Help Us Identify this Delicate Wild Orchid

Orchid photographed by Jeff Zablow at Cedar Bog, OH

This trip was one that I went along with a group of Orchid experts, scouring several destinations in Ohio. This was the same Ohio that I’d never entered, though for 27 years I lived nearby, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. What changed? Barbara Ann A”H (OBM”) invited me to join her, Angela and others, and I jumped at the chance. Did we see Orchids? Yes, Oh yes.

This delicate beauty was seen in Cedar Bog, Ohio. With the Loss of Barbara Ann, no quick ID is available to me. I must await your identification. What I do know is that Orchids are those words: delicate; spectacular; gorgeous; inspiring; other-world, etc.. That we still can locate them in these modern times, after more than 100 years of almost total development, is a Blessing.


Showy Ladys Slipper (Ohio)

Showy Ladies Slipper Orchid, II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Cedar Bog Prairie Reserve, Ohio

I had long wanted to see Showy Ladys Slipper Orchids, those magnificent native USA orchids. Angela and Barbara Ann (OBM”) urged me to join them on their visit to several Ohio refuges. Sounded better than Good, for I’d have a very good chance to see Showys and other rare orchids, and at the same time I’d keep my eyes open for . . . butterflies.

That trip? Spectacular! I saw hundreds of butterflies, many I’d never seen before. I am very fond of tiny metalmark butterflies, and finding a fresh flight of Northern Metalmark butterflies, all fresh, energized me. Meeting my first Edwards Hairstreak butterflies? Fantastic, no better than Fantastic!! Seeing my first Coneflowers growing in their native habitat? Eye-opening!!!

Best of all (I think)? Kneeling for the first time before my first Showy Lady Slipper Orchids took my breathe away. How beautiful are they? Kenne? Deepthi? Angela? Leslie? Lisa? Laura? Phil? Caron? Curt?Julie? Elisse? Donna? Joanne? Nishani? Lisa? BJ? Andrea? Vicki? Virginia? Sultana? Nancy? Paula?

Jeff at Cedar Bog Preserve, Ohio. . . . . Gapeing still at G-d’s work

Showy Lady’s Slipper Orchids – What a Delight!

Showy Orchids photographed by Jeff Zablow at Cedar Bog Preserve, not too far from Dayton, Ohio

I saw those Pink Lady’s Slipper Orchids some 18 years ago or so, in Bear Run Preserve, across the road from Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Fallingwater. I was very moved by the elegance of those Lady’s Slippers, and deeply value that one image that so pleased me.

My butterfly work often introduces me to wonderful wildflowers, and that’s how I met Barbara Ann, she expert in orchids of the northeast. Those trips to the Jamestown, New York area reunited me with Pink Lady’s Slippers. We agreed that we would LOVE to see Showy Lady’s Slippers, me for the very first time, Barbara Ann for the first time in many, many years.

Local naturalists steered us here and there, all to no success. We were either too early or too late (or not getting good info ?).

Sometime not too long ago, Barbara Ann met Angela on FaceBook. Angela is a Very enthusiastic orchid seeker, and Angela invited Barbara Ann to western Ohio, to see Showys!! At first mention of this opportunity, I jumped, and in June 2017 we were all there in Cedar Bog Preserve, not too far from Dayton, Ohio.

The largest of these Lady Slipper Orchids, good for that, for this image was taken from the boardwalk trail, and I’ll tell you, it was a real Rush for me! My very first Showy Lady Slipper Orchids.

What say you of the posture, stance, floating in air elegance of these American orchids?


Orchids Seduce

Orchid photographed by Jeff Zablow at Cedar Bog, Ohio

June 2017 came and that 4 hour drive to western Ohio held out the double promise of several days with Angela, Barbara Ann, Dave, Janet, Flower, Roger and Joe. Serious naturalists, with deep experience with orchids, butterflies and botany. Orchids were the priority for this multi-day field experience, but I knew that we had to also encounter good butterflies. We just had to, judging from what they shared about our several critical destinations.

Ahead of all that, I wanted to see Showy Lady’s Slipper orchids, finally, once and for all. Jackpot! We met Showys in Cedar Bog. They were as large as advertised, though they were now hours past their peak. You just stood there, as you would if you were steps away from the Royal Family of Great Britain, well aware that you were in the personal space of extraordinary people. Here in Ohio, make that extraordinary orchids, opulent, very, very rare, and regal, very regal. We shared my image of the Showys in a blog several weeks ago.

At Cedar Bog, near Dayton, Ohio, the trail cut its way through wetland, and there these petite, seductive orchids sung to me. Their draw was unmistakable. They cajoled me, asking that I disregard my plan to save my Fuji Velvia 100 film for butterflies, and work to capture what they expressed in abundance, seductive glamour, natural and fleeting. I did, and share the result.

Grass pinks (Calopogon tuberosus). Certainly they are worthy of a more bewitching common name?



Showy Biz!

Showy Ladies Slipper Orchid, II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Cedar Bog Prairie Reserve, Ohio

How often am I asked, ‘Why do you photograph butterflies?’ Well, I’m asked that a lot. And what surprises me? I’m surprised and a bit amazed that those folks really are (or seem to be) baffled by my passion for finding and shooting out butterflies. They really want to  hear my response. It seems that they cannot fathom any reason to pursue butterflies over any extended period of time. faithful recall my Christie’s/Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewelry experiences. They also recall that I like the challenge, making an approach to this wild critters, who themselves are equipped with very efficient sensory warning systems. Making that approach, and doing so successfully. They surely have figured out that I am very pleased when I share a Good image of a beautiful, fresh butterfly. Some may remember my experiences with the Elite Model agency in NYNY. The most loyal may even remember that dressing room dream visit, me 19 years old, to the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, the Rockettes laughing and joshing me, and me, well like I was dropped into a vat of Breyers Mint Chip Ice Cream, with a helping of chocolate mini chips added!

Challenges. New places. Working to best the images already stored in my sweet slide file cabinet. Meeting new, fascinating folks.

Round out my reasons for seeking butterflies with this! I get to experience diverse plants and animals, i.e., I get to enjoy the beauty and intricate wonderment of H-s creations. This if Big for me, very Big. When Nancy shares the birds and butterflies of Panama, Georgia, Mexico, Costa Rica and Texas, I am stunned by the beauty I see. When Peggy shares her work on Vancouver Island, OMG! Virginia’s Georgia captures too. Laurence in France. Angela’s Ohio orchids and rare wildflowers got me into my truck, headed to Dayton, Ohio and then to southern Ohio, to that amazing Adams County, Ohio. Seeing beauty, well I seem to not every savor enough beauty.

Barbara Ann and Angela became friends, and next thing you know, Barbara Ann was talking about heading to Ohio, and seeking orchids, with Angela and Dave and Flower and Joe. Now, Barbara Ann had already introduced me to native orchids in northwestern Pennsylvania and southwestern New York.

Truth be told, I had a strong desire to finally, finally see my first Showy Ladies Slipper orchid. Wanted much to see them. Much. Angela signaled sure, if we time your visit correctly, I could see my first Showy Ladies Slipper, and Barbara Ann could see the first one she’d seen in many, many years.

Few have ever seen them, the very large, very magnificent Showy Ladies Slipper Orchid. Elegant, stately, demure, and big as life. This one here in Cedar Bog Preserve, Ohio, thanks to Angela. What did the Showys evoke for me. That elevator ride in the Fuller building on Madison Avenue and tony East 57th Street, me and Miss Ross. She was big as life, radiant, warm smile, me pleased, very pleased. Art Deco elevator cab, comely Superstar, relaxed conversation.

Showy Biz!