Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Walk in Wildflower Woods

I'm not a native Hoosier.
But the last 36 years of my life have been spent living
in beautiful Southern Indiana & little by little
it has become part of me.
After all, it is amazingly like the Central Missouri
that I grew up in & thought I would never leave.
Gene Stratton Porter home
on Lake Sylvan at Rome City, Indiana

I have always loved to read. So years ago I found myself in a bookstore, browsing through the "local" writings & came upon a book that I thought looked interesting, "A Girl of the Limberlost" by Gene Stratton Porter, a Hoosier author. And after just a few pages, I fell in love with her writings.

Years later my Mom filled out a memory book for me. One of the questions asked was "do you remember a favorite book from your childhood or youth". Mom's answer was "A Girl of the Limberlost" which she had read when she was in 7th grade. She didn't even remember who the author was & was surprised to learn that the book was written about my adopted home state of Indiana!

So began my small collection of Gene Stratton Porter books.

Friday found us in northern Indiana.
I jumped at the chance to drive over to Rome City with a friend & walk the pathways & tour the home of Mrs. Porter.
This pathway lead down towards the home, a beautiful walk through the towering trees with wildflowers all along the pathways & hillside.
And this is where we encountered swarms of mosquitoes, due to a wet summer & recent heavy rains. They about ate us up!
Just outside the lovely ladies room we spotted this amazing spider web! I'm always in awe of the beauty of a spiders weaving, in spite of not being particularly fond of the creepy creatures! Look at that perfect circle.

The view from the front porch, looking towards Lake Sylvan

The house that Gene built...
"In 1912 Gene and Charles moved to Sylvan Lake, Rome City Indiana. After a time they started construction on a cabin at “Wildflower Woods”. The vast forest allowed Gene to continue her nature studies, writing and photography. She helped preserve endangered plants in her gardens."...taken from the GSP historic website
"Turtle Head"
Pathways & gardens are being refurbished

Mary Ann...my "kindred spirit"...
We are just too much alike!
Our husbands & sons have the same names--
we both love reading, gardening, cooking,...did I say gardening?...
And we found as we shopped that our tastes were very much the same.
She had been to the Wildflower Woods historic site several times
so served as my tour guide of the day!
"Cardinal Flower"

Resting by "the spring"

Garden pathways near the cabin

Log trellis covered in wisteria & kiwi plants
with a stone pathway

Late summer in the gardens

Singing Waters


in tribute to a long time caretaker of the gardens

Morning Face was a special name Gene gave to one of her granddaughters

Mary Ann getting ready to walk a small trail...
and doesn't know I about didn't make it!
Next time I'll stick to the walkway...
It was a beautiful morning walk in the cool of late summer.
You can only imagine how peaceful & quiet it must have been for the Porter's to live back in these wonderful woods those many years ago.
So, fellow Hoosiers, if you are not familiar with her writings, do yourself a favor & give yourself the gift of a Gene Stratton Porter book. It may even make you want to walk down a garden pathway.

1 comment:

Dorcas said...

It's so nice to have a friend to do special things like this with!