"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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Native Trees of the Midwest
Copyright © 2006 by Bill Scifres

It doesn’t happen often, but now and then a book offers a complete, new perspective for those who adhere to nature’s many areas of interest. So it is with “Native Trees of the Midwest,” an offering of the Purdue University Press.

For those of us who have believed Charles Deam’s “Trees Of Indiana” was second only to “The Holy Bible,” it is easy to see the import of this beautiful piece of work. A cursory glance at the double-truck layout for more than 125 species of trees native to Indiana, and the Midwest, makes obvious the fact that this is a work of value to anyone remotely involved with trees.

Native Trees of the Midwest,” is the work of three Purdue University professors. They are Sally S. Weeks, her husband, Dr. Harmon P. Weeks, and Dr. George R. Parker, all of Purdue’s Scholl of Natural Resources and Forestry.

“It is our intention with this book to introduce the student, layperson and professional to the native trees of Indiana and surrounding states by providing hard-to-find color images and updated nomenclature from previous (published), state-specific field guides . . . “

This book appears destined for a niche in thousands of libraries, businesses, schools, and homes. No person with even a rudimentary interest in trees should be without it. This book will revolutionize the task of compiling fall leaf collections for for kids and their parents . . . It should fill a niche on every schoolteacher’s desk.

More than two years in its development, the Weeks/Parker book offers reams of information on identifying each species throughout the year with outstanding support of more than 750 color photographs. Shot by Sally Weeks in what can be called nothing less than a monumental photographic achievement, the photographs, alone, are well worth the price of the book ($49 from the Purdue Press, somewhat less from some online booksellers).

Great features of this book come at you rapid-fire from the time you enter the illustrated glossary of terms found in the book. Format offers facing pages for each species of tree.

Left pages for each species is devoted to text. Right pages offer pictures of leaves, flowers, fruits, buds and bark of the trunk. Text includes common name, scientific name, family, and a wealth of data on form and size, habitat, wildlife uses, landscaping values, quick identification features,  information on similar species, and an outline map of midwestern states indicating distribution.

Click on thumbnail image for enlarged view.

bookcover.JPG (50140 bytes) Native Trees of the Midwest opens with a beautiful dust jacket and continues through more than 125 species of trees. 


Big days for fishing clinics at the 52nd annual Indianapolis, Boat, Sport & Travel Show will be Saturdays and Sundays, but there will be plenty of seminars by a great collection of angling pros each day of the 10-day show  that opens Feb. 17.

Pro anglers scheduled to conduct clinics are Spence Petros, walleye; Dan Armitage, kids fishing; O.T. Fears, bass fishing; Rick and Bob Jones (team Jones), crappie; Dave Stewart, bass; Mike Delvisco, electronics for bass; Mike Hulbert, muskie; Chris Walker, muskie; Capt. Mike Orr, salmon, trout, and Bill McDonald, a FLW Tournament Trail pro who still calls Naptown home. Hoosier Bill is scheduled only for the first weekend of the show.

Incidentally, Feb. 25, second Saturday of the Sports Show, will be Kids Day. The first 750 kids through the gates on that day will receive a rod and reel combo.

Throughout the show the Indiana Bass Federation will be conducting the National BASSMASTER Casting Kids competition, free for kids between 7 and 14 years old.

Dan Gapen, the Minnesota fishing tackle manufacturer who became a  favorite fishing son of Hoosier anglers in the 1960s and ‘70s, will be back in the Sports Show this year after a 15-year absence.  

Dan will be in Tackletown (booths 421-422) and he is bringing 550 copies of the Hairy Worm, the lure that wowed anglers in Indiana and elsewhere. The lures are large, but they are great showpieces, and they will be gifts to those who buy other Gapen products at the show.

All columns, essays, and photos are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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