Photo of the Week – March 17, 2016

We burned a portion of a prairie yesterday.  As the fire was winding down, a small strip of grass near the edge was burning itself out and I walked over to play around (safely) with some photography.  I’ve always found fire to be beautiful, dating back to my days as a Boy Scout, when I’d get up well before everyone else, get a campfire going, and stare at the flames until the sun came up.  Now that I’m a burn boss, I don’t get to appreciate the aesthetic aspects of our fires very often, except during that small window at the end of operations when everything is secure and the fire is coming to a graceful end.  Most of my feelings about fire today are related to concerns with conducting safe burns, an incredible respect for both the destructive and constructive abilities of fire, and an appreciation for the way prairies respond after a fire.  However, now and then, I am grateful for an opportunity to just pause and enjoy the beauty.

Here are some of the photos I took with my phone yesterday.

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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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3 Responses to Photo of the Week – March 17, 2016

  1. Pat says:

    Wonderful! Maybe you need to build a campfire now and then.

  2. The colors are brilliant.

    On Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 2:13 PM, The Prairie Ecologist wrote:

    > Chris Helzer posted: “We burned a portion of a prairie yesterday. As the > fire was winding down, a small strip of grass near the edge was burning > itself out and I walked over to play around (safely) with some > photography. I’ve always found fire to be beautiful, dating back to” >

  3. shoreacres says:

    The top photo, showing the unburned grasses, is especially effective. Fire’s in some ways like a cauterizing scalpel: wounding and healing at the same time.

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