Spring is here, but only for a few more hours. We saw some nice green-up this week, with temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s. Tonight, we’re supposed to get 5-7 inches of snow along the Platte River and as much as a foot and a half up at the Niobrara Valley Preserve. Next week? More warm weather.
I did my best to enjoy the warm weather this week. Between prescribed fires, I got my camera out of the bag a few times, and found both flowers and invertebrates (or at least one) to photograph.
Fringed puccoon (Lithospermum incisum) was popping out of the ground this week.
I rescued this leopard frog from fire as it was hopping into danger during our prescribed burn this week.
Rosettes of fourpoint evening primrose (Oenothera rhombipetala) keep some color through the winter, but their winter red is transitioning to green now.
I spotted this juvenile wolf spider scooting through a patch of bare sand and it sat still just long enough for me to photograph it.
Sun sedge (Carex heliophila) started to bloom on Thursday. I know that specifically because I checked on it Tuesday and Wednesday, desperately hoping for some color to photograph. By midday on Thursday, it was finally starting to bloom on the south-facing slopes of hills at our Platte River Prairies.
That sun sedge is an interesting plant. And bless you for saving the little frog. That reminded me of a favorite line from Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim At Tinker Creek: “We have not yet encountered any god who is as merciful as a man who flicks a beetle over on its feet.”