Awoke this morning to a thick blanket of fog. Perfect photography weather in my book! I dressed quickly, grabbed my camera and tripod and rushed out to wander the banks of Fall Creek.
This may be my favorite photo from the bunch. On the other side of the bank is a place once known as Buzzards’ Roost. This afternoon, while trying to discover the correct name for this place, I stumbled upon a copy of the charming bequest — it included lines of poetry extolling the countryside. This tract of land was deeded to the city of Indianapolis as a public park in 1909 with the stipulation that it be known as Woolen Gardens of Birds and Botany and that “the wildwood of it is to be maintained as near as can be in its present wild state. [And] The wild life upon it, except when doing harm, is not to be interfered with or destroyed; it is to be a home and refuge for the wild creatures which are found there or which may come to it”.
There were other stipulations, such as the log cabins were to be preserved as a testament to the lives of the pioneers, that there should be a visitors center that was a replica of the original statehouse in Corydon, and that the area should be used as a place of nature study for school children. The acreage has been mostly inaccessible since the interstate was built in the 1970’s and the cabins were destroyed many years ago, but the property is maintained as a nature preserve, with occasional limited access to the public. I’ve only seen it from the opposite bank of Fall Creek. Sometimes I’ve spotted several deer standing under the tall arching trees, grazing leisurely. I think they know that they are safe there. From the creek bank, it sure looks like a pretty space.
William Watson Woollen, who made this gift to the city, wrote a book titled “The Birds of Buzzards’ Roost: One for each week and other essays”. It is available online in Google Books. I’d be reading it this evening if I didn’t have a turkey to prepare and some pies to bake. Maybe one day I’ll be able to participate in one of the limited hikes through Woollen Gardens sponsored by the Audubon Society. Until then, I’ll just have to be content to photograph it from the opposite bank.