Thoughts Upon Finding Them . . .

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

The objective? Find Pink Lady’s Slipper ( Cypripedium Acaule). Well here are 2 blooms at Jake’s Rocks Reserve, in northwestern Pennsylvania. June 2015.

I love these extraordinary flowers. Despite a nice library of their images, every few years I’m out, searching for more.

When these came into view, thoughts raced: Can these be real? How stately (a word little used nowadays). How do these delicate blossoms go unscathed, in this wild habitat? Cartier, are you and Tiffany’s and Van Clef & Arpels capable of such finery? and How delicate and beautiful are Your creations.


Passion Flower

Passion flower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Phipps Conservatory

This flower is the main reason that certain years we enjoy visits from Gulf fritillary butterflies and Variegated fritillary butterflies. These fritillaries savor the nectar produced by Passiflora blooms. They will migrate well north of their southern ranges where they continue to eat from these extraordinary flowers. How special that nectar must be, to attract frits 100’s of miles north of their usual range!

Our passion flower here is borne on a woody vine growing on a fence at the renowned Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh,  Pennsylvania.

For a northerner, this radially symmetrical flower is a show stopper. I stop to stare every time I encounter one. What design! What color! Kudos to the designer!

Sadly, the fritillaries that may make the trip up north are unlikely to make the return trip. Does anyone know why?