Purple coneflower at Nonie Krauss

Exploring Nonie Werbe Krauss Nature Preserve in High Summer

Third in a series on the Trek our Trails Challenge by guest blogger Ben Valentine

I drove up to Nonie Werbe Krauss Nature Preserve with my son one early morning in a failed effort to avoid the heat. It’s late summer now, and wildflowers and pollinators are my new joy, as the migratory birds have largely moved north and stopped their mating melodies. Binoculars in our hands, we set off into this preserve for the first time, not knowing what we’d find. Continue reading

Ben Valentine

Guest blogger

Ben Valentine is a founding member of the Friends of Marott Woods Nature Preserve and is active in several other conservation organizations. He leads a series of NUVO interviews with Indiana's environmental leaders, and he cherishes showing his son all the wonders of nature he grew up loving.
Cedar waxwing

Who is that Masked Bird? Cedar Waxwing!

Our spring newsmagazine featured Cliff’s top ten hidden gems of birding. Here is the sixth of a blog series on these birds, by guest blogger Ed Pope.

The cedar waxwing is a songbird roughly the size of a song sparrow. The plumage over most of its body is fairly drab, consisting of brown or gray feathers. But this bird is a stunner, with bright red feathers on its wingtips, yellow on its tail and a black mask around its eyes.

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Red-shouldered hawk

Red-Shouldered Hawk: Stately Raptor is Year-round Resident

Our spring newsmagazine featured Cliff’s top ten hidden gems of birding. Here is the fifth of a blog series on these birds, by guest blogger Ed Pope.

The red-shouldered hawk can be found year-round in Indiana. It is one of nine hawk species that inhabit our state. Its breeding territory includes the eastern United States and southeastern Canada.

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Ed Pope

Guest Blogger

Ed Pope is a retired engineer from Rolls-Royce and a CILTI member since 2002.
Dr. Elizabeth Barnes explains the difference between Brood X cicadas and other insects

Fact and Fiction: An Entomologist Talks Brood X

The arrival of Brood X periodical cicadas—while patchy in Central Indiana—has given us all something to talk about. Love them or leave them, hate them or taste them, their 17-year emergence is a memorable one.

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Shawndra Miller

Communications Manager

Shawndra is in charge of sharing our story and connecting you to our work. Through our print and online materials, she hopes to inspire your participation in protecting special places for future generations.
Yellow-Billed Cuckoo

“Knocking” Bird: Yellow-Billed Cuckoo

Our spring newsmagazine featured Cliff’s top ten hidden gems of birding. Here is the fourth of a blog series on these birds, by guest blogger Ed Pope.

This bird is slightly larger than a cardinal. Its long tail is brown on top, while the underside is black and white. The top of its head and back are brown, while the belly and lower part of the head are white. The lower bill is a bright yellow. Continue reading

Ed Pope

Guest Blogger

Ed Pope is a retired engineer from Rolls-Royce and a CILTI member since 2002.
Hooded merganser

Hooded Merganser: Eye-catching Diver

Our spring newsmagazine featured Cliff’s top ten hidden gems of birding. Here is the third of a blog series on these birds, by guest blogger Ed Pope.

If you are wondering what a merganser is, it is a fish-eating, diving duck. The hooded part of its name comes from a crest on its head, which can be raised or lowered. Both males and females have crests, but the male’s is more eye-catching. Females are a grayish-brown with a crest that is a reddish-brown. During the breeding season, the male’s head is mostly black with a big white patch at the rear. Continue reading

Ed Pope

Guest Blogger

Ed Pope is a retired engineer from Rolls-Royce and a CILTI member since 2002.
Ovenbird

Ovenbirds: Nesting Low, Migrating Far

Our spring newsmagazine featured Cliff’s top ten hidden gems of birding. Here is the second of a blog series on these birds, by guest blogger Ed Pope.

The ovenbird gets its name from its dome-shaped nest, which looks like an old style oven. It is slightly larger than a goldfinch. The males and females look similar, with brown feathers on top and black streaks amidst white on the bottom. Ovenbirds breed in the northeast and Midwestern portions of the United States and into Canada, and as far west as Montana and western Canada. In winter, they migrate to Mexico, Central America, Florida and islands in the Caribbean. Continue reading

Ed Pope

Guest Blogger

Ed Pope is a retired engineer from Rolls-Royce and a CILTI member since 2002.
Early Brood X Cicada

Brood X is coming (but please don’t believe it’s an “invasion”).

by Traci Willis, Outreach Specialist

Many headlines have begun to default to negative metaphors such as “invasion” or “infestation” when reporting about the upcoming periodical cicada emergence called Brood X. It’s true that at their highest concentration, there may be 1.5 million cicadas per acre in some areas. While that can feel overwhelming, cicadas aren’t harmful to people or pets, and they don’t bite or sting. In reality, they’re nearly defenseless! Continue reading

Traci Willis

Outreach Specialist

Traci has always loved nature, channeling her passion into creating habitat for bees and butterflies (and taking stunning photographs of them). She coordinates our outreach efforts.
Scarlet Tanager

Bright Bird: Scarlet Tanagers Favor Forest Interior

Our spring newsmagazine featured Cliff’s top ten hidden gems of birding. Here is the first of a blog series on these birds, by guest blogger Ed Pope.

The male scarlet tanager is one of the most brightly colored birds you will ever see, if you can find one. Their preferred habitat is interior forest, and they spend much of their time up in the canopy. During the breeding season, the males have bright red plumage with black wings and tails. The females are more drab, with yellow-green plumage. The winter plumage for the males is similar to the female’s. Continue reading

Ed Pope

Guest Blogger

Ed Pope is a retired engineer from Rolls-Royce and a CILTI member since 2002.
Tony Armstrong

A Year Spent with Giants

May is Mental Health Awareness Month—the perfect time to celebrate the power of nature to boost mood and mental acuity. It’s no secret that nature—and forests in particular—can heal us. Physicians and mental health professionals are starting to recognize this. Many have begun to prescribe nature walks to their patients. Continue reading

Shawndra Miller

Communications Manager

Shawndra is in charge of sharing our story and connecting you to our work. Through our print and online materials, she hopes to inspire your participation in protecting special places for future generations.