A Murphin Ridge morning in Adams County, Ohio

I want to have a carriage on a Murphin Ridge morning when we, and the local Amish who live here, are out in search of bargains. We’ll stop by Raber’s Shoe and Saddle later, but first we go to Miller’s.

Miller’s is  a mega-store for the locals and tourists. The wood-working shop located in a large barn warehouse is stocked with adirondack chairs, wooden gliders, simple dining room sets, fancy polished clocks, wooden toys and bird houses galore. When we entered the store we were immersed in the fresh scent of wood shavings and cedar. I just wanted to soak it in. I did my part to support the local economy and happily loaded the five birdhouses I purchased into our car.

Across the parking lot from the wood working barn is the bakery and gifts building. The tantalizing aroma of kettle corn permeated the air from a stand outside. Inside,  shelves are full of pies, cookies and bars, cinnamon rolls, home-made breads and other tempting treats. Women wearing Amish caps and dresses dipped freshly made apple fritters as we watched. I bought the largest and softest soft pretzel I have ever had in my life to share for lunch later.

Miller’s also has a bulk foods, and other items, market where we found some sun screen to use at the poolside in the afternoon. Mr. Miller evidently buys truckloads of extras sight-unseen and resales the bounty to the locals and tourists. I was just glad sunscreen happened to be in one of his truckloads.

You can often tell which homes the Amish live in by how impeccably neat they are, and by their abundant use of potted flowers, hanging baskets and bird houses or feeders. Laundry drying on the line, or a glimpse of a carriage in an open shed removes all doubt.

If I had a horse-drawn carriage, I could tie the horse at the white rail fence while I shopped at Miller’s up high on this ridge.

The birds live happily on Murphin Ridge.

If I had a horse, I would go to Raber’s Shoes and Saddle and buy a harness. You could walk into this shop blindfolded and immediately know you were in a leather-working shop because of the dense scent of leather in the air. Glorious.

If I had a horse and carriage, I could roll along the curved roads at the top of the ridge with the sun on my back and the wind in my hair, listening to the clop, clop, clop of the horse’s hooves as they strike the pavement.

Everybody has babies this time of year on Murphin Ridge.

If I lived on Murphin Ridge, my horses could pasture in the sweet crisp air on a Saturday morning.

But I don’t live on Murphin Ridge, so I stay at the Murphin Ridge Inn where the cabins are comfortable and the food is delicious with garden-fresh greens.

Birds fill the air with their songs in the mornings on Murphin Ridge and place their nests in cozy spots.

An occasional stray cat wanders onto the porch for a free meal the bird-watching, animal-loving innkeepers can’t refuse.

The gardens are ripe with asparagus and blooming flowers that grace the tables at Murphin Ridge Inn.

Of a morning you can sit back, relax, and watch the sun rise across Murphin Ridge.

In search of birds on Murphin Ridge

We know they are here. We can hear them, a repetitive chirp here, a persistent caw there, a warble, a trill, on Murphin Ridge.

We wander, at times on a dirt trail through sun-dappled woods, or on a mowed grass path through bright meadowlands, the woods reclaiming with cedar seedlings scattered throughout.

Honeysuckle vines grow densely along the trail. The air is laden with the sweet fragrance of their flowers.

We hear them calling, from the tree-tops where they perch behind the shield of leaves, hiding from us, taunting us, “Find me if you can.”

On Murphin Ridge, the air alone will soothe the soul. Up high on this ridge, close to the sky, away from the pressing, hurried crowds, and buzzing electronics, it’s easy to stop when the birds call for us to listen.

Blue Jay in the woods.
This cardinal is looking straight at me. I think I disturbed his morning jaunt. He doesn't look very happy.
"Aw, well. Now that's she's here. I might as well show her my best side. Grudgingly."

Blogging today from Murphin Ridge Inn in Adams County, Ohio. Where we sat in the rockers on the log cabin porch, on a fine breezy, blue-skied afternoon,

and watched the butterflies play.

Spicebush swallowtail
Spicebush swallowtail and friend