecker in a snowstorm in eastern Nebraska.
A saltmarsh caterpillar in early morning light.
Smith Falls, a well-known landmark and tourist stop along the Niobrara River.
Sunflowers and sunrise in the Platte River Prairies.