Nebraskaland Jan/Feb 2019

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

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Page 24 of 63

January-February 2019 • Nebraskaland 25 W hile everything around me that morning was gorgeous, a few plant species seemed perfectly suited to their crystal coatings. The fuzzy golden seeds of Indiangrass, for example, caught the light wonderfully when wrapped in ice, and ended up in nearly one-third of all the photos I took that morning. The panicled seed heads of switchgrass were also fabulous, creating drooping clusters of glittering globes, each encasing a tiny switchgrass seed. A surprising addition was stiff goldenrod, whose compact flower heads had lost most of their fluffy seeds, but now were handsomely enclosed by clear ice. When I finally left the prairie, it wasn't because I ran out of beauty to photograph – it was because I was emotionally spent. I felt very much like I had just gorged myself on a fantastic Thanksgiving meal, except that my brain was full of goodness, rather than my stomach. The ice melted away pretty quickly that afternoon, but my memories from that day will stay with me for a very long time. A long frozen drop of water extends from a small reservoir of ice in a grass leaf. A stiff sunflower seed head carries an icy clear coat. Jewels of ice-covered switchgrass seeds dangle in the morning light.

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