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Everything Broad Ripple HomearrowRandom Ripplings Homearrow2020 03 26arrowColumn

Right in my Own Backyard by Brandt Carter - Lists
posted: Mar. 26, 2020

Right in my Own Backyard header

In the early part of the year I assess my lists. No, I'm not obsessive, but I do like to make lists. . . for grocery shopping, to do's, gifts to buy, birthday cards, etc. I think lists keep me organized, and all thoughts committed to paper free my mind for more thoughts. Never mind that I often forget where I've placed my lists.
Taking inventory is another reason for lists. I know many birders have Life Lists. They record the birds they have observed in nature, finding great joy in ever increasing numbers. Some have begun these lists early in life, others very late in life. A few keep their lists with them as they travel, relishing unusual and exotic additions along the way. Another friend heads straight to her computer to enter first time sightings the minute she returns home.
I started a list about Broad Ripple one night just before dozing off to sleep (a favorite time to list and plan, lest my inspirations be forgotten by morning). I had been pondering why so many people are drawn to the area, not just to dine but also to meander and live. I began with logging the obvious appeals: Broad Ripple Park, Marott Park, the White River winding through the area like a big smile, Dawson Lake, Northdale Lake (formerly Bacon Swamp), and the Canal snaking along the boulevard. Even though the city is land-locked, it's amazing how much water is part of Broad Ripple. The list continued: the vestige of Lilly Orchard where a few dozen apple trees can blossom and attract bees, the wonderful acreage of the Indiana School for the Blind, and the naturalized Monon Trail. Reviewing this list of diverse attractions brought me to new appreciation of this small urban area of Indianapolis - an amazing ecosystem. We can count ourselves lucky!
Some of the water in Broad Ripple as seen from the air, thanks to WIBC's Big John Gillis for taking the editor up during a traffic report for this photo.

Brandt Carter, artist, herbalist, and naturalist, owns Backyard Birds at 2374 E. 54th Street. Visit her web site Email your bird questions to

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