Category Archives: Prairie Natural History

The Curious Case of Stickleaf Flowers – Yet Another Fascinating Natural History Story

Stickleaf (Mentzelia nuda) is a common short-lived wildflower in western Nebraska.  It and other stickleaf plants are named for the dense barbed hairs on their leaves that make them sticky to touch.  This particular species of stickleaf also has beautiful … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – September 22, 2016

I was looking through some photos from earlier this year and found one that I’d meant to post back in June but hadn’t.  I like it, and even though it’s a few months late, I hope you like it too. … Continue reading

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CORRECTION to Photo of the Week

Earlier today, I posted about my very fortunate encounter with a hawk in the Nebraska Sandhills.  At the time I took the photos, a couple biologists with me identified the bird as a juvenile ferruginous hawk, and I (being mostly … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – September 16, 2016

NOTE: This post originally misidentified this hawk as a juvenile ferruginous hawk, but after some helpful comments from readers and confirmation from a couple other experts, I have edited the post to make it clear that it is, indeed, a … Continue reading

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The Value of the Water in the Nebraska Sandhills

The Nebraska Sandhills is an incredible landscape of nearly 12 million acres of prairie.  Most of the Sandhills consists of privately-owned ranches, and the majority of that land is conservatively managed by ranchers trying to make a living on top … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – September 1, 2016

Two weeks ago, I posted about Yellow Season in prairies.  That annual phenomenon continues, and at our family prairie this week, stiff goldenrod was front and center.  Pollinators and pollen-eating insects seemed to approve.

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That Predator Just Killed My Predator!

I spent last week in the Nebraska Sandhills, possibly the greatest grassland in the world.  Last week’s trip was one of several I’ve gotten to make around that landscape this summer.  It’s been great to see a much wider swath … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – August 18, 2016

There is an unmistakable look to late summer prairies, and that look is YELLOW.  Sunflowers, goldenrods, and Silphiums (compass plant, cup plant, rosinweed) are all front and center this time of year.  The visual dominance of yellow flowers is obvious … Continue reading

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Sand Wasps

I was introduced to sand wasps (Bembix sp) by Mike Arduser when he came to visit the Platte River Prairies back in 2012.  As we stood together in a sand prairie, a bee-like creature was zipping around us with incredible … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – August 11, 2016

I made a quick trip up to the Niobrara Valley Preserve this week.  As always, there was a treasure trove of unexpected finds.  Here are some of them. How many of you noticed the small larva in the above photo? … Continue reading

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