Tag Archives: pollinators

Photo of the Week – October 20, 2017

I’ve written before about the value of native thistles, both to pollinators and other parts of prairie ecosystems.  Tall thistle (Cirsium altissimum), in particular, seems to be a key food resource for pollinators during the late growing season, including the … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – September 29, 2017

As the growing season comes to an end and most wildflowers wind up their blooming period, insects that feed on nectar and pollen have to work a lot harder to find food.  The few remaining plants with active flowers suddenly … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Photo of the Week – May 19, 2017

Over the last five years or so, I’ve been learning a lot more about pollinators, and that has changed the way I look at prairies.  As I walk around our prairies, I often think about how I would see the … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – April 28, 2017

Ten days ago, I wrote about monarch butterflies returning from Mexico and flying much further north than is typical, and some of the risks they face because of that.  Many of you responded with your own similar observations and stories of … Continue reading

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The Life of a Single Mom (Bee)

Most of what we read in the news about declines in bee populations focus on (non-native) honey bees.  Yes, those populations are suffering declines from the combined impacts diseases, habitat loss, pesticide use and other factors.  However, there are nearly … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Photo of the Week – December 9, 2016

Rocky Mountain bee plant (Cleome serrulata) is very pretty, for a weed.  It’s an annual plant that grows in disturbed areas like road edges and around livestock watering tanks.  In that sense, many people would call it a weed.  However, … Continue reading

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A Milestone for Prairie Restoration

Because conservation work can sometimes seem like blowing into the wind, it’s important to pause periodically to celebrate progress.  For example, I am really excited about what has been accomplished in the field of prairie restoration.  We’ve known for a … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Saving Pollinators One Thistle at a Time

Pollinator populations are in trouble for a lot of reasons.  Loss and degradation of habitat, pesticides, and diseases are all major contributors.  However, at least in the Central United States, much of the pollinator decline can be tied to spiny … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Photo of the Week – July 9, 2015

Upright yellow coneflower (Ratibida columnifera), aka Mexican hat, is blooming all over the Platte River Prairies right now.  As with most showy flowers, the coneflowers are crawling with insects of many kinds.  I spent a fun half hour (31 minutes, … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Photo of the Week – May 8, 2014

In my last post, I mentioned that I didn’t mind having dandelions in my prairies.  Here is a further celebration of this beautiful, tough little plant. While dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are kind of weedy, they are not invasive – at least not in … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments