I subscribe to the 4 F's of bird photography; Find 'em and Focus Fast before they Fly away!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Orchids always amaze me. I don't find them in my normal wildflower haunts, but only see them when I am with an expert who knows where to find them. In Indiana last year, we saw Yellow Lady's Slippers in some well-mulched forest, about as I expected.
In Ohio at the FloraQuest, we found more of them in poor conditions - on steep hillsides along the roads, for example. But they are beautiful no matter where they grow.
I think Pink Lady's Slippers must grow somewhere in Kentucky, but I haven't found any yet.
Showy Orchis grew at the Pine Mountain Settlement School in Kentucky, but we didn't get to see it blooming that year.
I expect orchids to be shaped like the ones you always hoped to have in a corsage in high school, and the reality blows me away. Take these Whorled Pogonias, for example. They look like the giant wind mills you see on some wind farms! The ones we found were all clustered around the foot of a tree.
At first, I thought he said we were going to look for begonias....
Tiny Bluets clustered around the base of many trees. Someone said ants carried their seeds but couldn't get them any farther up the tree.
Dwarf Crested Iris have little, well, crests when you look at them closely.
Fire Pink showed up in only a few spots, in the worst soil conditions we found...
...as did the Pinkster, a wild Azalea we found above the mow mark on the roadside.
Indian Paintbrush has teeny, tiny little flowers. The large orange parts are really bracts, much like the red bracts on a Poinsettia at Christmas. It almost looks as if the bracts have been dipped in orange paint when you look closely. These grew in a cemetery.
When we first saw the Spotted Mandarin (a member of the lily family), I thought it was Solomon's Seal in full bloom. Shawnee is the northern-most tip of this Appalachian plant. I don't have an official "lifer" list for wildflowers yet, but maybe I should start one with the Lifers found on this weekend!