Sandhill Cranes on the Go in Northern Indiana

Kitty on the steps of the Tortuga Inn B&B in Winamac, IN.

Kitty was kind enough to send me photos and notes about her trip to see the Sandhill Crane migration at the Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area in Medaryville, IN.   (Click on the second link for directions, etc.)  She and a neighbor drove over there on Tuesday afternoon to see the evening and morning migrations.

Photos of the birds didn’t come out well with her small camera, but here’s what she has to say about the experience!

“Some people who were also watching the cranes said that the viewing will be even better at the end of November .  I was expecting to see great sky-covering clouds of birds coming in…and from the north only. But they were in smaller groups, around 100 at the most and came from all directions. The man next to me said they were coming from surrounding fields of harvested corn. But they had come from the north that day.  I must get more info on this. I’m curious as to just where they come from, how long/far they fly, etc etc.

“The parking lot was huge and convenient with only about 40 cars total in it. There was a pleasant walking trail winding thru a woods to the viewing platform. We enjoyed the signs posted along the trail with multiple-choice questions about the cranes on them. We’d stop, read and take a guess. (“What’s the wing span?”  “Where spend the winter?”) and then checked out our answers at a board at the end.

“The cranes had light colored heads and necks which stood out against the dark woods behind them as they sailed to a landing. You really need binoculars to see the individuals on the ground. Their bodies looked lavender to me as I watched them ‘dance’ together in the field of grass.. Just a few, here and there.

“That’s an iron skillet hanging beside KB (my neighbor) by the Tippecanoe River at the end of their yard.”

I like KB a lot.  Her kids and I used to ride the same bus.  When my paternal grandmother passed away in 1979, KB and her family bought our family farm.  They kept it pretty much the same all these years, rotating plantings of corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa that border two sides of Kitty’s yard (where I grew up.)


The Tortuga Inn B&B looks like fun.  Full of art!

“He teaches Art Appreciation at a nearby college and runs the B&B. She drives truck all over the US and does her art on the road he says. Very interesting place. Oh, and they do retreats, too…it’s a huge barn-like house they designed.”

“Here are only part of the pix I took in the huge back yard at the B&B.

“This guy evidently just is a storehouse of ideas!  Wouldn’t it be fun to be have ideas and have the nerve to DO something with them and make them a permanent part of your place!”

It looks like a lot of fun to follow your nose through the woods and see what you find!

Close up of the arch from the photo above.  It’s decorated with old bottles.

Nice flash of color amongst the leaves.


2 thoughts on “Sandhill Cranes on the Go in Northern Indiana

  1. Gala says:

    your mom’s cool!

  2. Sundry says:

    Totally! She just heard about this a week or so ago, decided she needed to see it, and found someone to go with her! She says she may need to go back in a couple of weeks to see them again. Doesn’t she look sporty in that photo!?

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