About 6 months ago, I spent a nice morning at Lincoln Creek Prairie with my camera. Looking back at photos from that morning this week was a nice way to escape the dreary brown of winter. The vibrant color and activity of late June starkly contrasts with the dormant prairie in late December.
It’s not that prairies aren’t fun to visit in December, but much of the enjoyment comes from reading the signs of what happened last year and what is poised to occur in the next. As opposed to the dynamics of the growing season, not much changes or moves in a winter prairie. A few animals are active, of course – mostly birds foraging for remaining seeds on or beneath last year’s flowers, and a few voles and other small mammals scurrying along the ground. Those animals tend to match the browns of the prairie vegetation…
Now and then, a little frost or fresh snow pops up to accent the otherwise dull vegetation, and I rush out to enjoy the prairie’s new costume. I’ve had a few such opportunities this winter, but they’ve been brief. The coming week’s forecast doesn’t look like it’s going to bring much precipitation either, and temperatures are supposed to be mild. It’s hard to complain too much – Kim and I are planning some hiking time at the Niobrara Valley Preserve, and that weather will be nice for that. Hopefully, though, there will be a little frost in the morning too, at least?
Here are four photos I haven’t yet shared from late June of 2019. I hope they help brighten your day. Have a great holiday season, everyone!