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?
A consistent winner, this Kedesh Trail, just 10 minutes south of Kiryat Shimona, in Israel’s Upper Galilee. Rare butterflies, fresh and earnest, have been my reward for driving to this exceptional trail, with its meadows, rocky outcrops, and rising cliffs and both sides. The HolyLand, April 2017.
With a break in the airborne action, my eyes revert to searching for wildflowers. These dainties lined a good part of Kedesh. I had a mental meeting with me, myself and I, and it was decided. I would look for a richly colored, well lit, healthy bloom, and attempt (hand held, no tripod) to get a good one.
Wow! Scarlet Pimpernel aka Anagallis arvensis.
What say you?
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?
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?