A photographer captures an image of a caterpillar as it enjoys a morning bite
MORNING DEW BEADS on the bristles of a saltmarsh caterpillar as it enjoys a bite of hairy puccoon, a common prairie wildflower. “The dew added some nice light accents and kept the caterpillar from moving around a lot,” says photographer Chris Helzer, who captured the scene in Nebraska’s Niobrara Valley Preserve.
As director of science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska, Helzer often roams this 56,000-acre preserve, eyes open for the small creatures many people miss. “A lot of my job is sharing lessons about prairie management and restoration and trying to get people interested,” he says. “If people see prairies as just a bunch of grass, they’re not going to care. But if they start seeing the small flowers and creatures, it personalizes the habitat and makes it a lot harder to ignore or plow up.”
Roaming a vast sea of grass is its own reward for Helzer. “You can really lose yourself in the landscape,” he says, “which is why I like it.”
To submit images for consideration, write to email@example.com with “Nature’s Witness” in the subject line.
Support NWF and help safeguard the future of wildlife.
More from National Wildlife magazine and NWF:
To Help Butterflies: Cater to Caterpillars!
Garden For Wildlife: Food for Caterpillars
Seven Tips for Photographing Small Animals
Keep the Wild in Wildlife Photography
Take the Clean Earth Challenge and help make the planet a happier, healthier place.Learn More
Promoting more-inclusive outdoor experiences for allRead More
A groundbreaking bipartisan bill aims to address the looming wildlife crisis before it's too late, while creating sorely needed jobs.Read More
More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.