On August 7 our staff welcomed Peter Evans who joins us for the next year as a full-time volunteer with the Marianist PULSE program. 

Thanks to Eagle Scout candidate Quinn Retzloff, we have new and improved signs in the nature preserve. The old signs were well-worn, to put it mildly, and in one instance referred to a trail we removed for restoration. The new signs will support a much-improved visitor experience. Eventually, the trail guide will be accessible from QR codes on the trail markers that can be scanned with a smart phone to retrieve 360-degree images, interpretive text and seasonal natural history notes.

By Jim McCulloch (Flickr: Chimney swift overhead) [CC BY 2.0]

Since…well, no one remembers exactly how long…the chimney atop the MSJ Powerhouse next door to our offices has hosted a flock of chimney swifts. We last saw these migrating birds last October when they left for South America for the winter. We noticed a few “scouts” during the last two of weeks of April, but it appears the main flock has now returned. Watching the swifts circle and fall one-by-one into the chimney at dusk is a favorite evening activity around here, one which we hope you experience at least once.

The Marian Library at the University of Dayton received the collected papers of John Stokes, who popularized Mary gardens in the United States, in 2007. Through May 10 the library is hosting a public exhibit of the Stokes Collection, commissioned artwork and an indoor garden of plants named for Mary. John Stokes lived and worked on the east coast, and his gardens featured plants popular in that part of the country and mostly utilized plants from the nursery trade.