We found an old growth forest and trail

Every once in a while you stumble upon a new to you attraction. While researching  central Indiana trails and forests I came across a small but delightful gem in Shelby County, which is south east of Indianapolis. The gem is a nearly 50 acre nature preserve called Meltzer Woods Nature Preserve.

The unique quality of this property is found in its description: The forest is considered an original old-growth stand that was placed in Indiana’s Classified Forest Program in 1928. In 2014 it was protected forever when it was acquired by the Central Indiana Land Trust. An old-growth forest is one that has trees that are at least 150 years old and has not been cleared for a century or longer.

The trail

National Natural Treasure designation

 

 

 

 

 

Meltzer Woods is a wonderful place to spend time in nature, and to get a sense of what Indiana forests were like when the first European settlers arrived. Many of the trees are older than Indiana’s Statehood in 1816. Some have even been dated back to the 1600s. There is an easy and nearly level 1.3 mile trail that wanders through the forest. Magnificent trees, wildflowers galore, and interesting understory make for an inspiring walk through the forest and go back in time to when 80% of Indiana was covered in forests like this.

Dense understory

 

 

 

 

 

The Meltzer family first bought this ground in 1857. The family still owns adjacent farm ground and still farms today. Rain was threatening yesterday, and we decided to return another day when we could take the trail and really enjoy this historic and natural corner of Indiana. There is ample parking across the road, and Google Maps knows where it is if you are in the area.

A committee of vultures

On a drive today we saw many large black birds in a field next to a rural county road. I had my son stop the car for a better look and a photo op. The committee of vultures started to move away from the road,  some walking and some flying close to the ground before they settled down again.

And by the way, there are three different names for a group of vultures. Different circumstances dictate what name applies at the time. A committee is a group resting on the ground or in trees. A wake is a group feeding. And when you see lots of vultures soaring in the sky, wings outstretched with little or no flapping, well that is called a kettle of vultures.

Power outage…..seriously?

Yep, the storm last night caused a power outage. The Electric utility company sent out a text at about 5 am telling us that our power was out. Expected to be fixed by 8:30 am.

Next text at 7:15 am reporting that the power was back on. Yes, Amazon Echo did light up. For about 4 minutes, it was on, then off again.

Next text at 7:20 am again stating “a power outage has been identified in your area and may impact (our address). The current estimated time for restoration is 9:15 am on May 18”.

Next text at 9:45 am puts the restoration at 12:30 pm. Outage caused by equipment damage. Dang, I need coffee!

Sher and I are now in our RV in the drive way. The on board generator is purring along smoothly. We are having coffee (whew), enjoying TV via the broadcast bat-wing antenna, and kind of like being back on the road. Well, not really, but we are glad we have the opportunity to have coffee and internet via our phone hotspots. There is something nice about hearing the rain on the RV’s roof.

Power outage, yet another aggravation during this COVID-19 thing. Sigh…..

Robins in the garden

This robin was enjoying a romp in the mulch looking for worms

There are lots of robins in neighborhood, and we are seeing lots of young, still growing birds in the yard. We have tilled up sod for our flower garden, and this freshly exposed soil has become a worm buffet for the robins and other birds.

Our bird feeder has really become a center of feathered activity. We are seeing an almost constant stream of birds feeding from the feeder. The larger birds, too big for the feeder’s small perches, are enjoying feeding on the ground where the seeds have fallen from the feeder. We daily see cardinals, starlings,  doves and the occasional Blue Jay. We saw a red headed woodpecker one day hanging from the bottom of the feeder. I was surprised to see a woodpecker on the seed feeder.

Don’t jump the gun as businesses start to open up again. Remember to follow the guidelines: masks, distancing, sanitizers and hand washing. Be safe and stay healthy!

Working on the flower garden

Sher is planting petunias in some additional containers. She just got done planting some herbs. Our son, in the back left, is getting ready to hook the hose to the pressure washer. You can see a kitchen sink. Yes, that will be pressure washed and turned into some kind of planter in one side and a bird bath in the other.

We’ve been raking the tilled ground in preparation for placing some mulch. We have some pretty colored rocks that we picked up out in the country a few days ago. These are all glacial deposits that came down from Canada during the Ice Age.

This COVID-19 thing has us  stuck at home, like so many of our friends and family. Putting together our flower garden is a welcome project for many reasons. It gets us out side, gives a goal to shoot for, and when it comes to the vegetable garden, hopefully we’ll be able to consume the fruits of our labor.

Indiana is starting to slowly “open back up”. Some more stores are now open at reduced capacity. Restaurants can open for inside business at 50% capacity with restrictions. It is easy to desire to get back to normal after the long stay at home. But remember, the virus is still out there!

Don’t let your guard down, be safe and stay healthy.

Garden preparations times two

Today I rented a rototiller from the local tool rental business. Sher and I had decided that we wanted a flower garden in the backyard. Our son also has a small vegetable plot out back, and we decided to greatly expand that garden as well.

Yes, that’s Maj tilling ground soon to be a flower garden

For the vegetable garden, we laid out a space about 14′ X 25′.  We figured that would give us plenty of room for a variety of goodies. The tiller was a powerful rear tine unit that worked very well. Our soil conditions were a tad bit too moist, but all in all a lot of good rich soil was turned. This ground has been under sod for decades, and will produce a plentiful harvest.

The vegetable plot, just tilled.

We have some starts already, soon to be planted in the vegetable plot. As things progress, we’ll share more photos showing the progress as things grow. We’re hoping that the flower garden and the vegetable garden will provide lots of enjoyment as well as some home grown food.

The State of Indiana is just beginning the Back On Track Indiana reopening process. Even with the so called back to normal date of July 4th, us senior citizens and those with health issues are still warned to be careful in public. We are yet to decide when and where circumstances will allow us to get out and travel.

 

River view and Indiana opening again

On one of our drives we came upon a pretty little river. The current was fairly fast flowing, and we did see some ducks on the river, and some folks in kayaks enjoying a nice day.

People in Indiana are slowly trying to get used to the “Back On Track Indiana” procedures. This is the first full weekend of the Stage 2 of the “reopening”. Restaurants are back at 50% capacity, travel restrictions are gone, and everybody is to wear masks anytime you are outside your residence, among other changes. If you are interested, you can see Indiana’s plan at this website.

My Mother’s Day poem for Sher

You were there every day
And no that is not a cliche

Your love is so strong
The kids knew all along
That Mom will never fail
For any trouble she’ll prevail

Our children, like most all
Would occasionally take a fall
Kids in crisis, occasional trouble
Solved by Mom on the double

Our children grown with kids of their own
Most far away, some close to home
Her strength is true every day
She helps us all through work and play

Mother’s Day’s a time to show
My love for my wife and our family you know
Precious to me and the kids alike
We love you Mom, day and night

You’re still there every day
And that is still not a cliche

Saw a goose on a drive around town

Sher and I took advantage of our son again and had him drive us around town. There were lots of people out, mostly driving as it was rather chilly and windy. Not the best conditions for a walk.

I spotted this goose on a traffic island in a store parking lot. The goose just sat there when our car pulled up be side it, which allowed me to take these shots.  The goose’s mate saw us from across the lot and was walking (or should I say waddling) towards us as we pulled away.