Photos of the Week – September 30, 2021

In my last post, I was a little snippy about my current survey of blog readers and how many people had or hadn’t yet taken it. I even threatened to convert this blog into nothing but photos of milkweed seeds until we reached 1,000 survey responses. Today, I stand before you, (sitting at my dining room table in a t-shirt and athletic shorts) to admit that I was bluffing.

At the same time, I also want to prove that I could have done it. Doubt me? This post includes 25 milkweed seed photos that I’ve taken JUST THIS MONTH. Also, those 25 make up maybe half of the milkweed seed shots I’ve taken (so far) this month. I’ve been taking photos for about 30 years and milkweed seeds have been a favorite subject of mine. You can do your own math on how many milkweed seed photos I might have in my library.

However, we all need to move forward and I don’t want to drag out my scolding belligerence any longer. I’m going to close the survey tonight before I go to bed. That gives you all about 12 or 13 hours from when this is posted to take the survey if you haven’t. If you miss out, you’ll lose the opportunity to share such scintillating information as where you’re from, what aspects of the blog you like best, and what your favorite thing about robber flies is. (That last question may or may not be the final question of the survey – the only way you’ll know is to take the survey.)

Last Chance – click HERE to take the survey. And, seriously, thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this blog and for taking the survey if you do.

Hey. Did you just count the photos to see if there were actually 25? There weren’t, were there? There were 26! HaHA! I lied to you but in the opposite way you thought I might! Also, what are you doing with your life that counting milkweed seed photos is important to you? (I’m just kidding about that last part – I’m completely down with counting milkweed seeds, in photos or real life or both. Live your life, you crazy wonderful petunia!) Also take the survey! Here is the link!

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.

23 thoughts on “Photos of the Week – September 30, 2021

  1. Hi Chris, I have already taken the survey, but thanks all the same for the milkweed seed photos. Last fall as I held a fistful of seeds and silk in my hand, I was amazed at how warm they felt. I wondered whether birds or other animals use the silk for nests? Has anyone ever studied them for making cloth? Have you ever done a post on this subject?

    • Hi Janie. First, thanks for taking the survey! I agree – those seeds feel fantastic, don’t they? I would be shocked if there aren’t mice using the pappus (the fluffy part) of milkweed seeds in their winter nests. I know they use thistle down. And it seems likely birds would do it too, but I don’t know of any specific examples. There are definitely people/companies using milkweed ‘down’ for pillows, etc. I think I remember that they were long ago used to stuff life jackets (personal flotation devices) but didn’t work as well as synthetic materials that didn’t saturate when wet.

  2. You make me laugh. Thanks.


    On Thu, Sep 30, 2021, 11:03 AM The Prairie Ecologist wrote:

    > Chris Helzer posted: ” In my last post, I was a little snippy about my > current survey of blog readers and how many people had or hadn’t yet taken > it. I even threatened to convert this blog into nothing but photos of > milkweed seeds until we reached 1,000 survey responses. Tod” >

  3. You do realize that for most of us, we would look forward to more milkweed photos? Since I’m commenting, I will go a couple of steps further. I have enjoyed, and shared, your blog for some time now. It is one of my favorites. I know it is hard to “keep on trucking”(uh oh, that ages me) when you don’t feel like enough people are listening. But I count on people like you to remind me that there ARE people fighting the good fight, and raising the awareness of the next generation. And in this age of juggling zooms and wading through emails and surveys, I admit sometimes I don’t participate, because I just want a few more minutes out in the prairie.

  4. It would almost be worth not taking the survey to be able to see these amazing milkweed seeds. But I did take the survey, so got the best of both worlds. Thanks!

  5. I took the survey but still enjoyed the milkweed seed pics. You’re definitely gonna have to up your game on punishments.

  6. I loved the pics. And also I save your blog posts to read when it’s quiet and I can enjoy them so I missed the deadline. But LOVE your posts and commentary as much as the beautiful photos. Thanks

  7. Sorry we missed the survey. We have been on an extended trip, most of the time without Internet access. Our home site is a Nebraska Certified Pollinator Habitat with about one acre in native grasses and wildflowers; we like to photograph the pollinators. We are inspired by your photography and comments.

  8. After cleaning milkweeds seeds from their pods every day for the last 2 weeks I am quite tired of looking at them, getting their sap all over me and the fluff up my nose. If I hadn’t already taken the survey, I would have boycotted it :). (just kidding, I love giving people my opinion weather they want it or not)


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.