The dictionary states a kettle is a vessel for holding liquids, and that is true. So what do kettle lakes have to do with Indiana? Well for one thing, that is what many small lakes in northern Hoosierland are called. In both the past and present times, these bodies of water have been christe…

Have you ever had a dream of taking a boat trip from Boston to Brownsville, Texas, and never have to venture out into the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico? There is no way, you might say, but don’t be so sure. Most Hoosiers have probably never heard of the Intracostal Waterway. This allows …

I know some people who seem to worry about everything. Then on the other hand some seem to worry or care little about anything. It also seems most of the events the first class worry about never do happen or are not as bad as they anticipate. On the other hand, the second group perhaps need …

The name muskellunge conjures up visions of the north woods country of the northern United States and Canada and its pristine lakes and rivers. Well it should for this is the region that is famous for what is often called the king of fresh water fish. The muskie, as it is most often called, …

I enjoy visiting a variety of both state and federal properties. Fish and Wildlife Areas are always a treat. In most you never know what creatures you may encounter. Indiana has 24 State Fish and Wildlife Areas and three National Wildlife refuges. There are Muscatatuck, Big Oaks and Patoka. …

Indiana state forests are an often overlooked segment of our Hoosier natural heritage. These are multi-purpose areas that are utilized for timber production, scenic locations, and recreation activities. While there is one state forest, Salamonie River, in norther Indiana, all the rest are lo…

There are a lot of Hoosiers who enjoy fishing. It is an outdoor experience that can be utilized by both young and old. While not an avid fisherman, I still on occasion like to try my luck and catch a nice-sized fish. To really enjoy a fishing trip, it is a great idea to go where the fish are…

In a past column I featured the Eagle Creek City Park in Indianapolis, one of the largest and most informative in the U.S. One of the most interesting attractions in the park is the Ornithology Center where one can learn all about the birds in Indiana. The building where the center is locate…

I have always tried to keep a positive outlook on life, but it seems it gets harder each year. There is always a sad note in out outdoor news. For years scientists have been concerned about the warming temperatures in the world’s oceans and how it will affect their aquatic life. Sad to say i…

When we think of orchids we tend to picture the lovely ones we give to our mothers, wives, or girlfriends so they can wear them to some special event. Another vision that comes to mind is of a tropical paradise with the moonlight dancing off blue water and all that magic that seems to go wit…

Indiana may not be on an ocean or gulf like some states, but we do have two navigable bodies of water, Lake Michigan and the Ohio River, that allows boats of all sizes to reach our inland state. It may surprise you to learn how important these two gateways to the outside world really are. Th…

Imagine you have just had a great steak dinner at a fancy restaurant and after you went home had a good night’s sleep. The next morning you got up and started to fry some bacon. Suddenly you became very sick, your throat started to close up and your blood pressure began to drop. In a panic y…

I have featured our Hoosier state capital in several columns. Indianapolis does indeed have many attractions that can provide many days of quality enjoyment for all ages. On a recent trip to our state capital with my daughter Jackie, my son Terry and I decided to visit one of these sites I h…

Indiana finally has our own national park. We did have what was known as a national lakeshore. It was not, however, given the prestige of being called a national park, which we all think of as a wonderland. This new national park of approximately 15,000 acres extends for several miles along …

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While we have a varied and interesting native fish population in Indiana, it is the alien fish that have attracted the most attention in recent years. At the top of this list are the Asiatic carp. Their invasion has already had a very deleterious effect on our native fish, and sad to say thi…

In a past column I featured Indiana’s natural lakes. Most of these are in northern Indiana and are quite interesting. Man-made lakes, in contrast, are found all over our state and are also of great interest. They range from reservoirs that were built for both flood control and recreation to …

In past columns I featured two of the features a person can find in our Indiana karst landscape. There are, however, a number of other karst features of interest in our state.

In a past column I featured the lionfish as one of the 4,300 or so species of animals and plants that are now listed as invasive in the United States. The cost of these invasives runs over $100 billion every year. This includes control efforts, lost revenue and a number of other factors and …

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I continue our look at some of the areas given protection in 2018 with sites scattered all across Indiana. Cedar Creek is one of those rare streams in Hoosierland that is still in a rather pristine condition. It has its headwaters in DeKalb County in northeastern Indiana, north of the town o…

I’m sure most of you who read my column have at one time or another visited Indianapolis. It may have been to a Colts or Pacers game, shopping or business trip or some other reason to take you there. In addition to shops, sporting events, etc., there are some very interesting sites well wort…

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In a past column I related how the name of the funds used to acquire land for outdoor recreation has changed over the last few years. The remaining funds form the sale of environment license plates and bicentennial funding is now known as the Benjamin Harrison Conservation Trust, which is na…

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I continue my look at the trails both old and new that can be found all across Indiana. The Nickle Plate Trail is one of the longest in Indiana. It is 44 miles in length and runs from Kokomo to Peru then on to Rochester. It is paved and is open for walking and those who enjoy an extended bik…

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While some of the land last year that was acquired with conservation funds were rather large, most were of a rather small size. Let us look at these smaller tracts. In southern Indiana, Monroe County had three of these parcels. One added 25 acres to the Beanblossom Creek site, a major projec…

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Each year I try to feature new areas that have been protected during the previous year and offer the public an opportunity to have access to sites where one can hike, hunt, or just get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Over the years, money from the Indiana State Legislature and the sale of …

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In a past column I featured the walleye, one of the top sport and food fish found in our state. In the column I told about how the walleye is raised in hatcheries to a 6-8 inch size then stocked into our lakes and rivers. One of these is Brookville in Franklin and Union counties in eastern Indiana.

