Category Archives: Prairie Insects

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 , , , , , | 6 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

Miscellaneous Sightings

One of the best perks of my job is simply that I get to be outside enough to see a lot of interesting ecological phenomena.  Today, I thought I’d share a few vignettes from the last couple weeks. Last year, … Continue reading

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Popular Sunflowers

Plains sunflower (Helianthus petiolaris) is an annual plant that responds quickly to bare ground in the Nebraska Sandhills.  They pop up after fire, intensive grazing, pocket gopher activity or something else allows light to hit the soil.  At times, they … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – July 28, 2017

My daughter and I are on a short working vacation in the Nebraska Sandhills this week, so I don’t have much time to write.  Instead, here are two of my favorite photos from my trip to the Niobrara Valley Preserve … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – July 20, 2017

Wow, this was a hot week.  About the time I stopped hiking hills and collecting data at the Niobrara Valley Preserve yesterday, my truck’s thermometer said it was 111 degrees Fahrenheit.  Sure, it was really hot, but I figured the … Continue reading

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Prairie Noise

I just finished a great but very long day at the Niobrara Valley Preserve.  We were collecting sweep net data and counting flowering plants to evaluate the impacts of various fire and grazing treatments.  There was a lot of action … Continue reading

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Spider Watching

During a brief stop at our family’s prairie this morning, I noticed a small spider on its web, and set up my tripod to see if I could photograph it.  Just after I got a couple nice photos, a grasshopper … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – July 6, 2017

When photographing invertebrates, I can split most critters into two categories: those that hunker down and those that flee.  Those that hunker down are awfully nice because I can set up and photograph them thoughtfully, playing with various angles and … Continue reading

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