Saturday, June 03, 2006

What a Tease! Lady's Slipper Tempts

Our visit to a known location for Yellow Lady's Slipper on Thursday was a qualified success. First, because the headwaters of the Bear (above) were a delightful place to do field work, wouldn't you agree? (Don't forget to click on photos for a closer view if desired.)

Second, the Lady herself did put in an appearance, coyly peeking out from under her bangs, but she was not yet quite ready to reveal herself. We plan to go back Tuesday for a better view of her Ladyship's beauty. Once we reached the right bend in the trail, we scouted for a quarter hour or so before spotting this one flower, not quite open, and several more plants just getting started.

Tuesday we'll know exactly where to go, as several field signs now have the location distinctly registered visually. On a flat table behind a rock, we found a deer leg pointing the way. First one, then the other three. Just five feet from the flower, the final resting place, a pile of fur under a young Blue Spruce. Being of a naturalist bent, we quickly deduced we were exploring the vicinity of a Mountain Lion's dining room.

It's enough to make you glance nervously over your shoulder for the rest of the visit, and I did. Herp Pal, seemingly unperturbed, proceeded to demonstrate what it takes to get a good closeup of a flower in the field. Photos for this "inside look" at field tripping are below.

Who is the Lady so often cited in plant names? For more about her (or them), read on.

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