Right along Little Indian Creek, in Floyd County, is a park named for Letty Walter. It has a ball diamond, tennis courts, shelter houses and a playground. The creek was running fast from recent heavy rains, and made a beautiful noise like some of its bigger cousins in the Smoky Mountains. That is what it reminded me of, the Smoky Mountains, but the river stones are different. The mountain streams hold large stones, of various hues, rounded by water running and rolling them for eons.
Southern Indiana was formed differently by glaciers pushing south from Wisconsin and Canada. One glacial period after another 20 to 40 thousand years ago pushed minerals, stone and earth further and further south. With each freeze and thaw the glaciers deposited a homogenous mess dragged from the north into Southern Indiana. Central and Northern Indiana are flat, Southern Indiana is blessed with rolling hills, and in Floyd County they call them “Knobs”.
Among the glacial deposits called “till” is a mysterious stone called a geode. They are round and hollow and bumpy like a cauliflower and are found in abundance all around the area and geologists don’t know exactly how they were formed.
Wondering along the shore, head down, in proper rock hound fashion, I began to notice the creek bed was littered with baseball and golf ball sized geodes along with fossils, sand stone and iron ore and hundreds more stone types I don’t even know the names of. There was also litter, shards of sand smoothed glass and pottery, rusted metal and farm debris. It was a visual treasure trove.
My Daddy was a rock hound and my brother and I spent many a weekend rock hunting with Dad. In a frenzy we would run around gathering up geodes like Easter Eggs and pile them into the trunk of Dad’s car. Now days, I am content to pass them over to let someone else find them and discover their mystery. Dad would place them around the flowerbeds at home, and sometimes we cracked them open to discover the crystals inside. I would think they were diamonds, my brother, older and “all grown up”, would tell me how silly I was.
It was a beautiful morning and I had come here to escape a gloomy couple of days and to clear my head. The sun was warm and the bird’s voices filled the air with early spring excitement. The creek roared along, reminding me of other places, and other times. Sycamores, beech trees, cotton wood and cherry trees and the smell of earth all combined to bring me back to earth. As Mosier Knob road unraveled like a soft silky ribbon winding down the hill, I was deposited back into the lowlands renewed.