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Category - Great Outdoors

Dragons are all the rage these days. Friends are fascinated by the beasts in Game of Thrones. My son likes the evil, fire breathing monsters that are to be fought, slayed and conquered in the game Dungeons and Dragons. 

As for me, I delight in the dragons of the sky that that hover, glide and zoom over our Newton County wetlands, entertaining me on sunny summer’s day. 


There has been a lot of rain in this area these past two months. A lot of rain. Outdoor adventures I’ve been wanting to go on had to be put on hold. My poor dog has been so bored of late because of this. So, when I woke up last Saturday morning to sunshine, I had to take advantage of the nice summer weather. One of my favorite things to do with my dog is to go hiking and so we choose the Lemon Lake County Park in Crown Point, Indiana as our designation. 


Break out the sleeping bags, grab the marshmallows, pack your tent or hop in the RV, it’s camping season in northwest Indiana! It is time to get together with friends and family around the campfire, go on early morning trail walks, relax on the lake and roast some weenies. I know I’m excited for burnt marshmallows and lake days and have already started planning my camping trip. 

Here are a few campground options in northern Indiana to get your camping trip planning started, including two within the Indiana Dunes.


Looking for some summer fun? Mark these things to do in northwest Indiana this summer off your bucket list!

  1. Learn how to be a mascot, practice shooting t-shirts into a crowd and try all the games and activities at Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting. 



Bison have been grazing the prairies at Kankakee Sands for two and a half years now, and I still find them as intriguing and fascinating as the first day they arrived. Those stately thousand-pound beasts seem to calmly pass the day, but actually they are very hard at work…with their teeth!

The bison’s grazing habits are why we brought them to Kankakee Sands —to help rejuvenate our prairies by eating the grasses and sedges, allowing the flowering plants to thrive. More flowering plants means a more diverse prairie, which in turn attracts a greater variety of birds, insects and animals.

And those 32 teeth of the bison have been putting a world of hurt on scouring rush, one of our more challenging invasive plant species at Kankakee Sands.


I was standing out in a 400-acre wet prairie just north of our Kankakee Sand office, placidly harvesting seeds when I hear the crackling, sizzling Zzzzap! like the sound of an electrical circuit shorting out. With exactly zero electric lines running through that particular prairie, what could have made that sound? 

Then I noticed a large willow patch… and where there is a willow patch at Kankakee Sands, there may be a sedge wren (Cistothorus platensis) singing its electrical sounding song. 


“Hey, whattaya know, we got ourselves a cinnamon!” April and May are the typical calving months for our Kankakee Sand bison. So, you can imagine our utter shock and surprise when we saw a little red bison calf in the pasture this past November!

The first question that comes to mind is, “How did that happen?!” Well, we know how it happened.  The better question may be, “Why did that happen?”