Southern Indiana Living

JUL-AUG 2016

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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July/Aug 2016 • 17 foor beneath you and imagine a tropical, shallow sea that covered the area more than 30 million years ago. Look closely at the rock to see ample evidence of the an- cient coral sea foor, which was exposed by the rushing meltwater of retreating glaciers during the ice age. Realize you are standing among the largest examples of exposed Devonian coral beds and well- preserved fossils in the entire world. Find a fossil in the stone and note that it is one of more than 600 species of fossils found at the Falls, which are best exposed from August through November. Thirty percent of these marine fossils were frst identifed here. Perhaps your exam- ple is one of the 212 species of corals that have been identifed at the Falls. Picture our elephants' early ances- tors, the mammoths and mastodons, thundering past where you now stand. The frst specimens of the American mast- odon known to science were collected here in 1739. Indeed, much history abounds at the Falls of the Ohio, a national wildlife con- servation area, and it provides plenty for the 21st century learner to enjoy today. Interpretive Center ofers new exhibits A trip to the Falls of the Ohio is en- hanced by a visit to the 16,000 square foot Interpretive Center, which reopened with new exhibits at the beginning of 2016. Af- ter a stop in the auditorium to view a short flm on the history of the Falls, tour the ex- hibit gallery, which ofers state-of-the-art audio, video and interpretive, immersive features in four themed exhibits: An An- cient Sea (Devonian fossils); A Changing Land (Ice Age to Early Peoples); Converg- ing Cultures (Early Europeans to Lewis and Clark); and The Falls Today (a look at the ecosystem). Up Close with Feathered Friends The center's Wildlife Observation Room's one-way glass lets you observe a variety of birds without them observing you. It's easy to spend a calming hour or more listening to bird calls over the speaker system while watching feathered friends—such as sparrows, mourning doves, house fnches, goldfnches, chicka- dees, tufted titmouse, cardinals, blue jays, downy woodpeckers, and red-winged blackbirds—enjoy a meal at the viewing area's many feeders. Print of the "Bird Checklist" from the Falls' website ( to help you identify some of the 270 species of fowl that have been seen in the area— including an eagle pair that have given birth to eaglets. Get Some Fresh Air and Exercise It's easy to leave the pressures of the world behind and quickly retreat into na- ture by slipping onto the Woodland Loop and walking the quarter-mile scenic trail at the Falls. There also is a 7-mile stretch for hiking, biking and mobility scootering (no motorbikes or motorcycles). Don't forget to bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy after you work up an appe- tite from exercising and exploring. Fall for the Falls Hook, Line and Sinker Bring along a fshing pole to catch some of the 125 species of fsh that have glided beneath the waters at the Falls of the Ohio. According to Mitchell Forde in an article for the Insider Louisville web- site, the rushing waters beneath the lower unit of McAlpine Dam ofers a "fsh hav- en" where catfsh, sauger, walleye, striped bass, hybrid striped bass, smallmouth bass, carp and drum are plentiful. The avid angler said he has enjoyed many days at the Falls catching fsh after fsh, excitedly wondering which kind he will yank out next from the fowing wa- ters. "That kind of action cannot be found elsewhere in Louisville, and in very few other places around the country," he said. Please remember your Indiana or Kentucky fshing license and be aware that water current deserves serious re- spect. "The Falls of the Ohio is a unique, one-of-a-kind urban oasis that ofers something for everyone," said Dani Cum- mins, executive director of the Falls of the Ohio Foundation. "They are the reason that cities and towns on both sides of the river came into existence, and today the park sits in the middle of the residential areas of more than 1 million people." Cummins recommends that visitors become annual supporting members of the park so they can enjoy economical ac- cess year round and help sustain and ex- pand the park's many oferings. There are multiple membership opportunities, but membership at the $100 level provides a year of access to the park and the Inter- pretive Center for fve people, as well as access by the carload to any other Indiana State Park. • The Falls of the Ohio State Park is located at 201 West Riverside Drive, Clarksville, Indi- ana. For more information, go to www.fall- Phone: 812.280.9970. Email Family Nature Club: How to Use a Telescope Sunday, July 10 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Picnic area ** From the Devonian to the Falls Today: A Walk Through Indiana's Deep Time Guided tour of the exhibit gallery and a walk on the fossil beds August 3 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Family Nature Club: Exploring the Fossil Beds Sunday, August 14 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Picnic area ** Falls Fossil Symposium (for serious fossil collectors) Saturday, August 20 and Sunday, Au- gust 21 Registration: $15 in advance Details: Call 812.280.9970, ext. 403 Digging the Past Day-long festival with hands-on activi- ties and learning activities for adults and children Saturday, September 10 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Family Nature Club: Monarch Butterflies Sunday, September 11 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Picnic area ** National Public Lands Day Volunteer project at the Falls and Charles- town State Park Saturday, September 24 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m ** A responsible adult must stay with children. Upcoming Events

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