Thursday, July 9, 2009

Backyard wanders and wonders

This afternoon, my dad and I took a stroll through the field on our property. We were both armed with cameras and macro lenses. My dad was more interested in the blooming wildflowers like black-eyed susans and milkweeds, while I was trying to photograph the numerous insects flying through the grass.

Eastern Tailed-Blue

While stalking a great spangled fritillary, I ventured off the mowed path into the field filled with wild bergamot and goldenrod, neither of which have bloomed yet. After a failed attempt at photographing the butterfly, I continued through the meadow. About two steps from the mowed path, I almost fell over from trying not to step on a plant I had just noticed. I rested my knee on the ground to get a better look at the plant, which upon inspection was an orchid. The head of flowers, all of which were white with wiry looking petals hanging downward, identified this as a fringed orchid, or fringed orchis as some say.

Ragged Fringed Orchid

When I reached the house, I opened up my trusty Plants of Pennsylvania to find that my special flower was a Ragged Fringed Orchid, a plant of wet meadows much like where I had found it. This awesome plant is the second orchid on my property. The first, helleborine, is a common woodland orchid, which is native to Europe.

After spending 14 years here in Kunkletown, this place still manages to amaze me...

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