The year 2019 was amazing and thinking back on it makes me very grateful for my job, my colleagues, and my family. I was able to visit some incredible places, including both new and familiar sites, and I learned a lot from smart, energetic people everywhere I went. I also had wonderful opportunities to spend time with Kim and our kids at many of those places. While I usually do a poor job of including people in my photographs, their influence is strong in the memories I associate with each image. Here is the first half of my favorite photos from 2019. The rest will be coming soon…
This is the 108th post I’ve written in 2019. I strive for two posts a week, and – at least on average – managed to hit that this year. Of my 2019 posts, the one that seemed to catch people’s attention the most was the one about the roots of prairie plants. We’ve all been taught that prairies are resilient because the plants can draw water from very deep in the soil profile, but numerous research projects show they aren’t actually doing that. It’s intriguing to me, and apparently to many of you as well.
This was apparently a good year for interest in the belowground activities of prairies. The other 2019 post that was widely shared and discussed was from back in March, when I wrote about how prairie management affects soil carbon. Or, to be more exact, I wrote about how little we actually know about how prairie management affects soil carbon and how frustrating that is. Because we know so little, anyone who claims to understand it can get a lot of attention, regardless of whether their information is good or not (most of it’s not).
Whether you’ve followed this blog since its beginning in 2010, or have just recently discovered it, please know that I greatly appreciate all of you. I continue to be incredibly honored and gratified by the thoughtful and polite discussions that occur in the comments section of this blog – a sharp contrast from the well-deserved negative reputation of most internet comments sections. I have a lot of optimism about the future of prairies, despite the many challenges we all face. Much of that optimism comes from getting to know the people who care about prairies, both through meeting you in person and through reading your comments.
Wonderful photography! Thank you for sharing.
I’ve enjoyed your photos and your commentary all year. I concur that these are some of the best! Merry Christmas to you and yours!
That’s very kind, Evelyn. Merry Christmas!
Happy and Safe Holidays to you Chris. Thanks as always for sharing!
Happy Holidays to you too, Paul.
Nice work. You are very productive and consistent. I have been doing one GRN post a week and find that a challenge. Typically I am working nights and weekends on them. Too many demands during the work day.
Sent via phone, Bill Kleiman
Thanks Bill. You need to find a little cave to hide in for writing purposes! Happy Holidays!
Thank you for your marvelous posts from your prairie! I truly enjoy them!
Thanks very much, Karen.
Thank you, Chris. It is my good fortune that you delight in photography, have such a good eye, and you share. Hope 2020 is wonderful for you and yours and our beautiful Niobrara country.
Thanks Linda – that’s very kind. I hope you have a great 2020 as well.
Thank you for all the beauty you share.
Thank you Kathryn.
Have a good holiday and see ya next year. Wonder what it has in store for us, a mixed bag I’m sure.
Thanks Ernie – Continued healing and best wishes to you.
You always make my day with your beautiful photographs, thank you
That’s very kind – thank you! Happy Holidays!
Thank you for all your work and valuable insights Chris. Merry Christmas to you and your family. >
Thanks Ed – Merry Christmas to you and yours too!
Nice group of photos, Chris. Thanks for all your work and have a great holiday season.
I enjoy and look forward to your posts. Keep up the good work.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Absolutely beautiful photos! Thanks so much for sharing and thanks for all you do.
Your blog and your outstanding photography are such an education and an encouragement. Working towards restoration and connecting Prairie Corridors can be daunting, but then I see the future results in your photos and get excited all over again. Thank you for the knowledge and beauty you share.
TNC is fortunate to have such a dedicated and talented individual on its staff.
Please know that we greatly appreciate you, too, Chris! You have been my most informative teacher, and my best connection to TNC. Thank you. May 2020 be filled with many more awesome experiences for you (which I hope you will continue to share with us).
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Side oats gamma for the win!
Hard to beat, isn’t it?