This week, I made a trip up the Niobrara Valley Preserve. A colleague from Idaho was visiting Nebraska to discuss grazing and other prairie management strategies and I couldn’t very well let him leave without seeing the Niobrara Valley. In addition to Matthew, the Fellows (Chelsea and Mary) also came along. Here are a few photos from the quick visit.
The Niobrara Valley, photographed by drone, just east of The Nature Conservancy’s headquarters.
Backlit ridges with tree skeletons from the 2012 wildfire. This area north of the river is recovering, but we are still discussing how to best guide that recovery to avoid re-invasion by eastern red cedar.
Matthew Ward at “The Chute”, a local landmark waterfall just upstream of the Norden Bridge .
A Rorschach ponderosa pine bark test. What do you see?
A portion of our east bison pasture (10,000 acres), as viewed from across the river.
Chad Bladow points out a potential route for a fire break as we discuss a future prescribed fire on the north side of the river. Chelsea is taking photos and Matthew is just below, enjoying the scenery.
Fungus grows on a log in the middle of a spring-fed creek along the south side (north-facing slope) of the Niobrara River. We started where the creek emerged from the ground and followed it quite a way downstream, enjoying the cool moist air along the way.
Mary (left) and Chelsea (right), photographing slightly different views of the Niobrara River.
Looking southeast from the ridge north of the river.