Summer Fen Sharings – by Nate Simons

As many of you know, I have been working part time for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Nature Preserves as long as Blue Heron Ministries has been around. Rich Dunbar, regional ecologist, offered me a “safety net” years ago just as Blue Heron Ministries was forming. I have held onto that net for this many years, not because I still need it, but because I have fallen in love with the work I get to do on the finest of natural areas that Indiana has to offer. Stewarding the fens and oak woodlands in northeast Indiana is usually done alone. At times I wish I had someone with which to share the experiences…to “ooh and aah” along with me. So frequently I take a moment to wipe my sweaty brow and proverbially stop and smell the roses. I take a picture on my mobile phone of something that arrests my attention and then send it along with a brief text description or question to my two grandsons.

I thought I would take a moment and pass some images along to you as well. So pretend you are my 10-year old and 8-year old grandsons who live in the big city hours away. Receive these images, pretend you are young, and comment appropriately.

1.a marsh blazingstar2...rare purple fringed orchid that I almost mistook for...3.... purple loosestrife that I was supposed to spray.unknown grassland bird nest free of its fledglingstwo monarch caterpillars wondering who will get last bitequaking aspen cut by beaverorb weaver's work in the early morning dewhummingbird moth nectaring on a wild bergamotcouple of ripe blackberries waiting to be pluckedan antler shed left on a sphagnum moss hummuckwalking barefoot in cool springwaters

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