Thursday, July 21, 2016

What Do You Hope to Achieve?

I couldn't imagine after the stunning ephemerals of June, including the pink lady's slipper, what would start to catch my eye in July, but here they are.

Welcome to the wild world of mushrooms.

It is the first time since I was a child that I have walked the July woods with regularity. I don't recall seeing many mushrooms as a child, probably because my father instilled in all of us the healthy fear to never eat a wild mushroom, and instead implored us to 'leave them be.' We dutifully listened because he was very clear that one wrong mushroom and you would die a painful death. That just sounded awful. I know my limits, and I embrace them.  

This is actually an "Indian Pipe," a flower containing no chlorophyll, that relies on mushrooms spores to grow.

“Mushrooms, growing in the deep forest. What do you hope to achieve?”
     {Marty Rubin}

Friday, July 15, 2016

Magical Summer

May you touch dragonflies and talk to the moon.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Daisies and Tigers and Susans

Bellis perennis, or Daisy

Rudbeckia hirta, or Brown-eyed Susan

Lilium canadense, or Canada Tiger Lily

To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.
{William Blake}

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sun and Moon

Summer was the most favored time for the sun and the moon because they could be together, if only for an hour, or so.
{author unknown}

Sunday, June 19, 2016


“Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks.”
{Walt Whitman}

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Elusive Pink Lady's Slipper Orchid

 Cypripedeum Acaule, or Pink Lady's Slipper

I had been searching the forest grounds for one of the last spring ephemerals, and one of the most stunning, the pink lady's slipper orchid. I finally found one yesterday.

Prior to locating it, I did some research and learned they grown on well drained slopes and along swamp edges (perfect, as I often traverse a nearby swamp looking for my owl friends and other wildlife, including ephemerals, that situate themselves there.) 

Lady's slipper orchids grow primarily in the eastern part of the United States and northern Canada, in the coniferous areas of  forests, which is where I found this one. They need a certain leaf fungus for their seeds to germinate. Bumblebees, smelling their sweet scent go inside for nectar, but find none. However, this helps pollinate the flower anyway, as the bees will be tricked a few times thus spreading pollen from flower to flower unwittingly. The lady's slipper is a protected flower. It takes a long time to grow and is considered endangered in some areas where people have dug them up. They do not do well once removed from their natural habitat, so it is best to enjoy them in nature.

Discovered in the late part of the eighteen century by Scottish botanist, William Aiton, some believed they look like a lady's slipper, hence their popular name. Pink lady's slippers are also called moccasin flowers. They produce hundreds of powdery seeds each year that are broken open only with the help of the leaf fungus they live amongst. It takes several years for a plant to mature, and then it can survive for at least a couple of decades.

I look forward to locating more, and who knows what else, as spring moves into summer.

I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.
{Georgia O'Keeffe}