Photos of the Week – June 26, 2021

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks here. I’ve been putting in long hot days in the field collecting both data and seeds and haven’t had much time or energy to write. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a good two weeks – I’ve gotten a lot done and that’s been very satisfying.

Today’s photos are from a earlier in June when foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum) was in full bloom. Some of it still blooming now too, but the pastel color has left most of the heads as they’ve dried and the seeds are starting to leave the plants and enter my socks as I walk by.

Foxtail barley is a fascinating native grass. It’s a perennial, but acts like an annual in the way it quickly fills empty space created by standing water or other disturbances in wet(-ish) sites. The texture of its flowers, especially when there are a lot of them together, is pretty glorious, and always makes me want to pet them (which I often do).

These photos were taken on two successive mornings; focusing tightly on individual flowers the first day and a wider view on the second.

Foxtail barley in early morning light. Nikon 105mm macro lens. ISO 400, f/11 and 1/500 sec.
Foxtail barley in early morning light. Nikon 105mm macro lens. ISO 400, f/10 and 1/640 sec.
Foxtail barley at sunrise. Nikon 11-20mm macro lens. ISO 400, f/6.3 and 1/2000 sec.
Foxtail barley at sunrise. Nikon 11-20mm macro lens. ISO 400, f/22 and 1/400 sec.
Foxtail barley at sunrise. Nikon 11-20mm macro lens. ISO 400, f/22 and 1/125 sec.

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.

3 thoughts on “Photos of the Week – June 26, 2021

  1. In today’s fragmented landscape it’s essential that humans help different local/regional native species to (re)colonize any appropriate habitats that still remain. And even when/if they’ve never been seen in a specific area before. It’s the best conservation anyone can do in this troubled world.

  2. Very cool. I have seen something like this growing wild in the ditches and fields, Wish I knew more ecology, I am pretty good with trees and shrubs berries and a few edibles so much to learn Thanks

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