News book a comin'; Wylie House talk & slide show Oct. 20

With the caveat that nothing is official and details need to be worked out, I am officially working on two new book projects.

The first, a Northern Indiana companion to A Guide to Southern Indiana Natural Areas, is a "no-brainer," in the words of one key player. I began working on the other, a coffee table book on the Hoosier National Forest, as I was finishing the last one.

I'm in talks with IU Press on those two, as well as contributing to a third, which isn't my idea, so I'll not go into detail. But I'm excited to be involved in the preliminary discussions.

The book of the north will take me from I-70 to the Michigan State Line, which is a more ambitious undertaking on my part. I'd estimate 25 to 35 percent of the Southern Indiana destinations were within an hour of home, the furthest two and a half hours away. I only had to do one overnighter for that entire project. I haven't plotted the northern destinations yet, but I'd guess drive time for the majority are more than two hours.

I saved the southern sections of the Hoosier National Forest for last in the Southern Indiana book, knowing I was transitioning to the coffee table project.

I took my first Hoosier photos in the early 1970s and have written about its 200,000 acres since the early 1980s, including my final masters project at the IU School of Journalism in 1985. I've shot almost 30 Hoosier albums since November of 2014.

It feels like a natural.

Wylie house slide show

I didn't get out to nature this past week but did get the last piece of audio recorded for a slide show I will present during an Oct. 20 talk at the Wylie House Museum. Organized by IU Press and Wylie, the evening will feature a 60-minute talk, slide show and discussion about the Southern Indiana guidebook.

The event will be in the Morton C. Bradley Education Center on the Wylie House property at Second and Lincoln Streets. It starts at 7 p.m. Wylie Director Carey Beam and I tested the equipment a couple weeks ago. All went well.

Hope to see you there.

Photographs: Top, Big Walnut Preserve; Left, Bottom, Charles C. Deam Wilderness, Hoosier National Forest

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