In search of an orchid

We walked, on Mother’s Day, in the woods and along a small steam. Our objective was to locate the Pink Lady’s Slipper, Cypripedium acaule, that Joanna had seen the week before. She observed then that it was not in bloom and judged that a few more days might be enough to bring out its showy labellum. Interestingly this plant lives symbiotically with a fungus which goes by the name of Rhizoctonia. The tiny plant embryos are released from their protective seeds only as a result of the interventions of the fungus. Moreover, and unlike other plant seeds which obtain nutrient stores from something called the endosperm, seeds of this slipper orchid are dependent upon fungal hyphae for nourishment during their earliest stages of growth and development. Although we did relocate the individual that Joanna had seen earlier, it was in shade. We did however find an area with several of these beautiful spring wildflowers growing closely together. Although these were nicely illuminated each was still several days from flower. Hope for good weather, check back soon and I promise to get back to the woods to photograph these beautiful orchids. On the walk down the mountain I couldn’t resist a long exposure of the water which cascaded, noisily, in the run nearby. Those who follow this blog will know that I have something of a habit of getting my feet wet in support of just the right image. Because I did not have a set of hip waders along, and to afford just the right angle, I ventured into the water with my sneakers and jeans. The spring run-off was bracing and I scalishscaloshed all the way home.

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22 thoughts on “In search of an orchid

  1. Pingback: Lady’s Slippers | Jeff Handlin Photography

    • Jeff … thanks for the link at your site. You’ll have to keep an eye out for my promised capture of our Lady’s Slipper. I check yesterday and although they were up a bit further, they were in full shade. We’re expecting a bit of rain overnight. Perhaps the weekend will be good? In any case, thanks again for the mention. D

    • As those who belong to the younger generation would say … OMG, it’s Mitzi! Yikes. OMG. How are you? I thought you had fallen of the edge of the earth (note that I maintain my subscription to the Flat Earth Society). I am so delighted to know that you’re still out there and that you took the time to tell me so! Fantastic. New home? Huh? Where? What? Please update at your earliest convenience at LHUP if you can. Oh boy! I’m gonna tell Joanna. Say ‘Hi’ to Josh from me! Great. Wonderful. Super. D

  2. It looks like a Lord of the Rings setting! It is strange. On the one hand I feel it is ‘too green’ to be true, too much contrast in comparison with nature. On the other hand the photo looks like the subjective impression nature gives you. It looks as nature makes you feel 😉

    • I’m still recovering from your post of this afternoon! Whew. Anyway … thanks for your comment here. Trust me, I did not adjust the white balance of this photo or over-saturated the greens. THIS IS HOW IT LOOKED! I really appreciated your last thought … It looks as nature make you feel! Great. Thanks Elke. D

  3. Brooks like that: you need a small stick, a bit of line, a hook and something to bait it. Walk along looking for the little pools in search of lunch. Then a small fire, an old juice can, a couple of tea bags, some string and another stick with which to hang it over the fire. Roast that fish too. Trouting season starts here in a couple of days. Your image reminds me of a similar brook on Red Island where I used to catch a few trout, roast them, and boil up a juice can full of tea :>)

    • You know, this part of Pennsylvania is renowned for its fishing and especially its trophy trout streams. Even so I’ve never endeavored to catch one myself. That being said, I did have a buddy who, on several occasions, provide us with locally caught rainbow trout – and, boy, were they delicious. The picnic you’ve painted sounds idyllic. D

  4. Well I think the scalish-scaloshing was worth it, that’s a wonderful photo. I love the greens at this time of year in the woodland, and this photo has a touch of magic among the ferns and moss. Can’t wait to see the slipper orchid

    • I walked the path today to find that the plants have slowed somewhat due to the recent cold weather. We had a freeze last night … if you can believe it. Joanna and I both enjoy this photo inasmuch as it expresses the vibrant greens of early spring very nicely. Thanks for touching base. D

      • We are the same over here, temperatures have plummeted and we have been getting some rain which as been so lacking over the last few months. I’m trying to get a good shot of bluebells in our woods, but each time I visit they have not quite opened yet.

    • My sister made a similar comment. She said that she was unsure whether the water at the bottom of the image would cascade off her monitor. I’m glad you enjoyed this. D

  5. LOL! Of course you ventured into the water without proper footwear! i expect no less.
    This is a great shot. The water looks like it’s going to pour right through my monitor!
    Looking forward to seeing those orchids soon! 🙂

    • Also kind of reminds me of the Forbidden Forest in the Harry Potter novels, though on a bright and sunny day!

    • My stuff dried over night. No harm done. I went up to see the orchids this afternoon but the light wasn’t right … the clouds are gathering for another bout of rain. Argh. D

      • We could actually use a bit more rain. I just planted some grass and perennials and I’d like them to get a good drink!

  6. Such a magical setting. It looks like a land of make believe, even without the orchids. I love the ferns and water. Beautiful shot.

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