Thursday, May 29, 2014

Michiana Summer Guides 2014

Michiana Summer Guides 2014

Oh, what do you do in the summer time, when all the world is green? This is an updated post with links for 2014. There are many great places to visit in the Michiana area. The parks departments of nearby towns and cities operate special programs in the summer. Here are links to the various towns and a few highlights that our family would like to check out!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Certified Interpretive Guide Training

This last week I attended Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) Training through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources at McCormick's Creek State Park. The state gathers new and returning seasonal naturalists for 4 days of training each year, with the add on bonus option of CIG certification through the National Association of Interpretation. Beyond the state park naturalists, many Indiana Master Naturalists who are involved as volunteers and in paid positions around the state were involved in the training.

During our first afternoon, there were several stations set up to explore various principles of Tilden. As I tried to wrap my mind around Tilden's principles, these key words stood out: RELATE, REVELATION, ART, PROVOCATION, WHOLE, and CHILDREN. Tildren's Principles of Interpretation are the basic building blocks of the interpretation field. To understand these principles more, we visited stations focused on having a unique approach with children that is more interactive and playful while learning about butterflies by Jessica Rosier from Mounds State Park. We were provoked about deer and the management through stories by Marjorie Hershman from Pokagon State Park. We've enjoyed programs and interacting with her at the Nature Center there. Others related the principles through cattails, making butter, and more.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Nature Center at McCormick's Creek State Park

As part of our experience at McCormick's Creek State Park for the Certified Interpretive Guide Training, we visited the onsite nature center. It shows the history of the area and the natural life of McCormick's Creek. Feel free to check out my reaction to the park as a whole here.

Bird Banding!

Brad Bumgardner and John Schaust teamed up to present bird banding for us at the Interpretive Naturalist Training at McCormick's Creek State Park. Brad is the president of Indiana Audubon Society and works at Indiana Dunes State Park. John is the Chief Naturalist at Wild Birds Unlimited and was our keynote speaker for the conference.

The first catch was a catbird. The needed materials were all set up to measure and weigh the birds. Care is also taken to determine and record the gender of the bird, if it can be identified. 

McCormick's Creek State Park

This last week, I attended a 4-day training at McCormick's Creek State Park. While I was busy with the conference, I enjoyed getting to know the state park as well! This is the first state park for Indiana. The Canyon Inn was once a sanitarium where wealthy people came to recuperate. People often had picnics near the falls. Hiking the trails, I saw the beauty that is available in the area. The falls are beautiful. The trees are huge. Pileated woodpeckers crossed my path on more than one occasion.

T-shirts, games, books, and bug jars are available in the lobby for sale. There is a nice lounge area, with board games available. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wild Turkeys in Spring

Wild Turkey in Spring
Meleagris gallopavo
Wild Turkey, Source

One of the largest birds in North America
Live in open fields and woods, nest on the ground
Omnivorous--Eat insects, amphibians, grasses, nuts, and berries
“beard”—modified feathers that look like hair
Females—hens, smaller than males
Powerful flier, reaches up to 55 mph over short distances
Benjamin Franklin wanted wild turkey as national symbol
Group of turkeys are called a rafter
Reintroduced in Indiana, increasing in numbers, two hunting seasons
Diurnal and non-migratory
Roost in trees at night
Very social

Wild Turkeys in Spring