Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wild Violets!

Common Blue Violet

Last weekend, I decided to take a walk through Southwestway Park in Indianapolis to see what wildflowers were enjoying our early spring. I was amazed to find many!

There were May Apples, Trillium, and others beginning to put on their spring show but more than any, I noticed the Violets. Honestly, I haven't paid much attention to them before. In fact, I learned right away that I had been taking them for granted, never really showing much appreciation for their individual beauty. This trip, I felt somewhat moved (I am sure God had some involvement with this) to focus on the violets as a reminder that it's okay to periodically pause. So, for the remainder of my hike I decided to get down on my knees and appreciate the violets at eye level.

Yellow Violet

At eye level, I was even more amazed when I rediscovered that violets were not only blue (mostly purple) but also yellow and white. Each amazingly distinct and incredibly gorgeous.

After I got home, I looked up violets to see what I could find on the internet and was immediately disheartened to learn that violets are under-appreciated and considered a weed by most. Typing in wild violet will mostly pull up ways to eradicate this lovely plant since it enjoys showing its beauty to the world via our yards. I have never been one to worry too much about grass versus weeds in my yard so long as it's green but, apparently most do providing me a new theory that that most yard fanatics don't spend much time on their belly actually looking at what they are killing.

I'm not judging but, I am on a violet kick right now, okay!

White Violet

My guess is most people reading this blog have taken the time to look at a violets just as I have and have equally appreciated what they offer to our landscape - especially in a woodland setting. But, if you haven't please do.

I am now convinced that this orchid-like flower was designed for attention and so deserves a moment of our time to appreciate it not as a an ordinary flower but as a gift. One for which I am personally thankful.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

IYBC 100 Guide Giveaway!

The Indiana Young Birders Club is on a mission. That is, a mission to get as many kids interested in birds and nature as possible and to provide opportunities for them (and those already interested) once they become interested. It's not an easy task but, we are committed to the challenge.

The IYBC is especially excited about our newest program - the IYBC 100 Guide Giveaway! Yes, you read correct. The IYBC is giving away 100 Kaufman Field Guides to Birds of North America in 2012 to young birders/ nature lovers, scout leaders, and educators in an effort to introduce them and others to the world of birds or sharpen their current skills to become better birders.

Guides will be given away at IYBC/ IAS events, through online contests, and by applying online. However the guide is won, each guide will be free of charge. The only thing the IYBC is asking in return is a picture of the winner with their guide and permission to share the photograph to help spread the enthusiasm of youth birding.

Ceth doing his research

Of course, a program like this would not be possible without support. The IYBC is extremely thankful for the generosity of the Indiana Audubon Society, Ohio Ornithological Society, Midwest Birding Symposium, and Kenn and Kim Kaufman for making our initiative possible.

For more information on the 100 Guide Giveaway, please visit:

Indiana State Bird

Indiana State Bird
Northern Cardinal