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Alyssa Nyberg, Kankakee Sands Efroymson Restoration
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Alyssa Nyberg, Kankakee Sands Efroymson Restoration

Alyssa Nyberg is the Native Plant Nursery manager and outreach coordinator for The Nature Conservancy's Kankakee Sands Efroymson Restoration in Northwest Indiana, an 8,000-acre prairie restoration. She grew up in the Indianapolis area, and has been living and working in Newton County ever since she started her job with The Nature Conservancy 15 years ago. Alyssa loves living in Newton County with her husband and raising their children in this beautiful county with its small-town feel.

Nature Notes: Royal Confusion - Butterflies at Kankakee Sands

Header photo:Viceroy Butterfly by Ryan Rasmussen/TNC In early September, our Kankakee Sand prairies are aflutter with orange on yellow, white and purple. Monarch and viceroy butterflies are nectaring on goldenrods, bonesets, and ironweed, and it is one of the prettiest sights to be seen! Both the monarch (Danaus plexippus) and the viceroy (Limenitis archippus) are orange, black, gorgeous, and often mistaken for one another. But there are subtle differences between them that can help you identify one from the other in the field.   …

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Nature Notes: Bobolinks - Birding at Kankakee Sands

Header photo by Gary Soper. If you think saying the word “bobolink” is fun, you’d be right! Even more fun is seeing the bird itself.  It’s the male bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) that will turn your mind upside down. Many birds, such as bluebirds or chickadees, are dark on top and light underneath. This allows the birds to be better camouflaged against the light sky when viewed by predators from below, and more camouflaged against the dark earth when viewed from above.  This does not hold true for the male bobolink. In his breeding plumage, he is light on top and dark underneath, with a cream-colored patch on the backside of his head. You might think that he really wants to be seen! …

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Nature Notes: Meadow Muffins - Dung Beetles at Kankakee Sands

We often talk about the types of plants that our Kankakee Sands bison are eating, and how that will affect the prairies. What we rarely talk about is what is happening at the other end of the bison. Bison poop, bison patties, dung, feces, meadow muffins…there are a whole host of flowery alternatives (my kids and I came up with 23 different terms!) to describe the very important resource that our bison are contributing to the prairie. …

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The Buffalo Man at Kankakee Sands

On a chilly March morning, John Hardwick pulls into the bison viewing area at Kankakee Sands. With his thermos of hot coffee handy, he’s ready to begin his day. John volunteers as a Bison Ranger at Kankakee Sands. He’s been doing this for four years, and in those four years he has inspired hundreds of visitors with information about Kankakee Sands and our bison herd. …

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Nature Notes: Green Time - No Batteries Required at Kankakee Sands

Photo: Butterfly Day at Kankakee Sands by Leigh Littiken We all know that getting out in nature is great for our health, but sometimes our busy schedules make it difficult to find the time to get our “green time”. Fear not, it’s really much easier that you might think – because green time is all around you! Getting you green time is truly as simple as standing outside and noticing the nature around you. No batteries, tools or fancy footwear required…

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