Trip to Indiana
March 8, 2014

On Friday, March 7, 2014, I flew to Fort Wayne, IN, and then got a rental car to drive to Nappanee for two meetings relating to my work for Brethren in Christ (BIC) World Missions.

On the drive through the country I saw many small flocks of Horned larks. They flit low above the ground in open fields. The Horned lark is our only native  lark. It “horns” are little tufts of feathers, visible only at close range, so as I drove along, I was not able to see the horns. I see a few Horned larks occasionally in my part of PA in the winter, but I saw many here in IN.

On the internet you can see many beautiful photos of this bird, but I couldn’t find any that were not  copyrighted, so I cannot  post any here for you.

At Kendallville I saw signs advertising the Mid-America Windmill Museum, but it is closed for the winter. I think I would have enjoyed the museum, recalling the functioning windmill that we had on the farm where I grew up at Chambersburg, PA.  The windmill still stands there but is no longer operating. Here is a photo of a typical small-farm windmill, not far from Nappanee.

DSCN2625

 

I am staying at The Inn at Amish Acres in Nappanee.

??????????

DSCN2609 RE

 

Quilts are for sale in the lobby. And the rooms have a quilt-like touch.

DSCN2620

 

Amish Acres is closed for the winter, but in other seasons you can visit buildings with Amish furnishings and a theater in a  round barn.

DSCN2611

 

??????????

 

DSCN2617

 

??????????

 

On Friday evening and Saturday I attended the annual meeting of the Great Lakes Conference of the Brethren in Christ Church. John Zuck is the bishop. We met at Union Grove Church, which is a former grade school building (think modern, not old-fashioned). The pastor is Darin Simms. I also met several pastors whom I had not met before.

I set up a display of books and literature about BIC World Missions. I had many meaningful conversations with individuals about missions. On Saturday I gave devotional thoughts and an update about the work of our missions department.

On Saturday evening I drove to nearby Bremen to have dinner in the home of David and Sabina Rosentrater. I first learned to know Sabina years ago at Manor BIC Church in Lancaster County, PA, when I was pastor there and she was a teenager.

Winter birds
January 21, 2012

Reports are out that a snowy owl is being seen in the farm fields north of Shippensburg, PA, so on Thursday, January 19, my son-in-law Ed and I drove to the area and found Mud Level Road, the location where the sightings have occurred.

After a bit of searching, we came upon about ten birders parked on the side of the road, looking at something through their binoculars and spotting scopes. Sure enough – a snowy owl, sitting on the ground in the short green stems of a wheat field.

It was perhaps 60 yards away, so I had no way of getting a good photo, but here is an image from the internet, a free download from Owl-pictures.com.

This owl is typically found in the polar regions, but in the winter an individual sometimes comes as far south at places like PA, perhaps because of limited food supply in winter in its normal range.

As we watched this owl, thirty students and their teachers came out of the nearby one-room school and walked up the road to see the owl, too. One of the men with a spotting scope set it up and allowed each student to see the owl through the scope.

The owl turned his head from time to time, surveying the field, but in the hour we were there, he never moved from his spot on the ground.

The field also had a number of horned larks, sitting on the ground, flitting through the air, sitting on fence posts, and singing their short,tinkling musical song. Unlike the snowy owl, horned larks are common in our area every winter.

This image is by Tom Grey or Tom Grey Bird Photos.

Have you seen a snowy owl? Do you see horned larks? Post a comment if you will.