Monday, May 17, 2010

A Satisfying Find

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.


Angela said...

Hey Granny Sue!

I don't know what it is about this year. I've seen so many more wildflowers this year than ever.

We have a lot of the wild phlox growing around our yard. I just love it. I've never seen the Yellow Lady's Slippers before. At least I don't think I have.

Great pictures!

Granny Sue said...

I don't think they grow in this area, Angela, which is why I was so happy to finally see one, even if it was 200 miles away. They might be here, of course--it was quite a while before I found my first Jack-in-the-Pulpit, but now I have seen many of them.

Nance said...

I have Jack-in-the-Pulpit and May Apples. I know where the Blue Belles bloom. I always wanted some Dutchmen's Britches (do you have those?)but have not had them "take" yet. I have only ever heard about Lady's Slippers. Never seen them. I am glad you found one and hope no one digs it up!

mary said...

I have May Apples in my back yard, and the weeds the city declares must be mowed are really wildflowers -- so there!
It tickles me that there is so much wildlife 1/5 mile from the Y and a couple of blocks from Hwy 70. Yesterday I looked out the bedroom window and saw geese and a woodchuck, a fox once came on my deck, and I have seen deer tracks (neighbors have seen the deer).

Granny Sue said...

It's apparent that you pay both pay attention to your surroundings, Nance and Mary. It's that mindfulness that makes like richer and more diverse--paying attention to details and the world we live in. Even in an urban area, we can find nature creeping in, can't we? I love it that you both have Mayapples, those happy little spring umbrellas!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the picture of the yellow lady slipper!! I've never seen one either--driving too fast on that stretch of road, I guess. We have pink lady slippers just up the hill--sooo pretty. I love wildflowers! Judy

Granny Sue said...

Now you need to show me your pink lady's slippers, Judy--it's been a long time since I saw one of those.

Can you recognize where I saw the yellow one from the picture? Call me and I can maybe describe the spot better.

Anonymous said...

Out searching for morels to pick, I find the Calypso fairy slippers are blooming in a few rare spots. They're like your lady slipper, but smaller and a delicate pink.

Granny Sue said...

They sound pretty, Batsy. I've seen the pink and the white lady slippers here, but the one you mention must be a western type? I just like its name!

Staci said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Staci said...

Simply beautiful!

I miss some of the plants the grew in the woods that I played in growing up.

I loved May Apples- I'm not sure if this is the proper name for them - they grew about a foot or so high and had a flat canopy of about 5 leaves or so. They weren't so pretty coming up but when their leaves opened, I thought they were beautiful. I remember them covering the floor of the woods.

Do you know what monkey balls are?
I've collected many of those growing up!

Sorry, I deleted my previous comment. I had it all jumbled up.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Yay for the find!
I hope when you go back that it has multiplied and they are all over.
I've heard of them but never seen one either.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...