Photo of the Week – December 13, 2018

I’ve been (pleasantly) buried in data analysis over the last couple weeks.  Despite that, I’ve managed to squeeze in a few short photography excursions into the snowy prairie.  The mild forecast for the next week or two makes me glad I took advantage of the opportunity.  Here are a few miscellaneous photos from those trips.  

Suspended ice above a partially frozen wetland.  The Nature Conservancy’s Platte River Prairies.
Aerial drone photo of the same restored stream and wetland shown in the above close-up image.  If you look closely, you might see some waterfowl at the very top left.  See more on next image…
One of the reasons we have put so much energy into restoring this wetland from a former gravel mine-created sandpit lake is the strong groundwater influence.  That groundwater flow helps keep the surface open in the winter, and at least 70 mallards were using that open water on this particular day.
Snow and frost on prairie grasses.  Helzer family prairie.
Rabbit tracks near sundown in the hills at the Platte River Prairies.   This was right after I spooked up a big jack rabbit, but these are cottontail tracks.

By the way, it’s about time for my annual collection of “best photos of the year”.  If you’ve got any nominations, let me know!  I’ve got it narrowed down to about 100 images so far…

This entry was posted in General, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction by Chris Helzer. Bookmark the permalink.

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.

2 thoughts on “Photo of the Week – December 13, 2018

  1. Just curious Chris: are you also monitoring the water quality in the restored wetland for nitrates, etc, given the strong groundwater flow? Interested in what you are finding if it is being monitored.

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