Photo of the Week – November 23, 2018

The weather here has been really nice the last several days.  We’ve got snow and wind coming later this weekend, but today was a beautiful day.  After spending most of the day indoors, I needed a break, so I headed across town for a prairie hike.  The late afternoon light was very nice, so I checked out my square meter photo plot at Lincoln Creek Prairie, took a few photos within that plot, and then wandered more broadly around the prairie. 

Here are a few photos from today.

Switchgrass seeds (Panicum virgatum).
Roundheaded bushclover (Lespdeza capitata)
Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) in my square meter plot.
Rosinweed seed heads.  (Silphium integrifolium)
More rosinweed seedheads.

Photo of the Week – November 16, 2018

Earlier this week, I was looking through some of my 2018 photos and came across a few shots of prairie wild rose (Rosa arkansana) I’d forgotten about.  I took a few minutes to go looking for some older images as well, and chose some of my favorites for today’s post. 

Wild rose is one of the more attractive and prominent wildflowers in our prairies during June, more so because they often occur in large rhizomatous clones.  Many invertebrates find them attractive as well, especially the large, prominent, and pollen-packed anthers.  Later in the year, their hips (fruits) also become important food sources (and nice photo subjects) but today’s post is all about the flowers.

A tiny weevil feeds on pollen.
A long-horned beetle – also feeding on pollen.
Hover flies are very common visitors.
And, of course,opportunistic crab spiders often pick off unwary flower visitors, including this hover fly.