Roger, Angela, Barbara Ann, Debra and Jim Fowler have been sharing scrumptious orchid photos on Facebook, this many weeks. I admit to not looking for orchids, ever . . . until I met Barbara Ann and Angela. I should not write ever, for some years ago I did marvel at Pink Lady Slipper Orchids at Bear Run in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. I stood in front of those breathtaking blooms, and the connection between those orchids and the Almighty was Oh! so clear.
So many of you who visit here are firm believers, and know of Capernum, The Sea of Galilee from Sunday school and such. I though it poignant that these Pink Butterfly Orchids were found on Mt. Meron in the Upper Galilee region of Israel. I’ve no doubt that the Christians and Jews who we revere stopped on their journeys to reflect on these incredibly delicate orchids. No doubt at all.
The Galilee region and the Golan are verdant wildernesses, with small towns (moshavs) sprinkled here and there. I tease with this, for I so want to one day be told that one of you traveled to the HolyLand, inpart due to something I shared . . . .
It happens. Barbara Ann and I mucked through nearly 3/4 of a miles of over grown trail, to once again explore the wonders of Allenberg Bog in western New York State. Ultra-humid, mosquito rich trail, over fallen trees, large puddles and much mud. It happens meaning? Meaning that the trail didn’t show any evidence of having been used for a very long time, and much of it simply could not be deciphered. This was just last month, June 2018.
Had flown in to Pittsburgh with 2 objectives, see my family, and especially see my grandson, and to also revisit Allenberg Bog. This is an ancient sphagnum moss bog, rich with pitcher plants, sun dew and cranberries. Those cranberries host Big Copper Butterflies. Last years photos of those Bog Coppers were OK, but the butterflies were all of a single flight, all slightly worn. On this 2nd go-around, I was hoping to see a fresh batch of Bog Coppers. Then, I’d triumphantly share with you my newest, OMG! images . . . . Nope, didn’t happen. Barbara Ann tried so hard to get us there, but it was a labyrinth, and we ended the morning exhausted and a tiny bit discouraged.
Perk up though, for here I share a tiny orchid that Allenberg Bog dished up for us last year. So delicate, so fascinating and so beautiful. Beauty and grace, resplendent amidst all of the hazards that this acid bog surely delivers, day and night. Amazing, No?
Yes, She told me its name, and yes I can’t recall it. Barbara? Angela? Debra? Jim Fowler?
Bergamot Bloom photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania 7/31/14
Bergamot is in bloom now. Raccoon Creek State Park in Hookstown, Pennsylvania has a more than 100 acre meadow that features a large stand of them. Be there at the right time in the morning, and you’ll enjoy the show: Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Great Spangle Fritillaries, Silver Spotted Skippers, Monarchs, Pipevine Swallowtails and Spicebush Swallowtails will visit Bergamot for its nectar.
Those stands of Bergamot are so sweet to the eye. The sea of pinkish purple (?) is a crowd pleaser, though I’ve never been there to hear what others think of that view.
If you’re there between about 9:45 A.M. and 10:40 A.M. the butterflies arrive from all directions. I’ve long wondered what’s in the nectar that is obviously being pumped in those 55 minutes? I’d think it included several sugars, some proteins and trace hormones, pheromones and fragrant hydrocarbons. Got a degree in Biochem? What’s in the nectar of a Bergamot bloom? Jerry?
This one was spotted in Lynx Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio. Angela and Joe served up its name, but I can’t now recall it. It’s a milkweed (“Whirled?”), though after decades of seeing Common Milkweed, this one defies and disrupts my formula for recognizing a milkweed. Butterflyweed, OK. Swamp milkweed, Sure. Just weeks ago I met my first White milkweed, and after minutes of ogling it, and got used to the reality of it.
This one though remains an enigma to me, as if G-d sought a milkweed to fill the role of ‘Clown’ of the North American milkweeds, and this one was summoned to center stage, and that was that, assignment filled, the Clown of the milkweeds . . .