Category Archives: Prairie Insects

Photo of the Week – November 16, 2017

Most of us don’t think about ants very often unless they’re marching across our kitchen counter (or up our leg).  That anonymity isn’t their fault, it’s ours.  Ants play major roles in ecoystems, and their biomass in prairies can rival … Continue reading

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Little Blue Butterflies

Though it’s one of the more common butterflies in this part of Nebraska, the eastern tailed-blue doesn’t get much attention.  One reason is that it is pretty small.  With a wingspan of about an inch, it isn’t much bigger than … Continue reading

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Prairies as Placeholders

Ecologically speaking, grasslands might be considered a “transitional community”.  In the absence of fire and/or drought, grasslands tend to progress toward a shrubby, and eventually woody ecological community.  For as long as prairies have existed in central North America, they … Continue reading

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EEEEEEK!!

For many of you, the snake photo below will elicit a strong visceral response.  The spider photo below might do the same.  While it varies in intensity, humans seem to have an innate fear of both spiders and snakes.  New research now … Continue reading

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Back Door Thieves

I took a quick walk through one of our restored wetlands last week.  Most plants had finished blooming for the year, but in some recently-mowed patches, there were some scattered flowers of beggarticks (Bidens sp) and blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica). … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – September 29, 2017

As the growing season comes to an end and most wildflowers wind up their blooming period, insects that feed on nectar and pollen have to work a lot harder to find food.  The few remaining plants with active flowers suddenly … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – September 22, 2017

The Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis) is an impressive creature.  Introduced to North America, it has certainly made itself at home here.  Entomologists I’ve talked to express varying levels of concern about the presence of the Chinese mantis – as well … Continue reading

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The Painted Lady Butterfly: This Year’s Poster Child for Insect Migration

Note: this post was slightly edited after initial publication to make it more accurate. Migrating painted lady butterflies are stealing some of the attention from the annual monarch butterfly migration, at least here in Nebraska.  Thousands upon thousands of painted … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – September 7, 2017

The numerous wildfires in the western U.S. and Canada have been sending smoke out our way, especially earlier this week.  I got up early Monday morning to catch the sunrise, hoping a smoky haze would soften the light well into … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Well, Now, I Wonder…

People often seem surprised to learn that I’m an introvert – probably because in large groups, I feel pretty comfortable being the center of attention and talking to an interested audience.  However, when I’m just one of many people in … Continue reading

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