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South Shore Blog - Newton County

Photo by Chris Helzer @ The Nature Conservancy At Kankakee Sands , we have 68 different species of butterflies, and my daughter Savanna and I are excited to see every one of them! She and I enjoy walking the restored prairies of Kankakee Sands and trying to spot as many butterflies as we can. We often see the regal fritillary butterfly, spicebush swallowtail, tiger swallowtail, great spangled fritillary, morning cloak, and buckeye. But it’s the monarch that we are looking forward to seeing the most this year.
Photo by Brian E. Small On cold, wintery nights, when the dark skies are lit up by the twinkling stars, I am simply captivated. Some see the Big Dipper and Orion, but not me, no, I see a bird’s bottom. And not just any bird’s bottom, but the white-speckled, black bottom of the elusive, secretive black rail.
Discover exciting winter activities in Northwest Indiana, from sledding and ice skating to cross country skiing. Shelf Ice The Indiana Dunes are marvelous year-round.  Shelf ice  is a natural occurrence that mimics landscapes of arctic regions. It attaches itself to the shores of the beach, not the bottom of Lake Michigan. Waves crash onto the floating ice and collects on the shore, freezing as the temperature drops and creates a shelf.
  Photo by Chris Davidson.   Lately we've had sightings of merlins at Kankakee Sands. Magical wizards at Kankakee Sands?! That would be incredible! But, well, not exactly. The merlins that are being seen are of the avian sort. "Lady hawk" is another name given to this majestic, light-weight, swift bird because in medieval times, it was the bird of choice for female falconers.