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Nature’s Notebook: Bernheim’s Historic Fire Tower, 88 Years of Service

I spend nearly every weekend (and more than a few weekdays) in Bernheim’s historic fire tower. This tower has a long and important history that I enjoy sharing with our visitors. The initial land purchase for Bernheim Forest was made by Isaac W. Bernheim in 1928.  This was the first step in fulfilling an idea […]

Natures Notebook: The Leaf That Refuses to Fall

This time of year I like to take a leisurely hike through the woods whenever the weather permits.  I find the forest to be uniquely beautiful and peaceful.  The pace of many of the animals has slowed, the wildflowers have stopped producing their bouquets, and the leaves have fallen from the trees. Except, some haven’t. […]

Nature’s Notebook: Bernheim’s Links to the Iron Industry

The land on which Bernheim is located has a deep and lasting interconnection with the local iron industry of the 19th century.  Iron smelting, like salt production, was a major industry in this area and was a primary factor in its deforestation.  Its legacy continues to be felt throughout the arboretum and forest. The local […]

Nature’s Notebook: Salt vs. The Forest

Salt has been of immense importance throughout the history of civilization. This was certainly true in this area and the history of salt production is an essential part of the story of Bernheim Forest. The importance of salt to the early settlers lay primarily in its use in food preservation. With no source of refrigeration […]

Nature’s Notebook: The Life of a Dragonfly

I Dwell underwater for most of my life Ravenously eating nearly all thats in sight. Aquatic invertebrates are my favorite dish, but if Given a chance I might eat a small fish. I Outgrow my skin, molt many times and… Next crawl out of the water to try life on dry land. Flight is my […]

Nature’s Notebook: Is Bernheim an Old Growth Forest?

While talking with Bernheim visitors in the fire tower, the most surprising piece of information for many is that the forest we see did not exist before Isaac Bernheim purchased the land in 1929.  The forest that existed before the arrival of settlers from the east had been gone at that time for well over one hundred […]

Nature’s Notebook: A View from the Firetower

For the past two years, I have been privileged to be a frequent guide for visitors to the Bernheim fire tower.  It is a role that I requested soon after I started my training in Bernheim’s famed Volunteer Naturalist program.  I was fortunate to have been selected and have enjoyed every one of what is […]

Nature’s Notebook: Becoming a Volunteer Naturalist at Bernheim

I have long admired the beauty and tranquility of Bernheim. The transition from the chaos of the outside world to the peace of Bernheim was evident each time I drove through the gates. My appreciation always ran deep, but my view of Bernheim (and indeed the world!) has been transformed since joining the volunteer Naturalist […]