Photo of the Week – March 30, 2018

Spring is almost here.  I spotted my first butterfly this week (too far away to identify it) and there are a few other insects starting to move around as well.  Not much flowering in the prairies yet, though plants are starting to green up, especially where we’ve burned.  While I wait for the new season to fully kick into gear, I’m falling back to a popular (to me) theme of “Random Photos from Last Year” to fill the gap.  Enjoy.

Anyone know what this insect is? (Other than a hemipteran) I photographed it at our family prairie last summer.  It looks predatory to me, but what do I know?
The Niobrara River, flowing through our Niobrara Valley Preserve. This is a stretch of river I don’t photograph very often, but there is a great photo waiting for me in this location.  I haven’t quite found it yet, but this photo is heading in the right direction.
This gorgeous wasp was feeding on butterfly milkweed at Lincoln Creek Prairie here in Aurora.
This is a giant blowout at the Niobrara Valley Preserve, but it’s unlike most blowouts in that it has steep bluffs on the north and south sides that have a texture almost like sandstone. We found a burrowing owl nest on the south bank a couple years ago.  There’s a great photo waiting for me here too.  Someday I’ll find it.
I mainly put that last photo in as a precursor to this one. It was taken at the southeast corner of the big blowout where the sand blows most actively.  I’m a sucker for waves of sand.  I could spend all day looking at them and never get bored.