Lady’s Slipper Orchids – Surprise In the Ditch

I’ve lost track of how many times I have walked the road that leads from our property to the main road. Hundreds, I suppose. Round trip is about a mile and a half. In nice weather, it is a good place to walk. In poor weather… well, there are more comfortable places to walk, like the treadmill in my basement…

The road is bordered by a deep ditch which is a repository for all sorts of things. When I walk the road I scan the ditch, looking for items of interest. A few months back I found the little folder of registration and insurance papers that were stolen from our Jeep. Maybe someday I will also find the garage door opener that disappeared in that theft!

12-fence1On one side of the road is a field of hay. It is fenced with barbed wire. I suppose at one time the fence had a purpose, but today it is just a small hurdle for the deer, and a good place for the native birds to sit. About half way along the fence is a gate post.

12-fence2On the fence near the gate is an old piece of rusty chain. It is hooked by the barbed wire. At one time, the gate was probably secured with this.

12-fence-birdOn my walk yesterday, I left the road and started wading through the knee deep grass in the ditch. I had spotted something unusual in the long grass and had to take a closer look. A Chirpy little bird flew from fence post to fence post, either greeting me, or warning me to stay away.

12-ladys-slipperFinally I found the splash of yellow that had caught my attention. It is a clump of Yellow Lady’s Slipper orchidsCypripedium parviflorum.  What a surprise! According to the websites I consulted, these normally grow in moist, wooded, mountain areas, not in prairie ditches like ours. It just goes to show, Mother Nature knows a lot more about diversity and survival than we give her credit for!

10 comments

  1. Hi,
    A very unusual flower to find in such a place. The walk turned out to be very interesting. Sorry to hear that someone stole from you, I often wonder what goes through these peoples minds when they do things like that.
    Every now and then Mother Nature throws some theory’s out, and does some weird and wonderful things, it does make life interesting.

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    • Hi Magsx2 – It was odd what the thieves took and then threw away as they left our property! We were happy to eventually find the insurance and registration, which meant they weren’t trying to steal the Jeep. We bought new garage door openers, so that article was of no use to them either!

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  2. Beautiful pictures! I’m so glad you took your camera along on your walk. The lady-slipper is gorgeous – I’ve never seen one in person. I think I’ve read that they’re rare…?? So wonderful to find one in an unexpected location.

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    • Hi Dianna – I actually spotted the flowers on my walk, then went home and got my camera and returned. Then I walked the ditch until I found them again. Most things I’ve read said they are rare enough that anyone who finds them keeps the location a secret! They don’t transplant well, and their seeds need special treatment and soil to grow.

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  3. Thanks for taking me on your walk with you today, it was a pleasant stroll. Not to far either a nice walk. Love the factiod about the lady-slipper. And the add bonus of a sunny day. Loved the walk…..

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    • Hi BRC – I don’t know how many times I’ve been in a different part of the world and looked at a scene that could have been at the end of my road!

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    • Hi elmediat – Interesting thought about a story for that chain. I’m not too good at speculation nor fiction, so my story about the chain would last for about one line.

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