Posted by: 2in10 | 06/02/2010

wild orchids

There were two!

Digging around today in the garden one week ago, I happened upon a pair of lady slippers under the drooping bows of a hemlock tree. Cypripedium reginae, Queen’s lady’s slipper or pink-and-white lady’s slipper, is a wild orchid native to northern North America. It’s rare and considered imperiled though most of its range from Canada to Tennessee. Here is Massachusetts its status is vulnerable.

The last time I saw a lady’s slipper on this property it was several yards away and on a lower terrace. Did those squirrels and chipmunks that I deplore bring the round, blue seeds here? Have these two been blooming in this place and I haven’t noticed?

I was going to write about watching soil form, more or less, after admiring all that was growing in the cracks and crevices of yet another granite outcrop. The moss fills in, grass clippings and leaf clutter stick around, and next thing you know, there’s a sedge or a rhododendron or leucothoe emerging from the narrowest slice of soil. It’s a testament of the power of living things to thrive and to heal without any direct intervention from us. I like to be reminded from time to time.



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