The Limberlost pre-trip on Friday was a visit to an Amish School and an Amish midwife's home and her birthing rooms. It is an honor to be invited into the Amish community. The "scholars" and their teacher Benjamin were welcoming. Questions were asked and answered, songs were sung, making it an enjoyable visit. We learned that one of our IMN volunteers at the Oliver Mansion and that Benjamin uses an Oliver plow. Besides teaching, Benjamin is a farmer and bird watcher.
Friday evening, Friends of the Ouabache hosted a dinner and bison hike. Jody Heaston gave a great talk on the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) at Ouabache State Park. The park has one of the CCC "Iron Mike" statues. The fire tower was saved and is slated to be restored over the winter. These two projects have been achieved due to the hard work of the Friends of the Ouabache. The evening finished with Adrienne Provenzano "Songstress of the Limberlost" performing.
Saturday morning started with chimney swifts flying over the Limberlost Visitor Center while the early hikers were gathering. Naturalist Curt Burnette led an early hike at the Music of the Wild preserve. Gene Stratton-Porter wrote part of her book Music of the Wild about this area.
Ken Brunswick, retired East Central Ecologist, wrote a book called "The Limberlost Born Again." Ken had a special book signing and enjoyed meeting IMN from around the state.
The day included a program on Gene Stratton-Porter by Site Manager Nicky Ball, a tour of the Limberlost Cabin by Randy Lehman, a program on Moths by Willy DeSmet. Hikes at the Loblolly Marsh were led by East Central Ecologist Ben W. Hess and Naturalist Curt Burnette.
A highlight of the day was lunch on the beautifully restored 1860 Ceylon Covered Bridge. It was a perfect day for lunch on the bridge and a walk at Rainbow Bottom.
Melissa Fey arranged a nice ending to the day with a program by Floyd Leichty at the Clock Tower and a tour of the Mennonite Church in Berne.