Photos of the Week – April 10, 2020

Spring weather has been bouncing around as usual this year. Accordingly, we had an ice storm and 75 degree F temperatures within the same week. Photos from last week reflect that. Life and beauty continues, despite the pandemic and everything associated with it. Please stay safe.

As the sun shone and temperatures rose in the days following the (mild) ice storm, ice that coated signs, fences, trees, and more started slipping and falling off in sheets and chunks.
An ice coated fence post and barbed wire.
Even on prairie grasses, it was obvious which direction the wind had blown during the storm.
This grass leaf floated gently on a stream, surrounded by ripples and reflected color.
This bubble floated downstream toward me and lodged long enough for me to photograph it. When I noticed my reflection in the bubble, I waved at myself (and now at you!)
This cute little snail was one of many moving around in a wet meadow after temperatures warmed up.

I’ve been trying to photograph as much as I can in our yard, hoping to highlight the nature that can be found right outside your window or door right now. I’ll share more of those backyard photos in coming weeks, but this week I’ll focus on one gorgeous plains garter snake that was warming itself in our garden while Kim and I were working in the yard.

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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.

5 thoughts on “Photos of the Week – April 10, 2020

  1. Chris, was the wind from the icy side or the other side? My experience with ice storms in the Houston area is very limited. I would have thought the sunshine had melted the ice on the dry side of the grass stalk. Thanks for sending your weather in our direction. It was 90 degrees here yesterday with high humidity felt like 99, but 73 and sunny now.

    • Iris, that’s a great question. In this case, the wind was from the icy side. You’re right, though, that ice often melts fastest on the sunny side of grasses, and other ‘structures’. Often, as in this case, both can be true. Ice storms are usually accompanied by north winds in our area and the sun warms up the south side of things because we’re in the northern hemisphere!
      90 degrees seems otherwordly from our more northern perspective. I was in Houston last summer in June and really enjoyed my time there – but I’m not sure I’m hardy enough to survive the summer heat where you live! I’m impressed with all of you who can!

      • My guess was that the wind was coming from the side without ice. I had thought the rain drops would have been blown to the down wind side of the stem where they would have frozen as they had ran down the stem. Since you observed the storm, you would know the direction of the wind. So much for my logic being able to prediction this one.


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