Photo of the Week – June 15, 2017

Earlier this week, I posted a photo of a female wolf spider carrying her brood on her back.  We were collecting data at the Niobrara Valley Preserve this week, and it seemed there were babies all over the place.  Young birds were hopping and flapping around, grasshopper and katydid nymphs were abundant – especially on wild rose flowers, and bison calves were following their moms around closely.  Here are a few other photos of early season babies from this week.

Bison calves are at near-maximum cuteness at the moment.

A fledgling horned lark peers at me from its hiding place.

I belly crawled about 10 yards to get you this cute photo. Don’t worry, I think I got most of the sand burs out of my belly.

I’m pretty sure this is a fledgling grasshopper sparrow based on its size, coloration, and habitat.

A young katydid nymph feeds on wild rose pollen.

A grasshopper nymph stands out on a background of puccoon flowers.

Ok, one more bison calf photo…

Photo of the Week – June 1, 2012

Two years ago, I photographed this little grasshopper nymph on a prairie wild rose at The Nature Conservancy’s Niobrara Valley Preserve in north-central Nebraska.  It was a mid-June morning with heavy dew – a great time to photograph insects.

This little grasshopper nymph still had half a dozen molts to go through before reaching maturity.  With each consecutive molt, a nymph sheds its exoskeleton and emerges as a slightly bigger version of itself – until its final molt, when it becomes a full adult.  In this photo, the nymph was about 1/2 inch long.