Field Notes

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Deer and hikers are foraging deep into ACRES Land Trust woodlands across the area to gather … tropical fruit. Yup, the paw paws are ripe and dropping sweetly. Ripe paw paws are yummy, mushy fruit with a banana-pineapple-mango taste (if you can get to them before the raccoons!). They hang and fall from skinny trees …

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Heading into the woods, wetlands or prairies for your first, or first-in-a-long-time hike? Are you wondering what to bring, wear or what you’ll see or do in an ACRES preserve? What to bring? You really only need to bring your curiosity, awe and gratitude. If you’re not feeling these attitudes, perhaps the trails will bring …

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“Biodiversity that should be there, and has potential to be there, is lost when a non-native species takes a foothold.” Casey Jones, director of land management, now in his fourth year with ACRES, has made managing non-native invasive plants a priority. While some people can walk through the woods, take in the lush, green views, …

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Article and photos by Fred Wooley, ACRES member, former Wing Haven caretaker and retired DNR Pokagon State Park naturalist Every growing season, changes take place in the wildflower world. Although we may not always consciously think about these changes, we may be noting them in our subconscious. They are as subtle as the changes in daylight when spring …

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When you help ACRES donors and members protect land, you’d better spend some time walking it, wondering over it – and working it. You also need to appreciate natural cycles. Last year, ACRES Land Trust staff launched quarterly staff development days in honor of seasonal changes. The ACRES Office is closed for the spring and …

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You’ve probably read about the Cedar Creek Corridor, but have you stood 80 feet over the creek and wondered how this dramatic topography happened? Right here? Tony Fleming, geologist and long-time ACRES member, shares the story of how a glacier carved Cedar Creek’s tunnel valley, from Lanham’s Promontory on the Tom and Jane Dustin Nature Preserve. …

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“Springy places” the early pioneers called them…probably because the pioneers frequently encountered springs of water emanating from these wet landscapes, or maybe because walking on these bouncy wetlands put a spring in their step. These globally rare ecosystems are also known as “fens” or “prairie fens.” Prairie fens are found in the glaciated regions of the upper Midwest: predominantly in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, …

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While spring has not yet officially sprung, the preserves are already increasingly active. Spring wildflowers are beginning to bloom and wildlife is returning. As hikers do the same, they’re capturing images and video of the hullabaloo. Enjoy these sights and sounds of early March from ACRES preserves across our region. This slideshow requires JavaScript.   …

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Josie Fox