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In the dictionary, the word reptile is defined as “any of a large class of air-breathing, scaly vertebrates including snakes, lizards, alligators, turtles, crocodiles and extinct related forms such as dinosaurs.” Now I like reptiles, as they are one of the most interesting life forms. On the…

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Our Indiana rivers are some of our valuable natural resources. In addition to the water that is used in many of our Hoosier cities, they provide some of the best fishing areas for those who enjoy this activity. The list of fish that swim in our Indiana rivers is long and varied. Included in …

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The dictionary says the word karst means an irregular limestone region with sinks, underground streams and caverns. This is a nutshell definition of a geological feature that is very complex and most interesting. When most people see the word karst the first thing that comes to mind is caver…

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We Hoosiers who live in southern Indiana do have a lot of lakes. Most, however, are man-made. Unless it is an oxbow lake or a lowland body of water near a river like Hovey Lake in Posey County, it is not a natural lake. To see most of Indiana’s natural lakes, we have to travel to the norther…

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The year 2018 had a number of the most interesting events that ranged from outer space to deep in the world’s oceans. Let us take a look of hat came to light in 2018. The moons of planets either known for years or recently discovered have made a lot of headlines last year. One of these is En…

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Trails that can be used for hiking, biking or just plain short time walking are now or in the process of being built all across Indiana. It in now apparently the thing to do. It is on the list of what is available in a community when a company is looking for a new location to build a new plant.

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One Indiana fish that anglers like to catch (and any restaurant that have it on their menu is a good place to eat) is the walleye.

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Indiana has a large number of snake species and a varied turtle population, but it is very deficient in lizard species. If you want to find many kinds of lizards you will have to go to the southwestern United States or Florida. The latter state, in addition to its native lizards, now has 20 …

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One thing that the 12 old mills that remain in operation here in Indiana have in common is a scenic location. While the one in Jasper is in town, its location on the Patoka River is still very scenic.

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We tend to think the land where we live is very stable and will never in our lifetime change. In most cases, this is true. It may rain so hard that torrents of water will run off our farm fields, create large gullies, and send tons of top soil into a nearby steam and then finally all the way…

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The Great Lakes region of Indiana and several other northern states has more than its share of invasive species that have invaded its once pristine waters. Several of these invasives have received a lot of publicity, but a number of others are not as well known. Let us take a look at two of …

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I have written several columns on how plastic is changing the terrain in our landfills and natural landscape. These are not the only sites where plastic is creating a terrible mess. The world's oceans in some parts of the globe are now filled with a combination of trash, as well as tons of plastic.

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In a past column, I featured some of the unusual sites in Posey County, way down in extreme southwest Indiana. Another fun place to spend some time in Posey County is in the New Harmony area.

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One feature of Indiana that never fails to amaze me is the diversity that can be found within its 36,420 square miles that extends from Lake Michigan in the north to the Ohio River in the southern segment of our state.

It is not only land plants that have invaded Indiana waterways. Non-native plants that find a home in water also have become a problem in Hoosierland. The list is long and seems to increase each year. Let’s take a look at some of these water-loving plants.

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Eat insects? You must be out of your mind. This is the response most people give you when you ask them if they would ever have a meal of insects. It sounds unappetizing to most of us here in the United States where we have a wide choice of food in the local grocery store. However, we have to…

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My past columns on lesser known events and facts on nature have been a hit with a lot of people. So let us take a look at more nature facts.

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I have always found salamanders to be of great interest. There seems to be something about these little amphibians that every other kind of animal lacks. Maybe it is their small size or slender body that makes it difficult to even see one. Even though they are not often seen, they are not un…

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The War of 1812 had more Indian-white encounters within Indiana’s present state boundaries than any other war. Even the Battle of Tippecanoe, which occurred in late 1811, convinced the Indians they had to join the British to stop the American invasion of their homelands. During this war, the…

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The Indiana DNR has a long list of non-native animals and plants that are a threat to our native wildlife. I have covered several in the past; however, one that can be a major pest to our Hoosier fish is another one I must do a column on. This is the northern snakehead.

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Indiana now has a state insect. On March 23 of this year a legislation proclamation was signed by Governor Holcomb that made the Say’s firefly the official state insect. What makes the firefly special? Well it seems a lot of school kids like to see it light up during a warm summer night, and…

Over the years my family has had the opportunity to visit northern Indiana several times. We have always found it most enjoyable and full of interesting sites to visit. One location that we have visited a number of times is the Michigan City area. There are several most interesting attractio…

One location I always enjoy visiting is the Clark County State Forest area in Clark and Scott counties. This is a very scenic and rugged region in the knobs region in Indiana near the Ohio River. The state forest extends across 25,000 or so acres of high, rounded hills that have been given t…

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

Anna Louise "Dude" Bradley, 91, of Loogootee, passed away surrounded by her family at 10:33 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2019, at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center. She was born Dec. 3, 1928, in Washington, Indiana, to the late Lewis and Mabel (Downey) Summers. Louise graduated from St. J…

Clara B. Grafton, 93, of Loogootee, passed from this life at 2:35 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, at Loogootee Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center. Clara was born July 26, 1926, in Greene County, Indiana, to the late John and Mabel (Royal) Hostetter. She married Dale L. Grafton on March 2, 1…