News

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.
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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.
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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.
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Dutchman's Breeches watercolor by Gillian Harris

Serving Science through her Art: Gillian Harris

Bloomington resident Gillian Harris, illustrator of the award-winning children’s book Wake Up, Woods, will be part of our Wake Up to Spring event at Oliver’s Woods this Sunday, along with Michael Homoya. Gillian’s stunning watercolors are a feast for the eyes. We asked her to share more about her work in this blog post.

How did you get your start illustrating the natural world?

I’m really interested in native plants, and I’ve been drawing all my life. I put the two together logically. I started out drawing more animals and then got more into botanical illustrations, which I enjoy. 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.
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Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

On Earth Day, we pause to give our gratitude to all you nature-lovers. We are so grateful for your ongoing support for nature. You are showing your connection and care for the earth in so many ways. 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.
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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.
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Photo by Ben Valentine

Finding Home in Meltzer Woods

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

“The word ecology is derived from the Greek oikos, the word for home.” ― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” Gary Snyder, poet  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.
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Painted lady butterfly on coneflower

Her Eyes Had It

Maria Sibylla Merian was only 13 when she learned to trust her eyes. The young German girl had been intrigued by the silkworms at the town silk mill: where did they come from? In her time, the 17th century, insects were considered “beasts of the devil,” perhaps because of their antennae. Prevailing wisdom of the age was that flies, moths and butterflies arose spontaneously from mud or rotting produce. 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.
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Harriet Tubman Memorial, Cambridge, MD, via Creative Commons

“We Have Always Been Present”

For Women’s History Month, we have been seeking the “sheroes” of American conservation, particularly among marginalized communities. Realizing many of their names have been lost to time, we honor the BIPOC* women who have long been deeply connected to the land, as well as advocating and caring for the earth. 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.
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Virginia bluebells

What Nature Does in Spring

By Michael Homoya, former state botanist, coauthor of Wake Up, Woods

Even though the early signs of winter’s waning may seem unimpressive to us, to the wild things they provide notice that the big dance is about to begin. Soon birds will pour forth song, salamanders and frogs will seek out vernal pools, and swarms of midge flies will take to the air. Continue reading

Michael Homoya

Guest Blogger

Michael Homoya was a botanist and plant ecologist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Program for 37 years prior to his retirement in 2019.
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