I've looked for this plant every time I'm in the woods, but this is my first sighting.
We were driving to Moorefield after the family reunion, following a shortcut road called Big Ridge. The views from this mountain are stunning, and many of the wildflowers in bloom there are different from what we have at home. So we weren't hurrying. We were meandering and I was digging up starts of some things I'd seen and wanted for my garden, like spiderwort (a garden escapee, I think, although it was scattered over an area of hillside pretty thickly), wild creeping phlox, a couple mints, and others. I'm careful to only dig up plants that grow thickly enough that my digging does threaten its existence.
We were coming down off the mountain when I spotted something yellow on the roadside. You know what happened next.
"Stop!" Larry obligingly stopped the car and I got out to look at a flower I have wanted to see for years: yellow lady's slipper. Can you see it in the above photo? Here it is, closer up.
Yellow Lady's Slipper comes in two sizes, small and large. What I found was the large variety and it was indeed large. I took several photos, but I did not dig up this plant because it is on the endangered species list, probably because so many people dig it up.
Now I have a photo to recall the excitement of seeing this plant in the wild for the first time. I can be satisfied with that. I know where it is if I want to see it again, presuming of course that someone else does not see it and dig it up to take home.