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Ramblings

Maybe the most spectacular spring orchid is the showy lady slipper, up to 32 inches tall, which grows only in calcareous wetlands such as white cedar swamps. Google "Saratoga woods and waterways" on June 15 to see great pictures of this rarity by Jackie Donnelly.

Rose pogonia, a small pink and white orchid also called "snake-mouth" for some silly reason, is lining the edges of the Hudson ice meadows below The Glen and almost every peat mat bordering our ponds.

On June 20 near Nine Corner Lake just north of Canada Lake, I was treated to five pad-leaved or round-leaved orchids, some almost two feet tall, with many off-white, very long-spurred blossoms on a stalk. Some years, as is common with orchids, none of these show their heads, but all the rain this year must have agreed with them.

A few other beautiful orchids are still hiding in the moss or other damp places. Most of the rest are not very noticeable, being greenish or small-flowered. But I admire them all for their ability to get to where they need to be, show up year after year, and even thrive in what often seem to us like very harsh conditions. But like Br'er Rabbit and his brier patch, home is where they are safe and happy!

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