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“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?”


Photo: Aphrodite butterflies on butterfly weed by Gus Nyberg

My mailbox is starting to fill with seed catalogs. Even though it is only February, my mind is already dreaming of a well weeded garden, overflowing with the ripest of fruit and not a garden pest within 40 miles. 

Oh! And I just know that this year my landscaping of native flowers and shrubs will bloom all through the spring, summer and fall, with nary a weed to be found. Sigh…maybe someday. 


Winter is here, and you don’t want to be caught with the classic “I’m bored” coming from your little ones. Sure being outside in the snow is super fun for children and many teens, but it can only entertain for so long. So here are some other ideas to get the family together, inside, and entertained!


Photo copyright Christopher Jordan

While visiting the east coast this past December, my family took an evening drive to a “Winter Wonderland.” For $18, we were able to drive through three miles of outdoor light displays. Holiday tunes played in time to the light display. The displays were made of silver, blue, red, green and gold lights welded to metal frames in the shapes of larger-than-life castles, horse drawn carriages, poinsettias, wreaths, snowmen, St. Nick, the Grinch, pine trees, leaping deer, dinosaurs and exploding volcanoes! 



Thanksgiving week is full of activities between cooking, eating and starting your holiday shopping. But if you’re looking for more to do this week – either for grown up fun or just something to keep the kids busy during the long weekend – we got you covered!


It’s iffy whether or not you’ll see a wild turkey during a walk in the woods at this time of year. But it’s a surefire bet that you will see the striking, turkey tail fungus. For that, I’m always grateful. 

Turkey tail, Trametes versicolor, is one of the most common fungi growing on the sides of logs or trees.  It is a stalkless mushroom, called a shelf fungus, which looks much like a fan with scalloped edges.


Halloween decoration is in full swing. Ghosts, witches, and spiders are popping up everywhere. The prairies of Kankakee Sands seem decorated for the upcoming holiday too. All around are spider webs that glitter with the dew on these chilly fall mornings.

The most common spider that I see at Kankakee Sands during the months of September and October is Argiope aurantia, otherwise known as yellow and black garden spider, corn spider, zipper spider, writing spider, or black and yellow argiope.


Photo credit: Tall coreopsis with an orange sulfur butterfly, taken by Jeanette Jaskula.

Yellow does for September what orange does for October. It makes you feel that all is well and right, and that summer is coming to a close. The end-of-summer prairie is filled with many different hues of yellow. My favorite yellow is that of tall coreopsis (Coreopsis tripteris), now in bloom at Kankakee Sands.


If you’ve already binge watched every Netflix series you can possibly think of and the kids are pestering you to get out of the house - we have some ideas for you for those rainy days in Northwest Indiana: