Photo of the Week – August 1, 2019

It’s been a busy month for photography. Here is a pretty eclectic selection of images that haven’t yet made it into the blog – though some have shown up on my Instagram account, so apologies to those of you who follow both.

The “nose” on this plant hopper (Scolops sp) is more decorative than anything, as far as I know. It has a long mouthpart tucked against its breast. This one was at the Niobrara Valley Preserve.
Atticus and I saw five species of Dalea (prairie clover) within a very short time during our recent visit to the Niobrara Valley Preserve. This was one of them (purple prairie clover, Dalea purpurea). The others were golden prairie clover (Dalea aurea), white prairie clover (Dalea candida), silky prairie clover (Dalea villosa), and…
…this one, which is nineanther prairie clover (Dalea enneandra). This was the first time I’ve gotten photos of the fully-opened flowers.
Yellow flax (Linum sulcatum). Niobrara Valley Preserve.
I pestered this katydid for a while until I finally got some good photos. Others who have seen it have said it looks like it is playing a guitar or running a chainsaw.
This big garden spider (Argiope aurantia) was suspended on its web at our family prairie. By lowering myself close to the ground, I was able to get a good angle on it, which set it against the backdrop of a bright sky.
Thanks to some very generous donors, we’ve greatly updated our facilities at the Niobrara Valley Preserve. Here is one of our new buildings under the milky way early this week.
The milky way again… The Nebraska Sandhills are a great place to find dark skies and gorgeous looks at the stars.
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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.

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