Category Archives: Prairie Plants

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

Photo of the Week – August 24, 2017

Today at the Niobrara Valley Preserve, we were hosting a field trip for a group of land managers from around the Sandhills.  As our caravan of pickups was traveling across our east bison pasture at around 5pm, Gerry Steinauer (state … Continue reading

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Trying to Create Something Different in the Nebraska Sandhills

At our Niobrara Valley Preserve (NVP), we’re experimenting with prairie management techniques to see if we can create a wider range of habitat conditions than is found throughout much of the Nebraska Sandhills.  On many Sandhills ranches, pastures look fairly … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Photo of the Week – August 18, 2017

A few years ago, with technical and financial help from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, we fenced out the pond at our family’s land and installed solar-powered livestock watering facilities.  It was something … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , | 26 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

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

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 – June 23, 2017

This is a good year for sensitive briar (Mimosa quadrivalvus) in the Platte River Prairies.  Sensitive briar is a spiny perennial legume that sprawls across the ground in dry prairies and has leaves that fold up when touched or blown … Continue reading

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Exotic Beauty

Early in my career, I felt pretty strongly that only native plants should be in the prairies I managed.  Pretty quickly, I realized I didn’t have enough time to eradicate the worst invasive plants from our sites, let alone worry … Continue reading

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

Surprising Little Gems

Last week, I had a couple hours to do some reconnaissance at the Niobrara Valley Preserve.  I wanted to see how far along the flowering plant season was in preparation for some data collection efforts we hope to start soon. … Continue reading

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