Photos of the Week – August 17, 2019

We were at the Niobrara Valley Preserve this week. It was a quick trip, with little time for photography. I did manage a few shots, though, so I’m sharing them here.

A few of us went for a short walk up the hill behind the headquarters Thursday afternoon. I don’t remember who spotted the first one, but we suddenly realized we were in the midst of an impressive congregation of walking sticks. We were finding 3-5 per square meter for a while. After we walked another 20 meters or so, the numbers thinned, but we were still seeing them here and there. Imagine how many we must have missed! It appeared to be a meeting of potential lovers, given the kind of activity many were engaged in…
This salt marsh caterpillar species (I think?) seems to become a photographic subject for me at least once or twice a year, including this handsome individual.
We drove to town for supper and on the way back, the sun was rose big and orange over the horizon. By the time we got back to the headquarters and I could escape with my camera, most of the moon’s color had gone, but I did manage one decent photo of sand bluestem in front of it.
With a rising full moon, star photography was tricky, but I wandered down to the Norden Chute to see if I could use the moonlight’s illumination of the falls to my advantage, while still getting a few stars in the background. It’s not my all-time favorite photo of the Chute, but it was worth the (pleasantly quiet) time I it took to play around near the water.
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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.

3 thoughts on “Photos of the Week – August 17, 2019

  1. A walkingstick appeared on my drapes some months ago. Unfortunately, it had already died. I’m guessing dehydration or starvation. (What would it eat in the house.) I don’t know how or when it got in. Another great crop of photos.


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