orchids and such from nelson swamp (part 1)

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Peloric keiki
Jan 22, 2008
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elmer, nj
Had a good trip into Nelson Swamp today with Ken Hull and his friend Ray. We had recently visited there to see the extremely rare (in NY) striped coralroot. After I had posted about our visit, a Post-Grad candidate originally from upstate ny Craig Barrett visited with his father. One the way out, his father noticed some platanthera obtusata, or blunt-leaved rein orchis. That's quite a spotting, seeing as how they have a green leaf, green flowers, they are growing amongst green ground cover and are usually only five inches tall at most! After a few visits we narrowed down the location and though Craig and his father had found about five plants, all told we found nearly two dozen plants! Most were in flower or had at least a partial spike. Just a few were smaller seedlings with no flower spike. Also we found a very nice colony of twin flower, went to see some platanthera aquilonis that weren't flowering yet. Later after Ken and Ray left for home, I went over to a previous spot where I had seen p. obtusata but last year it hadn't come up because of drought. Before, there had only been about five plants. Much to my surprise, this year there were about 17 plants with maybe four that didn't have flower spikes. The first spot the obtusata were growing mostly on the ground but some in moss, and this second spot they were almost all growing in the moss that was covering fallen small cedar trees. Some of the plants were actually on logs that were sitting in water or suspended up in the air over the water, and not touching the ground at all. So all in all there were about 40 p. obtusata plants found in nelson swamp which is just amazing to me, as I didn't think there would be that many of that in a whole county. Later, after much stumbling and scratches from trying to cover large distances through extreme amounts of blowdown, I ended up near my car. On the way out, I walked through an area that often had western spotted coralroot, and happily found two plants growing together! One had been chewed partway up the stem so had tipped over, but the other was about a third open, quite tall and with many more flowers to open. It was pretty breezy, so some of the pictures were sharpened and all a fair amount to try and get them to stand out against the background.

Pictures will be posted in two or three threads to keep the pic count from getting too high...
... oh, and today, there were a good number of tiny mosquitos, despite what I had said previously about there not being any mosquitos in cedar swamps in upstate ny..


a really nice corallorhiza striata picture I hadn't posted before


the tallest sample of platanthera obtusata


a curious visitor, not quite the usual pattern on the shell that I often see







a very nice colony of twinflower, at it's southernmost extreme of it's range in upstate ny. usually it's found in the adirondacks. because nelson swamp is fairly high in elevation it has quite a large number of plants usually found much further north


I was surprised to see a tiny inchworm on the right-middle flower. It's only three millimeters or so in length; keep in mind that these flowers are tiny in themselves
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Well-Known Member
Aug 28, 2006
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Thanks! Great photos in both of these posts. The Corallorhiza here is a very special photo!