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A Price Worth Paying (part 3 of 3)

(Part 1, Part 2)

It was near sunset when the best part of my day happened. It started with this:

Abandon all hope of trail maintenance...

Okay, so turn back. It's time to get going anyway, get back to the car before dark...but there was just something so alluring about it. The flooded trail was somehow beautiful, beckoning. So I continued on, hoping that my shoes were as waterproof as they were advertised to be.

That continuing brought me to a colony of Showy Ladyslippers like nothing I'd ever seen. Not like the short, lonely, pale one I'd seen earlier, these were two feet tall, vividly colored and blossomed in clusters. There was nothing about them that would have been out of place in the most extravagant cultivated garden (if not for the fact that wild orchids almost never survive in gardens.) To stumble across such a sight alone, unaided, in the middle of nowhere...well, it's hard to do justice to it. The best I can put it is, imagine finding out that unicorns are real.

A relevant quote from Wildflowers of Ontario:
I'm not entirely convinced that this is a rare flower. The habitat which it prefers is simply not accessible to many people. [...] The only sane way to actually scout out this flower is to wear a bug jacket, a mosquito net over your head and latex gloves on your hands. I have never been bitten when I dress this way. I have, however, been accompanied by thousands of thirsty little mosquitoes as I look for this orchid. And that pretty well explains why most people have never seen a Showy Lady's Slipper, but it's worth the effort.

A Price Worth Paying (part 2 of 3)Early Morning In Marlborough Forest


July 27th, 2017 at 10:25 am
Sounds like a fun hike!

Fantastic flowers, glad the trip was worth it!

July 27th, 2017 at 2:53 pm
Mike: great, now I'm going to have that stuck in my head allll day!