Day trip big birds

While on our recent day trip we ended up on a well graded gravel road in Brown County, Indiana. We were on our way to another historic bridge and looking for any other neat things to see.

Up ahead we spotted a large black shape next to a yellow striped warning sign. Yep, that’s a turkey vulture, actually two of them. The second one is behind the yellow sign.

Why did the turkey cross the road?

To frustrate that human with the camera!

As soon as we started moving again we were surrounded by what seemed like a large rafter of wild turkeys running across the road. Dang they were fast! Out of the eight or so individuals we only got a couple of photos, neither of which that good. It’s always fun seeing wildlife during a drive in the country.

This two lane covered bridge is at its second location

In 1858 bridge builder Henry Wolf constructed a double barrel Burr arch truss covered bridge over Ramp Creek on what would become Highway 231 in Putnam County, west of Indianapolis. Time marched on, and in 1932 a new two lane pony truss bridge bypassed Wolf’s covered two lane bridge, which was set to be torn down. Richard Lieber, commonly known as the “Father of Indiana’s State Park system”, ordered it relocated to Indiana’s first state park in Brown County.

Bridge now spans North Fork of Salt Creek

1932 photo of new bridge, left, and old one, right. Photo courtesy Bridge Hunter

Lane two is visible to the left

Clear view of the Burr-arch truss system


This road is the North Entrance to Brown County State Park, just south of Nashville, Indiana. This was the first Indiana State Park, and it is known for its gorgeous fall colors, large camping sites, horse and hiking trails and the rustic Abe Martin Lodge. Each fall the park and nearby Nashville become an absolute beehive of activity for thousands of folks enjoying Indiana nature at its best. There is another entrance that accommodates RV motorhomes and vehicles towing trailers as the bridge has 9 feet clearance and a 3 ton weight limit.

 

A very busy day trip

The weather was nearly perfect, not too hot, partly cloudy and a nice breeze. We decide that Sunday would be a great time to get out and have a day trip. Our son put together a tentative itinerary, and we hit the road late morning. It was sure nice having our son driving.

Soybean fields, forests and a covered bridge

We had quite a day, long in time but most enjoyable. We saw several historic bridges, which you know we enjoy visiting. A country church was a nice stop. We also visited some of the shops in Nashville, Indiana, a huge tourist mecca in south central Indiana. (Yep, two fudge shoppes!)

More deer images coming

We also had a couple of wineries planned. In addition, we found a distillery we were not aware of. Turns out is is well known, and had a marvelous tasting event and enjoyable grounds. In addition we were blessed with the sightings of quite a lot of wildlife and frankly a few surprises as well. Stay tuned, we have several posts on the way!

Heat lightning storm last night

In the Midwest it is called “heat lightning” when the storm is so far away that you can’t see the actual lightning bolts and can’t hear any thunder. It does make for a good light show! The iPhone did a decent job catching some of the lightning bursts.

Between the light bursts there was total darkness last night.

The heat lightning was fairly steady for a few minutes, then it slowed down a lot. This storm system was too far away from us to provide much rain. We got maybe two tenths at most overnight. Hopefully the forecast for more rain this week will be correct for once.

Some different and pretty stuff on a day trip

Here’s somewhat of a potpourri of images we captured and then liked.

Overgrown barn and silo

Ears developing

In full tassel

Slow flowing Laughery Creek gives a mirror surface

Delicate tiny wild flowers

Oops! Lost an antennae somewhere

Just simply pretty flowers

Day trips or multi day adventures provide so many opportunities to see and experience new things. I guess that’s why everybody has cameras these days…

 

A variety of scenes we saw today

Today we decided to brave the heat and head out for an adventure, mainly to seek out some more covered bridges. We came across some different sights during the day!

The “Tipsy Trolley” was in a barn yard. Perhaps a mobile beer party bus?

This old store front likes B&W treatment

You can’t get away from politics…

Someone likes old ad signs. So does the barn.

Sun and shadows on a narrow country road

Water reflections, clouds and trees

One thing for sure, you never know what you’ll see in the Indiana countryside.

 

Mill Race Park in Columbus Indiana

Mill Race Park is situated where the Flat Rock and the Driftwood rivers join together on the west side of Columbus. The 35 acre park is an extremely popular place to walk, picnic, attend concerts, climb the tall observation tower or just simply enjoy a bit of Nature.

The bottom of the bridge is in the background

Duck enjoying the reflecting pond

 

 

 

 

 

Among the attractions at the park are a large reflecting pond ringed by sidewalks and benches. One side of the pond features the historic covered bridge. Columbus is known for its public art displays, and several are located in the park. One recent addition to the park landscape is a set of tall, wooden poles topped with bat nesting boxes. The poles are set in rock cairns for shelter of amphibians and reptiles.

Each provides shelter for bats, birds, amphibians and reptiles

The lovely pond, suitable for leisurely walks or resting

The brick “monument” with bronze info plaque (yes, that’s us)

The brick “monument” complete with an arch and flanked by a bronze information plaque is a highly visible structure. The plaque describes the mill race that ran through acreage. It also listed the many industries along the old mill race, including mills and brickyards. The Mill Race Park in Columbus is a delightful place. It is worth your visit.

 

A visit from a Turkey Vulture

Our eagle eyed son shouted “Dad, come here, there’s a big bird on the top of the pole!” He was so right. A Turkey Vulture had in fact landed on the very tall utility pole in the yard next door.

That is a six foot wingspan! This big bird only weighs 3-4 pounds.

The Turkey Vulture eats carrion and plays a large role in cleaning up the ecosystem. It can soar for hours, riding the thermals in the sky. (Here is a video link of ours with soaring vultures) It was raining today, and this vulture was spreading his wings to dry and shaking off moisture as well. Vultures also spread their wings first thing in the mornings to warm up and energize for the day. We seem to have a wonderful perch, and this is the first time we have seen a vulture land here.

Gonna have some “maters” in a bit

We have Red Beefeater and Big Boy tomato plants this year

Red Beefeater

Big Boy

Big Boy twins

Just in the past couple of days our tomato plants have really started putting on fruit. I guess that patience has paid off. It looks like we might have a good crop this season after all, as we had good plant growth but no tomatoes to speak of.  Now if those rascally squirrels will only behave…