Photo of the Week – January 24, 2014

I’m in New Orleans this week at a conference with more than 200 colleagues from across the Central U.S.  It’s been inspiring to hang out  and learn from them.  Early in the week, I got to go on a field trip to a couple of natural areas just north of New Orleans.  Here are a couple photos from that trip.

Slash pine at The Nature Conservancy's Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve north of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Slash pine at The Nature Conservancy’s Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve north of New Orleans, Louisiana.

We visited a couple sites where the Conservancy is working to restore longleaf pine savanna and similar natural communities.  These photos are from a site that includes plants such as cypress, pitcher plants and myriad other species I don’t get to see at home.  In fact, it was both fascinating and a little humbling to see all the plants that I couldn’t identify.  For quite a few of them, I didn’t even recognize the genus, let alone the species!  That said, many of the restoration techniques are very similar to those we use in Nebraska, so there was a lot we could learn from each other.

The Conservancy's Nelwyn McInnis leads a tour group through the site.

The Conservancy’s Nelwyn McInnis leads a tour group through the site.  The savannas we hiked through were essentially prairies with trees, which are beautiful but I had to keep reminding myself that it was ok to have trees in a prairie…

Many thanks to the staff of The Nature Conservancy in Louisiana for hosting us this week.  I look forward to visiting again.