Cindy Crosby (Artist-in-Residence, 2005)

A rustic bench looking out towards a lake
The Dassler Cabin bench

NPS Photo

Isle Royale Reflection

"My three weeks at the Dassler Cabin alone in 2005 were formative in my work as a writer and artist. Wolf song, starshine, blueberry pie. Moose dropping by. Kayaking to Dick and Mary Schiebe's cabin to toast the sunset. Painting plein air as fog draped itself around the cove. Watching the northern lights from the bench as I scribbled in my journal, listening to the Passage Island Lighthouse sound its horn. Kayaking to the little island across the harbor for my mail. My first solo backpack trip. The old carved metal fish handle on the screen door. Living with less; understanding that what I had at any given moment was enough. Learning to listen, learning to be alone. At peace with myself and my thoughts. Letting the island soak deep into my bones."

-Cindy Crosby, December 2018

Cindy Crosby Portrait

About the Artist

Cindy Crosby is the author, compiler, or contributor to more than 20 books. Her most recent is a book of photographs and essays called Tallgrass Conversations: In Search of the Prairie Spirit (Ice Cube Press, 2019--with Thomas Dean). Her forthcoming book from Northwestern University Press in Spring 2020 is Chasing Dragonflies: A Natural and Cultural History. She has published more than 800 pieces in magazines, journals, newspapers, exhibits, and other print and digital media. Cindy earned her Master's Degree in Natural Resources from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2014. She is a Master Gardener and a prairie ecology instructor for the Illinois Master Naturalist program. Cindy was the Interpretive Coordinator at The Morton Arboretum, where she wordsmithed exhibits, interpretive signage, and other resources to help its more than one million visitors each year engage with the natural world.

She was Artist in Residence for Isle Royale from June 28th to July 16th, 2005, and worked there as a park ranger, park guide, and volunteer for many years. Cindy is currently a steward supervisor for the Schulenberg Prairie at The Morton Arboretum, and a steward at Nachusa Grasslands, Nature Conservancy site in Franklin Grove, IL. She is a Certified Interpretive Trainer and Certified Interpretive Guide for the National Association for Interpretation. When she's not out monitoring dragonflies or kayaking Illinois' rivers, she speaks and teaches on natural history topics in the Chicago region. She blogs each week at Tuesdays in the Tallgrass on Wordpress, and you can find Cindy's classes and events on her webpage. Connect with her on Instagram at @phrelanzer, Facebook, or at She lives in Glen Ellyn, IL, with her husband, Jeff.


Last updated: January 27, 2020

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