Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Southern Charms

Spring arrives in southern Ohio a bit earlier than the ice-box corridor of mid-Ohio. Fortunately I was there to see the first spring flowers gardeners traditionally enjoy: Crocus.

About 30 different species of Crocus are in common cultivation in the U.S.

Remember, our cultivated flowers where once "wild" somewhere else. In the case of the crocus (and tulip) many species are from the Middle East- especially Turkey.

The "gold" of the spice world, Saffron is cultivated from crocus stigmas. It is a highly desirable spice, used in gourmet cuisine.

So it is fitting that crocuses would be coming up in the gardens at the Murphin Ridge Inn, the most amazing B&B and restaurant, tucked away in the rural corners of Adams County. It was one of the highlights of a recent trip down to the Amish Birding Symposium.

There was also wonderful birding at the inn!
Purple finches, both male and female attended the feeders outside a dining room window. It was the perfect opportunity to study those tricky, drab-colored females with white eye-lines and big honking bills. Unfortunately.. she is shy, and hiding her head in this photo!

The Murphin Ridge Inn owners, Darryl and Sherry were most welcoming hosts- and immediately hit it off with our friend Greg Miller (center.)

Adams County flora and fliers were just the tonic I need for my soul, as nature's healing properties are the best therapy for a case of the winter blues. Wishing you sunshine, a "natural tonic" for a winter chaser!

1 comment:

  1. Crocus has always been a favorite of mine since I was tiny little kid. Wild ones grew all over the place. Sadly most of them are gone now as they have been plowed under.