MYSTERY: Spring is on the way

Even though last week’s cold snap slaughtered the area’s azaleas, you can spy that spring is on the comeback with bursts of color in area  yards from phlox and other flowering plants.  In fact, it’s a good time of year to visit this place.  It’s not in the Lowcountry, but where is it?  Send your best guess to:  editor@charlestoncurrents.com — and make sure to include the name of the town in which you live.

Hats off to all who correctly identified last week’s Mystery Photo was the Carolina parakeet, which was declared extinct in 1939.  The bird, also known as the Carolina conure or parrot to some, has a scientific name is Conuropsis carolinensis.  Congratulations go to:  Boykin Beard of Camden; Mia Maness, Kerry Pate and Byron White, all of Charleston; Larry Simon, Isle of Palms; Chris Brooks, Carolyn Coker and Clinton Dunn, all of Mount Pleasant; Bruce Jayne of Saluda, N.C.;  Woody Arsenault of Summerville; and Kristina Wheeler of West Ashley

Congrats also to George Graf of Palmyra, Va., who provided some detail about the bird, “Yikes, what a cute little guy who became extinct around 1920.  My wife and I had a fondness for parakeets and owned one as a pet three times for a lot of years.  We didn’t understand the attraction of dogs and cats because of all the care they needed and noise disruption they caused, but parakeets were fun and entertaining.  The Carolina Parakeet used to eat the seeds of farmer’s grains which caused the farmers to kill as many as they could.  Hard to believe our ancestors wiped them out when these birds lived over a vast swath of the country from New England to Colorado to the Mississippi Delta.”

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