We lost Barbara Ann Case weeks ago. Her struggles with getting her much needed liver transplant and probably more have left the Jamestown-Freswburg New York region without one of their most gifted naturalists, and surely one of their top native orchid experts.
I’d driven up to Frewsburg in far western New York State several times, to explore Allenberg, Akeley Swamp and other excellent preserves/reserves. She had the eyes of an eagle when it came to spotting and examining wild orchids, ephemerals and wildflowers. Best of all, she shared her knowledge happily, and immediately let me know when she spotted a less than common butterfly here or there.
Seen here are Allenberg Bog, I now understand how much effort she had to expend to make that 3/4 mile hike on primitive trail to reach the Bog. Those several stops to rest evidenced her heroic effort to get to where you see her here, the edge of the ancient sphagnum moss bog, she amidst a sea of native bog blueberry. Me? I was totally ecstatic, closer to the bog open pond, seeing and shooting the very rare Bog Copper butterflies that only live at acid bogs with those tiny blueberry plants, and only fly when the berries are about.
I cannot soon forget how reticent the Buffalo Audubon Society (it’s correct name?) was to give her access to this, their owned Bog. We got lost many times trying to follow the mostly unmarked trail, they probably wanting to discourage visitors to this gem of a bog. Barbara Ann struggling to cover the rough trail, and we getting lost time and time again until we found the bog.
Had the Buffalo folks only known how gifted this woman was, how much she loved this, and how much of a challenge, physical, it was for her to make the hike, ending with me sharing images of this unique place, with those here there and literally everywhere.
Headed back today to Chapman State Park, in the Allegheny National Forest. This is northwestern Pennsylvania, near the New York border.
On Friday, June 3, I will enjoy my PowerPoint presentation at the Jamestown Audubon Center. Brownbag lunch after, followed by a . . . field walk. I’ve chosen some of my favorites images, and Boy! I wish you could come. I’d foot the admi$$ion charge, if that’s what it takes!
Will be in my cabin at Chapman through June 7th, and Petra will be even happier than I. Field work those days, mostly headed to bogs and wetlands, for bog butterflies and . . . Orchids!
Oh i’ve gone to Jamestown, to seek me a Bronze Copper (or Showy orchid (I can dream)), it’ll be the Joy of my Life . . . . From a childhood song I mostly recall.
Jeff (offline ’til I return home)
Monday rain. Tuesday? Rain. Wednesday rain. Thursday morning? Drizzle. Five (5) days in mid-shore and lower-shore Maryland. Saw few butterflies, no surprise there, because . . . butterflies do not fly when it rains. An exception to that might be the Northern Pearly-Eye butterfly, which I have seen flying in Pennsylvania in light rain.
This image of a Chapman State Park Pink Lady’s Slipper bloom will suffice until I get my slides of Maryland shore orchids to Kansas, and then have my film slides scanned at Rewind Memories, here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
I found Pink Lady’s Slippers in Adkins Arboretum here in mid-shore Maryland, and located others in Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Maryland. These Delmarva orchids were lighter pink in color, and a bit shorter of flower stalk. Lush they were though, and FUN to search for . . . and Find!
Petra joined me on this trip, though she missed visiting very tony Oxford, and many other neat destinations in this haven for farmers, the rich, and very serious shellfish fishermen/women.
With the rain and wet conditions limiting in one respect, I also found and shot many very beautiful forest plants, the timing (mid-Spring) was perfect.