Guest Contributor

Discovering a New Passion in The Great Marsh

By Dale Nichols Given the right growing conditions, the budding seed of curiosity can sometimes blossom into a wonderful new passion.  My name is Dale Nichols, and this is a story about a three-and-a-half-month journey of discovery involving my own curiosity with, well, seeds—more specifically the seeds of native plants growing in the Shirley Heinze …

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Headless Zombie Oak Haunts Walnut Woods Preserve!

By Glenn N. Major, Volunteer Preserve Steward at Walnut Woods Nature Preserve Maybe we should rename Walnut Woods to Sleepy Hollow. Long ago, a Red Oak tree at the preserve may have been hit by lightning, resulting in its canopy falling to the forest floor where it sits today, feeding mushrooms and moss. Its branchless, …

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photo of Brad Bumgardner withbinoculars at Walner Nature Presreve in Chesterton

First Shirley Heinze Land Trust Bird Count with Indiana Audubon Society

By Terry Bonace On a crisp and clear September 19 morning, a group of skilled birders spread out to visit sixteen Shirley Heinze Land Trust nature preserves across northwestern Indiana. From Lake County to St. Joseph County, they were out looking for migratory birds on one of our peak fall migration days. The knowledge of …

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White Lady’s Slipper Orchid

A Quest for Aphrodite’s Slippers in Northwest Indiana

By Rich Hawksworth Earlier this year I committed to locating the six species of lady’s slipper orchids native to Northwest Indiana. These alluring wildflowers are members of the genus Cypripedium. The name, which is derived from Ancient Greek, is an early reference in mythology to Aphrodite, meaning “sandal” or “slipper.” Like their namesake goddess, lady’s …

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Warren Buckler in his garden

On the 10th Season of our “Bringing Nature Home” Program, a Look Back – and Forward.

By Warren Buckler    When Peg Mohar and I embarked on our Bringing Nature Home project ten years ago, in part as a way for older members to remain active, we had no idea what response we’d get from the gardening public. Our goal, inspired by Doug Tallamy’s book “Bringing Nature Home,” was to recognize …

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An Allegorical Story: Good Versus Evil and Sanity Versus Insanity

By Peg Mohar The ten-year anniversary for “Bringing Nature Home” program brings back fond memories of the garden visits, award ceremonies and dedicated people I had the pleasure of working with! It does my heart good to have been part of the beginning of a great program. When we moved to Virginia in 2015, we …

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Bayless Dune

By Thomas and Theresa Cera The four-acre Bayless Dune property is located in the Miller section of Gary Indiana and is a major part of the 16 acres that Shirley Heinze Land Trust owns and manages in the area. It is located adjacent to homes and a former elementary school, but it is also near …

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