Wildlife

Hip Waders Optional

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It’s Saturday morning, day two of BioBlitz, and across the broad expanse of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore fresh inventory teams gather and head out into the field. Remnants of the graveyard shift continue to straggle into the West Beach Base Camp, logs in hand for the ever-growing database of found species.

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The list of morning inventories reads like an ad for L.L. Bean or the Bass Pro Shop up the road: Search for plants and dragonflies. Wading boots useful … Knee-high rubber boots recommended … Sampling for microbes – wet adventure … Rubber boots or waders useful. Be prepared to get muddy … We might be wading in streams or wetlands. Chance that you may be bitten.

There’s no mention of machetes.

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A pack of kids armed with bug nets climbs the face of a nearby dune, swishing, swooshing, and giggling.

“I caught eight flies,” a girl yells, “and some grass.”

Grass,” notes the team leader, “doesn’t count.”

lichens.jpgPhotographs by Ford Cochran

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