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“For years now, I’ve relied on Chris Helzer to answer every prairie question I could think of, and not once has he failed me. When it comes to grasslands, his knowledge is as deep as the roots of the big bluestem grass we all cherish. How wonderful to examine a single spot, yet see the world.”—Joel Sartore, photographer and fellow, National Geographic Society
“Chris Helzer is one of the finest natural history communicators I know. This beautifully illustrated book collects experiences over a year from a small patch of Nebraska prairie and weaves them into a glorious account of life overlooked. It will inspire readers, no matter where they live, to take a closer look at their own backyards.”—Clay Bolt, natural history photographer
Chris Helzer illustrates the beauty and diversity of prairie through an impressive series of photographs, all taken within the same square meter of prairie. During his year-long project, he photographed 113 plant and animal species within a tiny plot, and captured numerous other images that document the splendor of diverse grasslands. Even readers familiar with prairies will be fascinated by the varied subject matter Helzer captured with his camera. In addition, his captivating and accessible natural history writing tells the story of his personal journey during the project and the stories of the characters he found within his chosen square meter of prairie.
This book is packed with gorgeous full-page close-up photos of prairie plants and animals, interspersed with a dozen short essays that include both ecology and natural history tidbits and enthralling and gently humorous anecdotes about Helzer’s experience staring into a tiny bit of prairie for one year. Helzer writes eloquently about the conservation value of prairies and uses his photos and stories to reinforce a conservation ethic among his readers.