We originally named it Flora-Quest, but this weekend's event held at the lodge in Shawnee State Parks turned into a regular Flora-fest. Gathering together for fantastic speakers, great food and an incredible diversity of flora- and fauna- in Scioto and Adams county, participants checked-off a huge number of plant species.
Rain could not dampen the spirits of these flora-fiends. Even the early bird walks were festive, starting by birding from a covered porch and recessing to study Ornithology, via a Marshall College off-off site class! Field trips were led by eighteen of Ohio's best botanical guides and several well-known authors, Bob Henn- Wildflowers of Ohio and Ralph Ramey- 50 Hikes in Ohio, came along for the fun.
The first of several posts to come, is unquestionably the finest display of unmarred, and unbleached by sun, fire pink, Silene virginica ever seen by many of these enthusiasts. These vibrant red blossoms with an under-tone of orange must have reminded the someone of Dianthus (pinks), however, they are in the genius "Silene". Probably named for the spittle-like exudation on the stems, after "Silenus" the foam frothing, drunken foster-father of Bacchus (Greek god of wine and debauchery). There is a festive story to remember for your next botanical club gathering!
Thanks to everyone who pitched in to make this event possible. The guides, park staff and volunteers - as well as vendors, authors and lodge staff- made it seem like a festival fit for Greek gods, without the foam and frothing, of course. :)