Tagged * The Prairie Ecologist™

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Pretty but Powerful

By Chris Helzer Because they can’t run away, plants may seem helpless against the many large and small herbivores that like to eat them. Nothing could be further from the truth. The plant this caterpillar is chewing on may not be as helpless as it appears. Many plants have physical defenses such as thorns Read…

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Photo of the Week – April 3, 2015

By Chris Helzer A month ago, we apparently had a large number of white winged visitors hanging around our Derr Wetland Restoration. I only know this because our timelapse cameras picked them up. Snow geese. March 3, 2015. 3pm. Snow geese are common along the Platte River in the late winter and early spring. Read…

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Media Coverage of Our Restoration Work

By Chris Helzer Our friends at Platte Basin Timelapse (PBT) created a very nice radio piece about our restoration work that aired on NET Radio (Nebraska Educational Telecommunications) today. The link below includes that audio, along with a transcript and short video of our staff harvesting, mixing, and planting Read Full Article Here For more…

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Tuning Out and Tuning In

By Chris Helzer It had been way too long since I’d taken the kids camping. Earlier this month, however, I managed to get two out of three of them to come with me and we had a great overnight trip to our family prairie. We go out to our prairie – Read Full Article Here…

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Photo of the Week – March 26, 2015

By Chris Helzer Despite snide comments from certain friends, I do – now and then – take photos of subjects other than insects and plants… As I write this, the annual sandhill crane migration phenomenon is taking place on Nebraska’s Platte River. The river valley abounds with tall gray birds feeding Read Full Article Here…

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From the Ashes

By Chris Helzer Last Friday, I wandered through the small prairie we burned back on March 10. Even though it is still very early spring, there were already a number of prairie plants popping out of the ground. I posted photos of this site right after the fire was Read Full Article Here For more…

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Photo of the Week – March 19, 2015

By Chris Helzer Proof that I’m a biologist: While driving along a gravel road near our shop this week, I stopped and backed up to see if I’d seen a small snake or just a piece of debris in the road… A redbelly snake (Storeria occipitomaculata) found in Hall County, Nebraska. I’m glad I Read…

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Hubbard Fellowship Blog – The Trouble With Fences

By Chris Helzer This post is written by Dillon Blankenship, one of our two Hubbard Fellows. Back in December we kept pretty busy with fence work. The barbed wire fences at a few sites needed to be repaired, and some had to be taken down and rebuilt from the beginning. Read Full Article Here For…

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Photo of the Week – March 12, 2015

By Chris Helzer We conducted our first prescribed burn of the Spring this week. It was very small – about an acre or so – surrounded by gravel roads. The first burn after a long winter is always a little rocky; everyone’s a little out of practice, the crew isn’t yet Read Full Article Here…

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Every Little Bit Helps

By Chris Helzer I’m getting excited about this upcoming field season. For the first time in several years, we’re going to be attempting to harvest seed from as many prairie plant species as we can. Between about 1997 and 2005, we spent much of each field season hand-picking seeds from a Read Full Article Here…

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