Buzzed on Buzzard Roost

Buzzard Roost - Hoosier National Forest
The winged shadow on the trail almost seemed scripted. Granddaughter Raina and I had just begun our descent along a half-mile Hoosier National Forest trail that leads from atop the precipitous bluffs we'd just walked along to the Ohio River below. A sign had just warned the trail was "steep, rocky, and slippery." The vulture overhead circled three times, just above the treetops, before drifting west in search of more promising fare.

Buzzard Roost - Hoosier National ForestI was changing lenses on orbit one, and lost my balance on the second. On the third orbit, the vulture, a.k.a. buzzard, a.k.a. peace eagle, passed over the opening in the bare tree branches just as i had hoped. I stood steady and nailed the image we had ventured a hundred miles to capture.

Indeed, the buzzard at Buzzard Roost was -- most likely -- the last image I will shoot for the Guidebook to Southern Indiana Natural Areas project. That's why we were so deep in Perry County. To fill the last two holes in the guidebook's photo collection, one at the Buzzard Roost Recreation Area and another just down the road at the German Ridge Recreation Area.

The manuscript is due in less than three weeks, and this part of the state was not well-represented visually, until now. We also stopped at Mano Point -- now a boat ramp, once an Early to Late Archaic Period (7,500 to 1,000 B.C.) village -- and made a brief stop/hike on the Mogan Ridge Trail. I wasn't sure where the Clover Lick Barrens Special Area we sought was located. And the trail was too muddy for a 10 year old in her school sneakers.

Native Americans named the vulture peace eagle because, unlike the eagle, it never kills its prey.

Here's a Photo Album from our Buzzard Roost hike. I'm working on the others.

Buzzard Roost - Hoosier National Forest


Buzzard Roost

The eighty-acre Buzzard Roost Recreation Area is a scenic area in Perry County on the bluffs overlooking the Ohio River that offers panoramic views of the river valley, picnicking, camping, and a hiking trail.

Buzzard Roost is named after the bird that frequented the area in large numbers in the late nineteenth century. Animal carcasses piled up at a smokehouse a couple miles to the north attracted the scavengers. The smokehouse is long gone, but buzzards, or vultures, still frequent the cliffs and soar above the valley.
 


Photographs: Top, middle, bottom, Buzzard Roost Recreation Area.


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