First of the season

The first strawberry of the season! It’s always fun to spot the first, even though this one is rather small. We’re hopeful that we’ll see lots more.

Flea market set up

Today we set up at a local event venue that is trying to establish a monthly flea market. So far the crowd is moderate but steady. Hopefully the crowd will grow and we are looking forward to a brisk pace of sales.

Thomas Family Winery

The Thomas Family Winery in downtown Madison, Indiana is housed in, appropriately, a vintage 1850’s old stable and carriage house. The interior is most welcoming, with tables set amidst a rustic motif, and there are outside tables as well for your pleasure.








This winery takes a bit of a different philosophy concerning their wine creations than other establishments. From the Thomas Family Winery website: “We feel that wine is food, and fills its greatest role as a mealtime beverage. We craft our wines in the European tradition of finesse, balance, and structure which particularly enhances the variety of flavors in meals.” Steve Thomas told us that they do not have any sweet wines, rather wines for pairing with meals. He expanded on their European style of wine making.

Maj tasting Gale Hard Cider

Owner Steve Thomas with our purchase

Owner Steve was most gracious and took plenty of time to explain what their winery is all about. The tastings were complimentary, and we did purchase a bottle of Niagara 2020. We did not partake of the bread and cheese offerings. That will be on another trip. We will be returning to enjoy the weekend live music. The supply of Gale Hard Cider will be restocked then as well. I liked that Cider! The Thomas Family Winery should be on your list of places to visit in Historic Madison, Indiana.

Lanthier Gardens on the Winery grounds

The Lanthier Winery and Distillery in Madison, Indiana is known not only for its award winning wines and distillery products but also for the magnificent gardens that surround the classic brick building . We visited this facility on Mother’s Day and walked the gardens. Our pervious visit was early in the season, and the weather was not conducive to an enjoyable stroll in the garden.






The gardens are known nation wide not only for the extraordinary variety of gorgeous flowers and vegetation, but also for a remarkable display of various art work in the form of paintings, sculpture and metalworks found throughout the grounds. There are so many unique creations in these gardens that you need to really keep your eyes open or you may miss something! The gardens are open seven days a week from sun up to sun down. There is never an admission charge.

Hanging Rock, Madison, Indiana

Traveling from Columbus, Indiana to Madison on the Ohio River via Highway 7 you’ll enjoy a slightly rolling countryside of farms interspersed with small towns and villages. As you approach Madison you see smoke stacks of a power plant that is right on the Indiana side of the Ohio. Soon you will see road signs warning of hairpin turns and steep grades. No lies there, Highway 7 drops very fast and twisty on the way down to the town of Madison.

Soon you come to Hanging Rock. There on the north side of the road is a quite impressive rock cliff complete with an active waterfall. Hanging Rock has been an important landmark in Madison since, well, when the first winding path snaked its way from the top of the hill down to the river. Today there is a pull out that allows uphill traffic to drive behind the falling water. Even during droughts the water always cascades down the cliff.  The feature was formed by glaciers thousands of years ago.

Pileated woodpeckers are impressive

(The video focuses quickly after it starts.)

We spotted this female Pileated woodpecker working over a large stump at a cemetery. She worked it for quite a while, and did not take off even when we got much closer. Perhaps she is used to lots of cars and people in the cemetery.

Remembering an orphanage

The Gordon Children’s Home in Shelbyville, Indiana was finished in 1892 in order to provide a home for orphaned children in Shelby County, Indiana. At the time, the home was located on a hill on the outskirts of town.

Vintage post card showing the home

Following is a  portion of the Gordon Home’s Annual Report from 1902.

The health of the institution during the past year has been good, with three exceptions.  One of our children had inflammatory rheumatism, one lung fever and one case of typhoid.
          We desire to thank all those who assisted us in donating presents for our Christmas tree.  Our children lok forward from one year to the next and think of te happy times they will have when Old Santa comes again.
          Number of of children received in our home during the year, girls 1, boys 5.
          Number placed in homes 20, girls 8, boys 12.
          Number sent to Ft. Wayne institute for feeble minded 4.
          Removed by death 0.
          Number remaining in the home 34, girls 7, boys 27. 

In Forest Hill Cemetery in Shelbyville you will find a simple stone monument with the inscription GORDON’S CHILDREN’S HOME and dates 1887 – 1958. Behind and in front of the stone are two lines of small headstones listing the names of children who died at the orphanage. Someone has placed small toys on several of the stones.

A Baltimore oriole is a new visitor

We enjoyed seeing a Baltimore oriole for the first time over the past few days. A very colorful bird indeed.

Those pesky sparrows love to photo bomb

This fellow loves our hummingbird feeder

It seems like he is proud of his plumage







We’ve seen at least two males (the pics are of a male) and at least one female. Hopefully there is a nest nearby. We may have to get another hummingbird feeder, as the orioles have taken over this one. Orioles love nectar, and appearently fresh fruit. We’ll try hanging some cut oranges up soon.