Best of 2017 – Stories and Photos from The Year

I’m consistently and deeply grateful to everyone who takes the time to read and/or follow this blog.  After more than 7 years, pumping out a couple blog posts each week is still energizing for me, and it’s awfully nice to know people are out there enjoying what I post.

This is my annual “Best Of” post, in which you can find some of my favorite posts from 2017 in case you’re looking for something to read (or re-read) over the holidays.  Below that, you can peruse what I think are the best photos I took this past year.  If you have friends or colleagues who don’t yet appropriately appreciate the beauty and complexity of prairies, feel free to forward this post to them.  You never know what might start someone on their own journey of discovery, and we need all the prairie fans we can get.

Speaking of that, please consider supporting your favorite conservation organization this season.  There are lots of good options, including the one that pays my salary.  Thank you for any support – financial or otherwise – you can provide to help conserve prairies and other important natural areas around the world.

Favorite 2017 posts:

General Science, Prairie Management, and Philosophy

  1. An essay about the importance of understanding the scientific process and its impact on our lives.  https://prairieecologist.com/2017/01/04/how-science-works-and-why-it-matters/
  2. How does livestock grazing fit with concerns about emissions that contribute to rapid climate change?  https://prairieecologist.com/2017/02/06/compatibility-of-cows-conservation-and-climate-change/
  3. Thoughts about tough decisions regarding sometimes conflicting prairie management objectives.  https://prairieecologist.com/2017/03/14/should-we-manage-for-rare-species-or-species-diversity/
  4. A discussion about how prairie size can influence the viability of prairie species and communities.  https://prairieecologist.com/2017/04/26/how-small-is-too-small/
  5. A post designed for land managers who might feel discouraged about the constant and growing challenges they face. https://prairieecologist.com/2017/10/31/a-hopeful-metaphor-for-prairie-managers/

Natural History and Place-Based Stories

  1. The unsung heroes of pollination – single moms.  https://prairieecologist.com/2017/02/14/the-life-of-a-single-mom-bee/
  2. Is it a wasp, mantis, or fly?  Nope.  https://prairieecologist.com/2017/06/27/its-a-what/
  3. Background on the incredible numbers of painted lady butterflies seen in 2017.  https://prairieecologist.com/2017/09/20/the-painted-lady-butterfly-this-years-poster-child-for-insect-migration/
  4. Insects that steal nectar without following protocol.  https://prairieecologist.com/2017/10/10/back-door-thieves/
  5. Monarch butterflies arrived in Nebraska much sooner than usual this year.  https://prairieecologist.com/2017/04/18/not-yet-monarchs-not-yet/
  6. Photos from one of the most spectacular and hidden places in Nebraska.   https://prairieecologist.com/2017/05/31/vacation-at-toadstool-geologic-park/
  7. An informative (and humorous) look at a beautiful and unusual plant.  https://prairieecologist.com/2017/11/28/a-brief-note-on-painted-milkvetch/

Most Viewed Post of all Time…

Just for fun, here is a link to the blog post that has had more views than any I have other written.  It’s certainly not the one I would have expected, but I checked the statistics out of curiosity and there it was – 48,000 views all time, including 21,000 in 2017.  I’m not going to tell you what it is, but if you’re curious, you can click here and find out.

Favorite Photos of 2017

Here is a selection of the photos I thought were my best from 2017.  You can see them in the slideshow below (click on the arrows or just sit back and watch), or in YouTube video form below that.  Hopefully, one of the two formats will work on whatever device you’re viewing this on.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

YouTube Video of the same photos:

If you liked these photos, you might also like my 2016 selections or this collection of some of my all-time favorites.

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 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Best of 2017 – Stories and Photos from The Year

  1. James C. Trager says:

    I love this blog, Chris. Thanks for all the thought and care you put into it. Happy and blog-productive 2018!

  2. I’m so thankful for your posts and images. Wonderful to see this list and reflect on your good work (and your joy).

  3. Pat says:

    I kind of had a hunch about the most popular blog. I subscribe to the comments and that blog keeps popping up. I truly enjoy every word and picture. Have a good holiday.

  4. Chris Muldoon says:

    You must be a magician and have a trick camera that makes arthropods look cute! Thanks for championing these marginalized little critters. Thanks, too, for distracting us from the world’s problems and bringing a little joy to our lives. Wishing peace and blessings on you, the Earth and all the rest of her inhabitants during the coming year.

  5. Ed Pembleton says:

    Chris:

    Your blog posts written and photos are just wonderful and something I can’t miss. As a fellow photographer it’s always a treat to see your latest selection and the best of 2017 is stellar. Your knowledge and reasoning behind your management decisions and the way you keep evaluating the outcomes set examples for how land managers should think through their challenges.

    As an admirer of the species, I have had a suspicion for some time that Box Elder Bugs are more popular than we might realize. Thanks for giving them a boost with great photos. We are not alone. Encouraged by local resident, writer and poet, Bill Holm, our friends in Minneota MN hold Box Elder Bug Days each September. We attended our first BEBD after 9/11 and if was Here’s the link for the 2017 event: http://www.boxelderbugdays.com

    Thanks again. Looking forward to your future posts.

    Ed

  6. Cindy Crosby says:

    So grateful for the work you do through this blog! Thank you, Chris. Looking forward to reading your words and enjoying your prairie images in 2018.

  7. Kathryn Kerr says:

    This is a bright spot in the staggering email. I really appreciate your work.

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.