It sure is WINDY

I’m taking some vacation time this week, but took a quick trip out to our family prairie this afternoon to do a little photography. A big snow storm moved through Nebraska over the weekend, dumping quite a bit of snow to the west and north of us. We mainly got a lot of rain and wind, followed by a little bit of snow and a lot more wind. The wind was still roaring today, but the clouds thinned enough to help dry out roads and I decided to take advantage of the relatively nice weather and ventured outside.

Small songbird tracks in the snow.
Northern bobwhite tracks through a snow drift.

I wandered through the snow and prairie, examining tracks and trying to see what had been moving around. I found lots of coyote, mouse, and bird tracks, spotted a vole scooting along the ground, spooked a great blue heron from the little bit of open water on the wetland, and watched red-tailed hawks soaring above me.

While it was really windy, I didn’t feel particularly cold, though I was wearing quite a few layers to block out the wind. The best part of the day was watching clouds whip across the sky, pushed along by that wind. I couldn’t really capture that motion with still photos, so I spent about 20 minutes taking numerous photos and later stitched them into the following timelapse video.

I hope all of you are enjoying some time off this holiday season. If you are, I hope you’re able to get some prairie time of your own!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by Chris Helzer. Bookmark the permalink.

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.

5 thoughts on “It sure is WINDY

  1. Thanks especially for the wonderful time-lapse photography of the winter prairie in the wind! I sometimes still get homesick for the prairies after living in wooded, hilly north Texas for half a century. This took me back!

  2. As a New Englander who went to college in Iowa, I very much appreciate *your* appreciation of the prairie. I quickly grew to love it, once I had learned to look between my feet to see the wonders that spread from the spot of of soil I was standing on to the horizon.

  3. My grandmother firmly believed that on New Year’s day we set the pattern for the rest of the year, by doing a little of everything we want to be part of the coming year: a little work, a little play, some contact with family, some good food, a ‘good work’ of some sort. You can bet that I’ll be out on one of our prairies tomorrow, whatever the weather. I’m just superstitious enough to believe it will ensure the prairies being part of 2020!

  4. always love the time lapse wind / weather videos but when you attach music it adds a beautiful new dimension.
    Check out Mike Olbinski’s various thunderstorm videos most from the Arizona deserts but he also has plains storm videos.
    My favorite is “Monsoon”, https://vimeo.com/106827999

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