showy orchis and ram's head ladyslipper

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elmer, nj
in vermont. ken and i took a day trip which turned out really well! it was a little longer than we usually might go to see orchids, and we had to drive through some of the hurricane/flooded/damaged roads through vermont but it was well worth the trip. I had been to this spot a few times before, but not recently and I knew that ken would enjoy seeing all of the orchids there. there were showy orchis, cyp arietinum, cyp parviflorum var pubescens, possibly a hooker's orchis (have been seen there in the past) and other interesting sights

when we arrived at the site, it was quite warm and breezy. as we walked up the path towards the bridge, I could see that the hurricane flooding had washed out the bridge before, and new grading plus a new bridge was in place. unfortunately, I could see that some of the new grading looked to be very near where the first colony of ram's head ladyslippers were near the creek. ken and i looked around a few minutes, before I moved closer to the creek

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I finally spot my first ram's head seedling before finding about half a dozen

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after ken comes down to see the seedling, I spot a plant in flower, and
we soon find about seven nicely flowering plants very close to where
the construction work was done. one part of the colony was bulldozed
to make the grade, but quite a few seedlings and flowering plants were
in the area behind a maple tree and the slope towards the creek. the
orchids were growing in a small area where there was silty loam
(very moist but airy continually).
ken photographing one of the first ram's head, near the base of
the bank

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another nice c. arietinum on the bank

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another nice flower with a seed pod from last year. there were
quite a few old seed pods in both colonies

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the first time I came to this site, I found a single all-white showy
orchis plant in flower. it was my first all-white native orchid, and
nobody had seen it here before so I was pretty excited. much
to my surprise and happiness, this year the plant had multiplied
into a six-growth colony! It's difficult to photograph this species,
but this clump was up on a bank, making it much easier to get a
view from below

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amazing

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another clump nearby not yet in flower; looked to be a pale pink form

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not sure if this was a hooker's orchis, or a new showy orchis seedling

more in next window
 
absolutely amazing Charles. What a great spot. The cyp is so unusual, at least to me anyhow as I'm just learning about cyp's. Thanks for sharing with us.
 
orchids part two

more pictures

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some nice jack in the pulpits growing right next to the white showy orchis

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a nice clump of darker pink showy orchis

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an absolutely huge clump of pale pink showy orchis (old seed pods everywhere)

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inchworm chewing a ram's head flower to pieces in second colony

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nice colony of ram's head, with very large colony of showy orchis
in background

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when I took this picture, I didn't notice that the caps over the pollen
sacs were deformed, somehow. they are very small or have been
removed

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when I was walking back up the path towards the car, I approached the area where some tiger swallowtail butterflies had been resting on the moist ground to soak up some water and minerals. some had not taken flight when a vehicle had passed through so they had been killed. I was setting up my camera/tripod to wait for the other butterflies to come back so that I could get a picture. as I was setting up, I saw a snake with a toad in it's mouth right in the ditch. I took some pictures that you can see here

http://www.slippertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25836
some were offended that I would interfere with nature, while others applauded. I just wanted a 'happy ending' for the toad, since otherwise it would interfere with my warm, fuzzy feeling from a nice day of orchid hunting :)
 
Great shots Charles. It is nice to see that the ram's heads are recovering from the crazy rains you all got. Huge clumps of G. spectablis too. I'd say your seedling plant is indeed the latter plant rather than P. hookeri - their leaves are so prostrate to the ground.

Great stuff - thanks.
 
Great photos,lovely to see. I had not realised how small the cyp flowers were. It is certainly a dainty one.
 
Fantastic!!

When did you take the pics of Galearis spectabilis? A few days ago we went in a maple forest to locate 2 clumps of that species. We found 33 plants, so twice the number of the colony in 2007. But unfortunatly the flowers were not there anymore.
 
Fantastic!!

When did you take the pics of Galearis spectabilis? A few days ago we went in a maple forest to locate 2 clumps of that species. We found 33 plants, so twice the number of the colony in 2007. But unfortunatly the flowers were not there anymore.

the pictures from the new york state population were taken on may 15th, and the ones from vermont were taken on may 20th. all were open at the new york site, but there were still populations on may 20th in vermont that had tight flower buds. interesting how plants only a few feet apart in different colonies could be fully in flower or not at all. each colony would be different. in either case, a number of years ago we had gone to an area near north creek, ny and seen showy orchis in full flower in very early june, so this year was very early in comparison

I love showy orchis, but I end up most of the time just admiring the flowers instead of trying to get close-up pictures of them. They droop often, so seeing them through the camera is difficult. It gets harder to stand on your ear to look through the viewfinder to make sure everything is in focus! :D I have developed a 'new' technique which I never thought that I would use; point the lens in the right direction and set the shutter and all to where I want, and then put the camera on auto-focus. I keep taking pictures until it gets the right spot in focus... I then look at the image on the back plate to make sure the light is right and everything is in the frame. It helps a lot to have something growing on a bank so that I can get underneath.

I didn't end up taking a whole lot of pictures of ram's head, and I like close-up images of it, because they were mostly in large clumps or near enough to each other that it was prohibitive to try and get too close and move around. You would end up wiping out plants. It is nice to see them and just look at them, relaxing a bit instead of always rushing to take pictures (and then forget what they look like until I look at a picture again)
 
Charles have you thought about doing a book on orchids of your region? The efforts you make to photograph should certainly be documented.
 
;) heck no! "everything has to eat" :rollhappy:
Wow! Jokes! :p

I have developed a 'new' technique which I never thought that I would use; point the lens in the right direction and set the shutter and all to where I want, and then put the camera on auto-focus. I keep taking pictures until it gets the right spot in focus... I then look at the image on the back plate to make sure the light is right and everything is in the frame.

This is kind of what I have to do in the apartment except I dont have room to look at the back plate so I'm just pointing, guessing, and clicking! :eek:
 
Great pics thanks for sharing.

I would love to have rams head, but my last import died due to customs,

And did not seen them for offering anywhere for a long time
 

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