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.
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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
Yellow-rumped warbler

Celebrating the Forever Promise

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

It’s finally spring and I feel the need to get away from the city and cornfields to celebrate winter’s end. The Laura Hare Preserve at Blossom Hollow—brimming with wildflowers and more red-headed woodpeckers than I’ve ever seen in one day—seems like the perfect spot to do so. 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.
Blossom Hollow, Photo by Dick Miller

Trek Our Trails Challenge features 5 popular nature preserves

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 10, 2021

You’ve been cooped up for months, and it’s time to get out and explore some of the most beautiful places in Central Indiana. Soon, wildflowers will be peeking through the forest floor, birdsong will be in the air, and Indiana’s nature preserves will be coming to life.

Continue reading

Jen Schmits Thomas

Media Relations

An award-winning communicator and recognized leader in Central Indiana’s public relations community, Jen helps us tell our story in the media. She is the founder of JTPR, which she and her husband John Thomas own together.
Grace completing the pack test.

Fired Up and Ready to Go

They came, they saw, they carried.

Members of our stewardship team completed a “pack test” recently as part of fire training. Their task? Carry a 50-pound backpack for 3 miles in less than 45 minutes.

Everyone passed, taking the team one step closer to being able to lead controlled burns on our properties. 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.
Japanese stiltgrass

Japanese Stiltgrass: From Packing Material to Nature Preserve

Part of a series on invasive species by guest blogger Ed Pope

Unlike most other plants that have now become invasive, Japanese stiltgrass was not intentionally imported into North America. It is native to much of Asia and was once used as packing material for fragile items such as porcelain. It is believed to have arrived in America from China this way. The first documented occurrence was in 1919, when it was found in Tennessee. Continue reading

Ed Pope

Guest Blogger

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

Forest Interior Habitat: A Haven for Songbirds and Eastern Box Turtles

Part of a series on CILTI’s conservation targets by guest blogger Ed Pope

Although most of Indiana was wooded when Europeans first arrived, forest interior habitat is very rare today. Most forested land was cleared for farming, and while small woods can be found on many farms, there are very few large unbroken tracts of forest remaining. Continue reading

Ed Pope

Guest Blogger

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