Immature robin, about 6 feet away
Today was a good day to sit out side. Sher and I were enjoying our own little wildlife show. The feeder had a near constant flow of finches and sparrows. What seeds that fell on the ground below the feeder became a buffet for doves, cowbirds, Cardinals and Redwings. Young squirrels were romping around. We heard the tell-tale rat-ta-ta-tat of at least two woodpeckers. Then came mature and immature robins. One young one hopped close to me.
And then he saw me
It is so relaxing sitting outside on a beautiful day. Sher and I have our binoculars, books, drinks, critters to watch, and most importantly, each other. We’re already discussing where we want to go this winter, but for now we’re grateful that we can stay safe in our home base.
Sher and I saw this fire hydrant across the street from the Immaculate Conception Convent of the Third Order of the Sisters of St. Francis in Oldenburg, Indiana. See pictures and history of the convent at our post here.
On our recent RV day trip Sher and I spent a most enjoyable time viewing an Indiana treasure: The Immaculate Conception Convent, which is the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. The Sisters of St. Francis continue to serve the people of Indiana. Learn details at their Website Here including the fascinating history of the Order.
Motherhouse, right and church, left. Parking lot is for the Holy Family Catholic Church, out of view on left
Chapel and portion of the cemetery for Sisters
Beautiful Shrine overlooks the cemetery grounds
Not only is there beautiful architecture on the campus but peaceful cemeteries, shrines, a school and a farm. Oldenburg is known as “The City of Spires” due to the many church spires visible on the skyline of this quaint Indiana town.
A few days ago Sher and I took a nice day trip in our RV to south east Indiana. Our first stop was Batesville, covered in a previous post. Next stop was Oldenburg, another town with a strong German heritage.
The Holy Family Catholic Church has a long history in Oldenburg. The stone church was finished in 1848 as seen in the pictures above. It replaced the original log church, and is now the Rectory.
The current church is a magnificent structure. The day we visited was election day, so there was a fair amount of foot traffic in and out of the entrance to the Fellowship Hall. Social Distancing was not a problem. The large stone cross is a remembrance for the first Mission that was preached in 1848.
Sher and I had had enough. It has been since February 25th since we were in our RV. Roadtirement needed to hit the road again. I put some water in the fresh water tank, and flushed the antifreeze out of the lines. That way we would have water for our bathroom.
We went a town in south east Indiana named Batesville. This town has a rich German history, and is home to the Batesville Casket Company, one of the largest in the world. The Hill-Rom company, also headquartered in Batesville, is a manufacturer of high tech hospital beds and is also a Hillenbrand company.
We visited the Saint Louis Catholic Cemetery of the local church of the same name. This cemetery is in a beautiful setting with tree lined main roads. There is a section in the back of the cemetery that is the oldest portion and has the oldest graves. In addition this is the area where the founders of the Hillenbrand companies are interned in a striking mausoleum and a masonry fenced area.
It was great getting back on the road again, and from Batesville we headed to Oldenburg, another German influenced town in south east Indiana. We were safe, as we stayed far away from any people we saw. Stay tuned…
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.
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.
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.
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.
When we got the squirrel corn the other day we also bought a bird feeder. So far we have not actually seen any feathered friends at the feeder, but the drop in the seed level and loose seeds on the ground under the feeder do show that it has been used.
Speaking of birds, there is a Pileated Woodpecker living somewhere around our neighborhood. We have seen him a couple of times flying through. What a magnificent bird. We’re looking forward to more sightings.
Since we’re not traveling Sher and I have focused on getting our backyard into a more comfortable and enjoyable living space. BC (before coronavirus) we were traveling for much of the year. Thanks to COVID-19 that has changed drastically.
Got any bird feeders in your yard? What is your favorite bird?
Remember all that “stay healthy” advice! Don’t slip up!
Big 4 Mountain, Cascade Range
Wow, April 22, 1970. Where were you on the first Earth Day? I was a freshman at a small liberal arts college in Illinois. I knew several fellow students who were really activist minded about the environment, anti-war movement and other social issues. My geology professor was already a hard core environmentalist. The Nation wide and world wide Earth Day marches were quite something to see/read about.
Here we are in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic. There have been many reports documenting the effect that all of the stay at home orders have had on Earth. Have you seen the air quality/pollution studies showing the very dramatic decrease in smog due to few people driving? How about the video of the kangaroo hopping across an Australian city and only seeing one car? Geologists studying earthquakes are seeing subtle readings on seismographs that before have been hidden due to human activity.
I read somewhere that the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is Earth’s way of scolding humankind and sending us to our rooms until we learn how to behave. Makes sense to me. It is my hope that the “new normal”, what ever that turns out to be, will show much more respect for Earth. Our existence depends on it.
— stay safe, wash your hands, stay healthy —
A while back Sher and I met a lot of our family members at an RV campground near Cleveland, Ohio. We stayed at a franchised campground with a Jellystone Park theme. Yes, right from the cartoon series with Yogi Bear, BooBoo, Cindy and the hapless Ranger. We had a wonderful time as this was a perfect place for family activities.
The “Airstream” style ornament , while Christmas themed, is now permanently hanging from the window over our table in the RV. This souvenir is cute, lights up and reminds us of that fun time we all had at the Jellystone Park RV resort.
Do any of you collect souvenirs from your travel adventures?
Please Remember to Stay Safe and Stay Healthy