Author Archives: Chris Helzer

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.

Photo of the Week – May 18, 2018

Look everyone – bison calves!  I don’t really have anything particularly pithy or interesting to say about bison calves… I just  felt like posting some photos of them.  These are three of my favorites, all from the Niobrara Valley Preserve.  … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Photography | Tagged | 5 Comments

Hubbard Fellowship Blog – Alex’s Bittersweet Relationship With Trees

This post was written by Alex Brechbill, one of our Hubbard Conservation Fellows.  Alex hails from right here in Aurora, Nebraska.  He has worked both in the policy arena and deep in the wilderness, and so brings a broad perspective … Continue reading

Posted in Hubbard Fellowship | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Photo of the Week – May 11, 2018

It turns out a broken ankle really cramps my style.  Despite that, I managed to get out into the prairie a few times this week.  While I’m pretty slow, spring is progressing at lightning speed. Green grass is spurting up … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Hubbard Fellowship Post – Mixed-Up Flickers

This post is written by Olivia Schouten, one of our Hubbard Conservation Fellows.  Olivia hails from Pella, Iowa, and has strong experience in prairie ecology.  Look for more posts from her, as well as our other Fellow, Alex Brechbill, in … Continue reading

Posted in Hubbard Fellowship, Prairie Animals | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Toxic Bee-Killing Hitchhiker Beetles (I Know, Right?)

I’ve said many times that I’m no entomologist.  I am an invertebrate enthusiast.  I enjoy photographing small things, which means I end up with a lot of images of tiny invertebrates.  Once I have photos, I love to figure out … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Photo of the Week – May 4, 2018

“I love it when a plan comes together.”   Col. John “Hannibal” Smith. Last summer, my wife and I were exploring at the Niobrara Valley Preserve and found what we thought were pasque flower plants, though they were well past blooming.  … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | 16 Comments

Interview: An Introduction to South African Grasslands

With this post, I’m finally getting around to something I’ve been contemplating for several years.  Back in October, 2015, Alan Short sent me an email from South Africa.  He’d been reading this blog and was interested in exploring similarities between … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Photo of the Week – April 27, 2018

I feel like I need to apologize to long-time readers of this blog.  This is the seventh spring season I’ve photographed and shared via this blog, and each of those spring seasons starts with essentially the same wildflower species.  Pussytoes … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

Re-emerging into the Warm Sunshine

On Monday, I took advantage of very pleasant weather to visit one of our Platte River Prairies I hadn’t seen for a while. The warm sunny day felt great to me, but apparently also invigorated a lot of other creatures. … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Photo of the Week – April 20, 2018

The prairie is finally waking up (again) around here.  Before last weekend’s blizzard weather, plants were starting to green up, but all that stopped for a while last weekend so we could enjoy one last (?) snowstorm.  We didn’t end … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments