A Native Orchid Near You

Pink Lady's Slipper Orchid, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Chapman State Park, PA

When you approach this native orchid, in its late Spring secluded forest, dappled light dancing through the trees, all the clutter on your mind disappears. Pink Lady’s Slippers are starkly beautiful. Never found in large groups, they are rare, finicky and exist in very limited numbers. The color is a rich red. The bloom, when seen up close is other-worldy, reminding me of the human heart, or some Star Trekkian thing. You watch your step, you speak in hushed tones, because, well because you feel that you are in the presence of something very vital, very Big.

These were flourishing in Chapman State Park, set in the much larger Allegheny National Forest, in northwestern Pennsylvania. I drove the several hours to see native orchids (and butterflies). June 2015, and I remember the moment that these blooms were spotted. Another Oh My Goodness Moment! How many of those do You enjoy per week?  Month?

Oh, admission fee? Zero.


One thought on “A Native Orchid Near You

  1. The Lady Slipper Orchid is rich with color. A lovely photo shot. In the Grouser Grande Ronde reserve located in the foot hills of the Blue Mtns in central Oregon the wild Lady Slippers grow in among other lovely wild flowers. That particular variety of orchid is not as vivid in color as the one in your photo. The owner of the large acreage full of wild flowers will take people on walking tours to point out the flowers in their blooming season. It is absolutely beautiful there with views of the Grande Ronde valley and other mins.


Comments are closed.