Nature Notes is written by Kankakee Sands staff, who are inspired by the many different plant and animal species found there.
July is a great month to visit the prairie and see the "flowers of the sky!"
Sunshine on a stick!
How many calves will join our herd this year?
With 68 different species of butterflies at Kankakee Sands, you're sure to see many of these graceful insects flitting above the prairie.
It's strong, fierce and well suited for battle. Meet the solitary badger!
The black rail is a spectacular bird. Only thing is, you may never see one.
December was a great month for merlins at Kankakee Sands!
Ten more bison just arrived at Kankakee Sands, bringing with them an opportunity to study bison genetics.
There is nothing scary about an October walk through the prairies at Kankakee Sands . . . until you realize your pants are covered in prairie seeds!
So are the bison at Kankakee Sands, but this is a different kind of rut!
Not all learning in life takes place in a classroom. Come to Kankakee Sands for Nature 101!
Native plants are known for their complicated root structures, and in some cases, very deep root structures.
On April 20th of this year, the first bison calf was born at Kankakee Sands. That number has risen to ten!
One of the quietest members of the spring frog symphony, and one of the most abundant at Kankakee Sands, is the northern leopard frog.
Growing kittentail seeds in the Kankakee Sands greenhouse is just purrrr-fect for Alyssa Nyberg.
Who-cooks-for-you-who-cooks-for-youuuuuu? The distinctive call of the barred owl is a welcome sound any evening.
"To see the world in a grain of sand..." Or maybe the hopes in 2017 in a goldenrod seed?
The prairie in winter can be unforgiving, but bison can handle just about anything!
Learn about this blazing beauty.
With a herd of 23 bison at home on the Indiana prairie, Newton County won't be the same!
How in the world does the monarch butterfly complete a 3,000-mile migration?
The bloom of the fame flower is fleeting, but well worth the wait!
Learn about the incredible, edible violet!
Curious and eager to learn, the crow may be the smartest bird you know!
Wild and crazy? Mosses? Well, they do live on the edge...
Kankakee Sands will be receiving a small herd of 12-20 bison this year, and we can't help but wonder what the prairie will sound like when they arrive.
Eat, dig and be merry! The pocket gopher certainly does 2 of the 3, and this creature is very helpful to the prairie.
Learn about prairie dropseed--a perfect 10 on the prairie!
Be it grasses or sedges or rushes, Kankakee Sands boasts many families of plants!
Howling to the moonlight on a hot summer's night (or anytime of year actually) is the mysterious coyote.
Radiant amidst the subtler hues of the prairie in autumn is the perfectly purple New England aster.
Crayfish. Crawdad. Mudbug?! Learn about the crustaceans--native and non-native--in Newton County.
The glow of fireflies brings about fond memories of warm summer nights and running around attempting to catch them, but do you know why they glow?
"A thing of beauty is a joy forever." And few plants rival the beauty of the sand prairie phlox.
Oaks are so much more than large, attractive trees which produce acorns for wildlife and have sturdy limbs for tree swings.
Timing is everything. So it is with plants. Each plant has its bloom time, and the insects and birds depend upon it.
Volunteers give selflessly of themselves and their time, many of them year after year, and Kankakee Sands flourishes all the more because of them.
The much-hated garlic mustard has one thing going for it--it's great in a salad!
Kankakee Sands is teeming with grasses--indian grass, porcupine grass, june grass, tickle grass, witch grass, switch grass, just to name a few. Learn more about this important plant family!
A walk on a frozen February pond reveals a fascinating discovery.
You're making a holiday wreath and want to use bittersweet. But which bittersweet--American or Oriental--will you use? Choose wisely...
From seed box to beautiful bloom, here's the story of Ludwig the Seed.
Not just another pretty face, the blue lobelia employs an efficient defense system.
Are these flying objects UFOs? No, they're well-camouflaged grasshoppers!
Don't blink or you might miss this speedy lizard!
Learn about the expansive milkweed family
This showy flower found at Kankaee Sands is not just another pretty face--wild lupine is good for the soil and essential for several butterfly species.
Each night the red bat must eat half its body weight in insects.
There's a lot more to the prairie than just what is above ground.
It is unknown whether this secretive species lives in Kankakee Sands.
These crafty birds will lure in their prey by using bait.
While these frogs are abundant at Kankakee, their numbers have declined dramatically nationwide.
Not all legless reptiles are snakes.