Finished with the mulch project

If you’ve been following along with some of the projects Roadtirement has been working on during our COVID-19 stay safe at home time, you will know that mulching has been a big part of our flower garden design. (Whew, what a long sentence!)

Herbs and wildflower starts on an old stump

Still needing a bit of grass/weeding work, but close to done

Our son has been such a great help in toting bags of mulch and spreading same. The herbs are doing very nicely, and seem happy to be on the remains of an old trees stump. Sher spread some wild flower seeds on the rich soil on the sides of the stump, and several seeds have already sprouted.

Progress continues on the flower garden

The past few days have been very productive in Roadtirement’s garden and landscape project list.  The primary task list included preparation for, and placing of a mulch base for the flower garden. Our son did most of this work.

A progression of progress

We still have a bit of mulch left to place. It will go around the old tree stump where Sher currently has a grouping of herbs. This stump may also end up as a Fairy Village.

Unfinished mulch job and placement of herbs on the stump

Close up view of one of the glacial rocks we collected for the garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

A better look at the “getting close to finished” project

In addition, Maj planted more trees that we got from the DNR. Our total tally ended up with two Black Cherry trees and three Tulip trees. We thought we only had two Tulip saplings,  when in fact we had three in the bundle.

Some more things spotted in the yard

Here’s some more images of some plants around the yard. We did get a nice thunderstorm this afternoon. I won’t have to water anything today.

We decided to use both sink compartments for flower plantings. We’ll get another something for a bird bath. Since we have put up the bird feeder our backyard has become very popular with the neighborhood avian population.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rose bush is new, just got it planted a few days ago. We were surprised and happy to see the new bloom at the peak of the bush! Roses are so pretty…

Seen in our backyard

Just a couple of images from our backyard. This really isn’t a photo blog, but we do like to share pictures. So maybe it is a photo blog….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The writing tool is in the mushroom picture for scale. We got the Black Cherry tree at a local DNR giveaway. It is in a tomato cage to protect it as it starts to grow. We also got a couple of Tulip trees as well.

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.