Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lady Luck

We are fortunate to live on a 77 acre parcel of land. It's not suitable for farming given the shallow, rocky soil and most of it is covered with cedars. Over the years we've carved out a 'domesticated' area which includes the lawns around the house, the flower beds, a couple of small ponds and a veggie garden. Outside this area lies 'the wilderness'. There's a fairly well-defined line between the domesticated and wilderness areas, and we are in constant battle to prevent the encroachment of the latter upon the former. I suspect that if we left nature to decide the outcome, within 2 years the wilderness would prevail everywhere.

One of the benefits of living in the country and having a wilderness area, is that I have an easy place to dispose of the numerous undesirable plants (aka weeds) that want to take up residence in the flower beds. I simply walk to the edge of the domesticated area and pitch a handful of weeds as far as I can - tough to do in the city, unless you consider your neighbour's property a wilderness area (and I'm sure you've seen a few of those).

About a week ago, I was doing just that - I weeded and pitched the weeds into the wilderness. As I turned to weed some more, I happened to notice a few yellow flowers some ways into the wilderness. At first I thought they were dandelions - then it dawned on me that there were no other dandelions around - their moment to shine had come and gone. Curious, I decided to walk over for a closer look - I recognized a flower I had never seen in the wild before - a small yellow Lady's Slipper ! Now I've pitched countless weeds into that general area over the years but I had never seen these before. At a later time, I trudged through several acres looking for more of them but I found none.

(all shots made with a 60mm lens at either f11 or f14, ISO200, and shutter speeds of 1/80 or 1/125 sec)

click on photos for a larger image

This is what I saw in the wilderness when I first spotted this seemingly nondescript plant.


Elizabeth Grimes said...

I would imagine there are hundreds more hidden treasures in your wilderness. Any yellow flower just makes me happy. Feels so cheerful.

Cloudia said...

you are a treasure hunter and sharer! Lucky us :)

Aloha from Waikiki :)

Comfort Spiral




Marty said...

Une petite orchidée (??) qui aime les
lieux sauvages et qui est venue s'y installer ! elle est très belle !
merci infiniment Rick pour ton gentil commentaire qui me remplit de joie ce matin (il est 7h30 ici)! je sème tout autour de toi des graines de bisous multicolores!

The Tame Lion said...

Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful!

Nancy said...

I used to have a yellow lady slipper in one of my shade gardens, but it quit coming up one year. I was devistated.

Lovely captures, Rick. Love the tendrils coming down from the blooms. :)

Leslie said...

i've never seen a lady's slipper in real life. they are so delicate! i grew up on a 6 acre plot of land in the country in illinois... even in that relatively small plot the oak wilderness threatened to overtake our "cultivated area." it's such a gift to grow up in the country like that... we have such fond memories.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Lucky you.I do have some of these plants growing in one of my flower beds and another volunteer plant that came up under one of the evergreens.Not too many miles from my house are numerous Lady Slippers,growing in the wild,I love it.

Krista said...

How neat! Lady Luck, she smiled on you that day. :o)

Leovi said...

Gorgeous frames for these beautiful flowers and delicious texture yellow tones. Greetings.

imac said...

Gold in the wilderness Rick, you are rich.

How far to nearest neighbour?

magda said...

Strange ... so beautiful plant Rick!
I am very pleased!
The pictures you are great!!!
Many greetings

Hilda R.B said...

Wow, this was great. Have never seen this before. The second photo was so close and beautiful. Well done.

Scott said...

Just beautiful. Glad you saw and shared them.

darlin said...

What an interesting plant, I've never seen these before. Does the yellow part open up and blossom or is this fully grown? I love the shape. Very nice pictures Rick and what a beautiful find... nature really does sing! Have a wonderful evening.

Saz said...

These are lovely photo's Rick! I love that you got one showing us how you saw them first too, they look really small! Lovely colour though. (:

Sheila said...

It's my first time visiting your blog, and I will definitely be back. Your photos are an inspiration to a person who only recently read the camera's manual and took it off automatic! I, too, am motivated by the desire to share the beauty of God's creation with others.

Rick said...

I've found quite a few here over the years - and there's likely a lot more out there waiting to be discovered. Thanks Elizabeth.

Thanks Cloudia - my pleasure to share the treasure ;-) Aloha !

Oui, Marty - I'm sure I would have discovered it earlier if it had been there ! The pleasure was mine to see all the beauty on your blog; a good evening to you now since your matin is long over. Some evening bisous pour toi !

@The Tame Lion - thank you for visiting, and your kind comment.

Nancy - I can understand why you felt that way - I`m leaving this one right where it is (I read that they`ll die if you try to transplant it). I hope this one grows for a long time. Thanks Nancy !

Rick said...

I totally agree with growing up in the country, Leslie - loved every minute of it, and continue to do so. This find really surprised me !

You`re very fortunate Ruth to have such an abundance. I always keep my eyes 'peeled' for unusual plants - glad I was lucky enough to spot this one.

