Plenty of duckweed, fallen trees, stumps, water birds, and shadows - all the makings of an interesting swamp. This week, we decided to take a short hike from Central Beach to the swamp, to see what was new in this wetland.
Most visitors to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, generally stop at the beach; they're not aware of the other interesting places to see in the park. Woods, forests, grasslands, bogs, farms, are all part of the park, and I think just as interesting and beautiful as the lakeshore.
As we drive to different places in the park, we pass this swamp, and each time I notice the changes that occurred since our last visit. Following a storm, there are new fallen trees; during a dry period, the water often dries up. Most changes, however, are so subtle, that visitors won't take notice of them as they head to the beach. The wildlife changes as well. Frogs are among the first creatures to make an appearance in the Spring, followed by sightings of turtles, blackbirds, then waterbirds migrating from the south. Snakes and lizards can be seen in early summer, along with mosquitoes and biting flies.
As the Summer winds down, we'll experience the more obvious changes of Fall. As the leaves turn color and drop, many of the animals will hibernate or head south before the lush green turns to fluffy white.
Posted by Tom Gill at Wednesday, September 10, 2014