Pre-ordering Northern Indiana guidebooks; Hoosier National spring break

Natural Bloomington’s winterlong hibernation ended this week with multiple book alarms blowing up simultaneously – In particular word that A Guide to Natural Areas of Northern Indiana hits warehouses next week and the Natural Bloomington office days after that. So, with the website updated accordingly, advance orders are now available.

The guidebook news arrived coincident with the finish of a nine-week minimarathon we campus dwellers brave the beginning of each year. A 10-day spring break from teaching duties marks the start of a three-month final sprint on Natural Bloomington’s third book project, the Rewilding Southern Indiana: the Hoosier National Forest coffee table book, which is due June 1.

Early next week, photo pal Gary Morrison and I will stretch our souls at the Hoosier National’s southernmost point, three miles upriver from Tobinsport, in an area so remote a Forest Service friend in Tell City asked for a report and photos. In two weeks, we’ll be photographing wildflowers.

Northern Indiana Guidebook en route

A Guide to Natural Areas of Northern Indiana is a 429-page companion to the Southern Indiana guide published in 2016. Combined, these volumes feature 244 natural areas that are interspersed between all four corners of the state – from Posey to Lake to Steuben to Dearborn Counties – and literally everywhere in between.

Here’s what IU Press says about it.

“Beautiful and pristine, the natural areas of Indiana are perfect for nature lovers with a desire to explore. Featuring more than 140 beautiful color photos, A Guide to Natural Areas of Northern Indiana showcases the region's unique ecosystems and includes descriptions of the flora, fauna, geology, history, and recreational opportunities. For those who want excitement, there is information on hiking, camping, bird watching, horseback riding, boating, and more.

“Environmental writer and photographer Steven Higgs takes readers to the most exquisite natural areas across the region, including the JD Marshall underwater shipwreck preserve in Lake Michigan, the Indiana Dunes State Park, the Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve, the Valparaiso Moraine, Spicer Lake, and many more.

“A must-have book for the explorer or nature lover, A Guide to Natural Areas of Northern Indiana is the perfect resource for travelers who want to learn more about the region’s distinctive natural heritage.”

Rewilding Southern Indiana’s final chapter in Tate's Hollow

The Hoosier National Forest book project is on target for the June 1 deadline. The last chapter, “The Chaveas Years: 2014 –,“ is a work in progress, being written as events unfold between now and June. The rest of the manuscript is IU Press-ready.

The primary task will focus on a dozen or so photos that need to be captured or replaced. That process begins with next week’s road trip to the Hoosier’s Tate’s Hollow area.

The mission is to find roads and trails in and through this isolated forest section, located south of the German Ridge Recreation Area and featuring a five-mile Ohio River shoreline at Perry County’s southern tip.

Tobinsport Road bisects a chunk of today’s national forestland, a side route that looped from Highwater Road southeast to the water and back southwest to Highwater at Tobinsport, today a riverside campground/boat launch. But usually reliable sources are conflicted on if and where the road is closed

Word from the U.S. Forest Service District Office in Tell City is that the German Ridge Trail system once connected Tate's Hollow. A private cemetery, surrounded by the national forest, lies by the water.

Hoosier National Forest Photographs: Top, German Ridge Recreation Area; Bottom, Ohio River, Buzzard Roost Recreation Area.


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