Photo of the Week – November 3, 2017

While at the Niobrara Valley Preserve last week, I hiked around in the former pine savanna on the bluffs north of the river.  I’ve always enjoyed the patterns found in the bark of ponderosa pine trees, especially after a fire.  Because of the big 2012 wildfire that swept across the Niobrara Valley Preserve, we have thousands of dead ponderosa pines, and (among other things) that means lots of great bark patterns.

Ponderosa Pine Bark pattern. Niobrara Valley Preserve

Not only are pine bark patterns interesting to look at, it’s also fun to try to find images of familiar objects in them.  It’s a little like cloud watching, but instead of gazing dreamily into the sky, you stare at dead burned trees.  It’s probably not for everyone, but one perk is that you don’t get a crick in your neck while doing it.

I didn’t see any particular picture in the first photo shown here, but I did in the next two.  I’m curious to know if any of you see what I see, or if you see something completely different.

So far, people have seen a giraffe, a scorpion, and a happy turkey in this one…

 

This one brings to mind a couple different Looney Tunes cartoons for me.

It’s probably a good thing I don’t live at the Niobrara Valley Preserve.  Among all the other things that would distract me from getting work done, I might spend too much time just wandering around looking for pictures in tree bark…

Advertisements

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 Photography, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Photo of the Week – November 3, 2017

  1. Really good. What is it about scarred surfaces that draws us? In Mexico, the walls that time and moisture and bacteria and fungal processes have made into a beautiful patina . . .

  2. Steve Schomberg says:

    I see a violin hidden under leaves and ground debrie in the middle picture.

  3. I see a turkey head in the first picture, and a dog or cow face in the second.

  4. marknupen says:

    Uh, Chris, I think you have set this up as a hidden Rorschach test: The Rorschach test is a psychological test in which subjects’ perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex …

    Very Clever Chris, but I am not going to fall for it! HAH!!

  5. Joanne says:

    First photo — baby owl peeking out of its nest. Rorschach, what does this mean? :)

  6. Julene Bair says:

    Not sure what you might see, but am taken by the beauty. I can smell that vanilla scent of ponderosa pine just looking at these.

  7. Christie Soderling says:

    I see a large talon in the 2nd one (Having just watched H is for Hawk on PBS), and the last one makes me think of maps – oceans and continents. And since I just finished a book about Rorschach and his prints, I wonder if you have a future in psychology, Chris?

PLEASE COMMENT ON THIS POST!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s