Photo of the Week – June 14, 2018

I took advantage of some nice light to take quite a few photos this week.  Here is a small selection of unrelated images.

Goatsbeard, aka yellow salsify (Tragopogon dubius) is a non-native plant that has become naturalized in our prairies. It appears to be innocuous, and potentially beneficial, at least as an additional resource for pollinators. It’s also gorgeous, especially as it greets the morning sun.

Prairie larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum) has very intricate white flowers arranged on a vertical stalk. It is a perennial species, but becomes much more abundant in some years than others, and I’m not sure what regulates those cycles.

Foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum) is an annual native grass that can become abundant in wetlands when plant competition is suppressed. The unique texture of the pastel-colored seedheads can make it look like a patch of foxtail barley is in motion, even when it isn’t.

A small milkweed bug (Lygaeus kalmii) explores a showy milkweed plant (Asclepias speciosa).  They feed on nectar and milkweed seeds, but can also act as scavengers and predators when food is scarce.

Prairie spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis) in restored prairie, with serrate-leaf primrose (Calylophus serrulatus) in the background.

Serrate-leaf primrose up close.

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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.
This entry was posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Photo of the Week – June 14, 2018

  1. Kathryn Kerr says:

    Beauties, all. Thanks.

  2. Lynne Eggers says:

    Thanks – it’s always a treat to see your photos.

  3. Margaret Smith says:

    Beautiful photos. I may try to paint one or two.

  4. NatureOnNotice says:

    Reblogged this on NatureOnNotice.

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