Category Archives: Prairie Insects

Photo of the Week – February 8, 2018

Some aquatic insects can survive being encased in ice – water boatmen, for example, or dragonfly larvae.  But what happens if they are frozen near the surface of a pond and the ice around them melts (or sublimates), leaving them … Continue reading

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Diversity, Redundancy, and Resilience

Grasslands face a long list of challenges.  In many regions, habitat loss and fragmentation top that list, leaving prairies to struggle for survival as tiny isolated patches of habitat.  In addition, invasive plants and animals keep finding new footholds within … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Diversity, Beauty, and Secret Lives of Grasshoppers

I know I say this about a lot of different insects, but grasshoppers are truly amazing creatures.  Grasshoppers have a reputation as voracious consumers of crops and forage grasses, and that reputation is well-earned.  However, the pest tag is far … Continue reading

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My Wife Finds A Basement Visitor

One of the best parts of a happy marriage is being periodically reminded that you’ve found just the right partner.  My latest example of that came this weekend, when my wife came up from our basement with a jar containing … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , | 27 Comments

Photo of the Week – December 1, 2017

Back in July, my daughter tagged along with me on a trip to the Niobrara Valley Preserve.  Because she’s in college now, and I don’t see her all that often, it was particularly gratifying to have a few days of … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | 7 Comments

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

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

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

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