Category Archives: Prairie Natural History

Photo of the Week – December 1, 2016

Insect identification is unfair. I came across this photo yesterday while looking through some images from last summer.  The photo caught my eye and I thought maybe I’d write a short natural history blurb about it and use that as … Continue reading

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

Photo of the Week – November 18, 2016

Back in April, I wrote a post about the regrowth after one of our spring prescribed fires.  That’s a fun time of year to burn because the growing season is getting started and the response of green plants pushing through the black … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

A Milestone for Prairie Restoration

Because conservation work can sometimes seem like blowing into the wind, it’s important to pause periodically to celebrate progress.  For example, I am really excited about what has been accomplished in the field of prairie restoration.  We’ve known for a … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Photo of the Week – October 27, 2016

I’m up at the Niobrara Valley Preserve.  We spent the whole day herding bison today, so obviously I’m posting several photos of some autumn leaves I photographed along a creek after we finished. Once I get time to sort through … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Risks of Managing Prairies Exclusively for Plants

Prairies are often defined as plant communities dominated by grasses, sedges, and wildflowers.  However, prairies are also home to thousands of animal species, not to mention countless varieties of fungi, bacteria, and other microbes.  Animals are just as much part … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Photo of the Week – October 20, 2016

I stole an hour of photography time this week as a foggy morning worked its way toward a sunny afternoon.  The small restored prairie on the edge of town was a great place to explore. A few surprises awaited.  Though … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Trusting the Resilience of Prairies

Note to my son (and others who mainly follow this blog to see if there are cool pictures or pictures of them):  This is a pretty long and involved post – sorry.  The first picture is probably the best one, … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Photo of the Week – October 14, 2016

It feels like autumn has arrived.  We had frost on the ground yesterday, most wildflowers are done blooming, fluffy seeds are erupting across the prairie, and leaves and stems are turning from green to yellow.  Leaves of shrubs and trees … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

The Enigmatic Stick Insect

I’m pretty good at spotting insects.  When I walk around prairies with a camera, I’m usually looking down, scanning for small creatures.  Just as I imagine a building inspector develops search images for signs of mold, fire hazards, and shoddy construction, my … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

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