She sure did Krista - thanks for dropping by. Time I caught up with you again ;-)

Gracias, Leovi !

Rick said...

Thanks Stewart - we're certainly blessed. Only 600' in one direction and about 2000' in the other to the neighbours - but no houses in sight; all are hidden by the trees, and we're 500' off the road.

Thank you Magda - yes, it is a very unusual little plant. Have a great Thursday !

Thank you, Hilda. I'd only ever seen these in books or the internet - so nice to see for real.

Thank you, Scott - my pleasure. Hope you're doing well - will have to get over to your blog soon.

Rick said...

First time I'd seen one too, Darlene. This is what the flower looks like - a (really small) lady might put her foot into the slipper - it's fully grown; the slipper is only about 2.5 cm long. Thanks Darlene - enjoy your evening !

Thanks Saz - they were small so I had to go right over to them before I recognized them. Had to capture using my macro lens.

Thanks for dropping by Sheila, and commenting. Good for you to abandon automatic and start exploring your camera's capabilities so you can use it even more creatively. All we can really do is reflect the beauty of His creation. Hope to 'see' you again.

Tammy said...

What a prize! I would try moving it to my garden.

Fábio Martins | Fotografia said...

Little things :)
Good detail Rick

lisa said...

What a find Rick!
Here in NY, these are actually a protected flower.
Truly a treasure, and you have photographed them so beautifully.

Cicero Sings said...

What a beauty of a find! Lucky you. I'd love to see one of those for real. We have Fairy Slippers though.

I too, have been dumping my weeds in the wilderness area ... while it is still wilderness. Soon, unfortunately, they are to develop that area. We all thought it was green belt but had a rude awakening. I've only been dumping my weeds since the awakening. It will be bulldozed anyway.

S. Etole said...

My mother had one of these on the edge of her yard and I have seen the white ones but this is so pretty.

Jeanne Klaver said...

You're kidding! I pay good $$ for these, and they're growing wild in your space? Go figure...

Rick said...

Yes, I agree Tammy. I did a little research on the lady`s slipper and was warned against trying to transplant it - apparently they don`t take to it too well and die. I marked the area with a wooden stake so I could find it next year (I also cleared the grass and weeds away from the immediate vicinity).

Yes, they sure are, Fábio ! Thank you.

Rick said...

I was very happy to find it, Lisa ! And I'll be protecting it too. Thank you.

I felt particularly lucky too Eileen since it's the first time I've ever seen one in the wild. Sorry to hear that your wilderness area will be developed - not what I'd consider 'progress'.

Thank you Susan - the only other ones I'd seen were in books and on someone's blog.

Ha ha Jeanne - life just isn't fair, is it. Actually this is the only one I've found - and I didn't even know you could buy them ! Thanks for dropping by.

cindyzlogic said...

OH WOW!! Yellow Slippers!! They are such sweet little things! Great captures :-))

You can never take too many pictures said...

Oh Rick, How wonderful!!!!! We have the Pink Lady Slippers here in my area but not the Yellow. In fact my neighbor has several blooms that come up in her garden,,,,so how handy is that???? I would need to travel to the Bruce Pennisula to find the ones you have.

Thanks for your latest comments on my blog....I was getting a bit depressed with over 80 followers and barely anyone commenting anymore....but I know how time consuming it all is!!!!!!And now with a busy summer ahead...I'll have to make time just to post!!!!!

CarreraCaballo said...

Wow, the second photo is mesmerizing, it is like looking into a face of an alien!

I wonder how many bees crash-landed because of a flight perspective like that . . . Mayday, Mayday . . . :-D



Rick said...

I was similarly bedazzled, Cindy, - lovely little flowers. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

That's handy going over to the neighbours to shoot some lady's slippers, Sue ! I'll keep an eye out for pink ones here, but it took me 8 years to find these. I know how tough it is to keep up the blog, and visiting other sites (and I've been having all sorts of internet problems). Thanks for the visit and comments !

LOL Joseph - that was my favourite too. I'll go check later for any bee carcasses ! Hope all is well - have a superb weekend !

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Jjjeello you old pitcher. Did play baseball as a youngster did ya?
You know what! These lady slippers are considered rare...so do take pics and go to some plant genius and I'll bet you found a pot of gold. Really do I've read a book about this ladyslipper once ....

Oh en volgende keer niet zo opscheppen over al je acres....dan word ik jalours. hihih.
Happy day my friend.

joey said...

Rick, you are so blessed to find this awesome Lady's Slipper, a protected MI wildflower. I wrap my arms around those in my garden at home and at the lake.

Soraia Brito said...

Love the colour :D

This is my new blog


Rick said...

Hallo Dag - ha ha, yes, I take a big wind up before I throw the weeds - always a strike ! ;-) I was thrilled to find these and have marked the spot, although I'm sure I'll find them next year. Jij, jalours ?? Nooit toch ;-)

I can well understand that joey and I considered myself fortunate indeed. You're also lucky to have them in MI - not sure of their status in Ontario.

Obrigado Soraia; I have checked it out too - off to a great start !