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
- 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/
- 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/
- 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/
- 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/
- 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
- The unsung heroes of pollination – single moms. https://prairieecologist.com/2017/02/14/the-life-of-a-single-mom-bee/
- Is it a wasp, mantis, or fly? Nope. https://prairieecologist.com/2017/06/27/its-a-what/
- 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/
- Insects that steal nectar without following protocol. https://prairieecologist.com/2017/10/10/back-door-thieves/
- Monarch butterflies arrived in Nebraska much sooner than usual this year. https://prairieecologist.com/2017/04/18/not-yet-monarchs-not-yet/
- Photos from one of the most spectacular and hidden places in Nebraska. https://prairieecologist.com/2017/05/31/vacation-at-toadstool-geologic-park/
- 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.
YouTube Video of the same photos: