News From Indiana Dunes Blog

Bikes, brews, best stays, places to play, and so much more. Define your Dunes getaway for yourself with the help of our local stories.

Author
Alyssa Nyberg

Alyssa Nyberg is a Restoration Ecologist at The Nature Conservancy’s Kankakee Sands Efroymson Restoration.

 

Spotlight on Wetlands and the Virginia Rail

Spring has sprung and that means our Kankakee Sands wetlands are teeming with activity. The Kankakee Sands Bird Viewing Area on the west side of US 41 is a particular fan favorite right now due to the wide-open wetland filled with glistening water and critters galore. One needn’t walk through a…

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Why We Should Try to Appreciate Spiders

Did you know that the first week of April is National Be Kind to Spiders Week? To be kind to spiders (that is, to resist all instincts to squish them), one must first appreciate spiders, which admittedly can be hard to do when you are a little nervous or even terrified of them – known as…

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Walking in a Winter Wonderland

It’s December, and I find myself singing along to all the holiday songs on the radio and playing in the stores. That song about walking in a winter wonderland sure is a fun one to sing… Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening A beautiful sight We're happy tonight…

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Hitchhiking Seeds: How Plants Travel

It’s the fall seed harvest time of the year. Most days, after spending time in the prairie harvesting native plant seeds that we will sow this winter, I emerge covered in a multitude of seeds of various shapes and sizes. And if I am covered in seeds, I’m thinking that perhaps the bison grazing the…

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Photography and Bumble Bee Bottoms

I love smelling flowers. I’m sure there are oodles and oodles of articles and scientific journals describing in great detail the smell of this flower, the fragrance of that flower, and all the chemical compounds that go into making those aromas. But there is a limit to what words can do. Sometimes…

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Jumping for Joy: Finding a Paradise Jumping Spider

When you plant a garden, sometimes you get surprises – like the tomatillos and dill that are unexpectedly growing in my garden from last year’s seed. And sometimes you get other surprises, too – a goldfinch that flies in or perhaps the caterpillar of a swallowtail butterfly. The same is true with…

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Getting Warmed Up with the Rough-legged Hawk

My ninety-year-old neighbor used to tell me that he was going out fishing… not catching, but fishing. It’s about the experience, he’d tell me. And that is how it is with me and birding… it’s about the experience. Attempting to see some birds—sometimes being able to watch and identify them, and…

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A Visit from a Good Luck Sparrow

December and January are ‘a visiting time’ – a time to escape the chill of winter and explore new spaces in far-away places, or to travel to see friends and family in old familiar haunts and catch up on the year that was. It’s also a visiting time for sparrows, and my grandfather always told me that…

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Bison Visit the Vet

Bison Vet Day may be one of the most important days at Kankakee Sands each year. Certainly, it is by far one of the most emotional – for humans and for bison. Inside each Bison Vet Day are profound emotions of anxiety, awe, exhilaration and relief. Months of work have gone into the preparation for…

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Four and Twenty Blackbirds Gracing the Sky

October is loud and raucous on the Kankakee Sands prairie. It can also be dark and ominous. In the early morning, you can hear them long before you see them. Off in the distance is a lone tree or perhaps a small cluster of trees. Their branches beginning to tremble. Growing ever louder, a…

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