Sunday, June 17, 2012

In the Company of Orchids

Showy Lady's-slipper
(Cypripedium reginae)
Clambering down a steep slippery slope in wellies and carrying a whole bag of camera equipment is a perilous undertaking at any time, but oh, the wonders to be seen down  in the depths when one makes the trip late in June.

Yesterday was spent pottering happily about at the bottom of a deep green bog in Lanark and marveling at the colony of native orchids blooming there. Last year at this time, I was in full bug repelling regalia, and the apparatus got in the way. This year I resigned myself to making the descent without "don't bug me" gear, taking a handful of orchid photos and getting royally chewed in the process.

This rare wild terrestrial orchid of the highlands blooms gloriously in a hidden corner of the Two Hundred Acre Wood, and we guard the knowledge of its residence jealously - only a handful of close companions know where it sends its roots deep into the fertile muck, puts up spiraling brilliant emerald leaves and blooms gloriously for only a few days in late June.

The fleeting nature of aestival seasons was in my thoughts as I squelched about in bog and fen yesterday. At this time, it always seems that summer has just arrived, but in only a few days, we will be on our way to shorter days and longer nights again. Let us enjoy wild orchids and roses, these golden days and starry velvet summer nights, for lo, their time among us and over our heads is all too brief.


Anonymous said...

Those wild orchids are so delicate. Thank you for braving the bugs for the photos I and others get to see!

Guy said...

Hi Cate

Just lovely, I can see why you guard them so carefully.