I’ve been mostly (and blissfully) disconnected from work over the last couple weeks. I have a number of topics I’m looking forward to exploring with you during the upcoming year. I’ve also managed to do a little winter photography during my break and have some photos to share soon. However, coming out of my break, I want to start by wrapping up 2021. Today’s post is pretty simple – I’m just posting the rest of my favorite photos from last year. I shared some others earlier, which covered the first several months of 2021. This batch covers the rest of the year. I hope the images bring you some joy and, potentially, inspiration as we start 2022 together.
Also, I want to once again share my gratitude for the community of people involved with this blog. A blog already feels like an outdated medium in a lot of ways, but the format still works well for what I’m specifically trying to accomplish here. I want this to be a platform that provides resources and ideas that help others appreciate and conserve prairies. Writing posts forces me to learn and reflect, and to adapt my thinking about prairie ecology, management, restoration, and communication, all of which helps me stay energized and inspired. In some cases, I’m sharing facts, but often, I’m just hoping my thoughts will help spark others to think differently about their own engagement with prairies and conservation.
In that respect, I really appreciate all the comments you provide, including those that are simply expressing thanks or admiring images, but also those that challenge my statements, correct errors, and express contrary or supplementary ideas. With very rare exception, the comments on this blog are polite, thoughtful, and productive. I can’t say thank you enough for that. All of my thoughts and ideas are fluid and your input helps frame those better for the larger group. They also help me continue to evolve and adapt my own thinking. Thank you.
Ok, enough of that. Here are some of my favorite prairie photos from last year. Happy New Year, everyone. Be well.
Thank you for sharing. The photo of the crab spider inside the penstemon is exceptional! Truly a beautiful and unexpected image. Is there a beetle or fly inside one of the flowers on the wild garlic inflorescence? It looks like there might be something else there. Thank you again.
Thanks. I’m not sure – I don’t see anything I can identify as an insect… There’s a tiny little red bump on the OUTSIDE of one that might be a mite. Or a tiny piece of something that just got stuck.
Thanks for the lovely pictures. I enjoy your blog and look forward to it. Thank you for being so informative. Best wishes for the upcoming year.
All creatures, great & small, staring back at you into the camera. Love your photos,and the few extra minutes of peace & happiness each blog installment brings. Please continue & Happy New Year, Chris!
I am glad you wrote the description of the first photo. I thought I was going to have to stand on my head and look at it to figure out what was happening to what. ;) Your photos, ideas and encouragement are most appreciated. I am thrilled that you aren’t giving up your blog anytime soon. Glad you had a revitalizing time off. I am sending you best wishes for the New Year.
I always appreciate your photos and attached information. Cow #32 might be the only one I’ve loved and had a big smile again. This is an example of a part of prairie we very rarely experience.
you are a master! thank you for sharing
Thank you. Best wishes for 2022 and blog on!
Gorgeous photos as always! I especially loved the crab spider – I had two in my garden last summer, but they never caught anything while I was around to see it. My ambush bugs did a good job at catching flies, and I suspect I sill see more of them as time goes on. I had a camouflage looper too and loved watching it. Mine was dressed in pink echinacea petals.
Your close-up photos, especially of the insects and flowers, have opened up a whole new world for me. Thank you!
Love your eye for nature photos, but how did you get inside that penstemon with the spider?
Thanks Kathy. That spider photo was shot from the outside of the penstemon flower with a 105mm lens, which makes it look a little closer than it actually was. I was just glad it was willing to sit still long enough to get the photo!
I laughed when I got to #32 — every time I visit the Attwater Prairie Chicken Preserve, I end up going nose to nose with the cattle roaming there. I learned early on that one benefit of their grazing is the creation of ‘roads’ that ground-dwelling birds can travel in safety. Then, I found your blog and your various posts about ranch management for wildlife, began to make even more sense of other practices I’ve come across. You’ve built up an archive here that’s of immense value; I’m eager to see what you add to it in the coming year.
I just love your photos! We have so much growth and building where I live (have lived here for 24 years), it is sad to see so much open space being built on. We see wild animals in our neighborhoods more and more.
My favorite is your last photo of the dragonfly. I have become especially fond of dragonflies since COVID hit. They are so fascinating!
VERY impressive collection! Beautiful photos – as always. :)
I love these! Thank you.
The Camouflaged Looper was my best “learn” in 2021! When I saw your photos I knew what was spending time on our backyard Purple Coneflower.
I really enjoy your Beautiful photos and the captions.
If I’m reincarnated I want to come back as a Variegated Meadowhawk!!
Brought tears to my eyes son thanks these are so good! You do wonderful work never let them beat you down. the resource demands that of us Love YOUR work
Thank you for inspiring us (and comforting us) with your gorgeous prairie images and thoughtful words through another difficult year. So grateful, Chris!