Pink Lady Slippers

by Bethany Plonski April. 16, 2019 278 views

Over the weekend I got to see my first ever wild orchids! These are pink lady slippers (cypripedium acaule), a protected species in our area. The preserve where I saw them tracks its orchid population each year in a census.

One of the volunteers at the preserve was kind enough to help me find them, because they are only blooming in two spots right now. She showed me how to spot the tips of their new leaves so I didn’t step on any orchids-to-be while I moved around to take pictures. There were a lot of new shoots poking through the ground cover around these clusters, so I'm sure there will be plenty more beautiful orchids in bloom soon.

Sometimes I get frustrated with life in the South…there is a lot of cultural backwardness here that isn’t going to right itself anytime soon. But one thing I will say about Georgia is that it is full of surprises when it comes to nature. Who would have thought we’d have river otters here? Or wild orchids? Abundant waterfalls? Beautiful driftwood beaches? Or our own miniature Grand Canyon? When I moved back here after living in the Rocky Mountain wonderland of Colorado, I expected to be disappointed with my options for hiking and outdoor activities, and that has definitely not been the case. It's different, for sure, but full of its own understated kind of beauty.

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Russell Smith 1 year, 1 month ago

Quite beautiful. N. Ga is beautiful and has some great foothills. If you are ever looking for a great beach that isn't too commercial and has a ton of history go to Jekyll Island (interestingly enough the Fed Reserve was conceived there) and explore the golden isles (few islands around there). It is amazing and there is a sea turtle rescue there also. I have not been in several years but I remember the island before the started the renovations of the old winter homes. Cumberland Island is another great one to visit (during the winter ) . Then the swamps of the Okefenokee are mystical (another good spot for late fall-early spring) .

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Russell Smith 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank you! We’re lucky to be about an hour’s drive from the foothills. I love going up there for hikes! We’ve been to Jekyll once about 5 years ago and loved it, and this summer we have a short family trip to St. Simon’s Island, hopefully with a day-trip to Cumberland Island while we are there. I heard there are wild horses at Cumberland, so it's been on my list and I'm really looking forward to seeing it. I will have to see about the sea turtle rescue, because I’m almost as crazy about turtles as I am for horses. smile I’d love to see the Okefenokee swamps too.

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Bethany Plonski 1 year, 1 month ago

Check ahead for Cumberland Island there is only a ferry that goes over I know it use to be booked up months in advance. There is a boat tour that leaves from Amelia Island (right across the St. Marys Island) . The boat tour is worth the money. Amelia Island is also home to Pippy Longstocking house that they used in the first movie. Okefenokee look around there is a couple of different places to view it some are more remote others have more amenities.

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Russell Smith 1 year, 1 month ago

Thanks for the heads up on the ferry! I actually looked into it this week and it was a good thing because I’m trying to coordinate for a group and there are a lot of little details that would have thrown us for a loop if we waited until last minute. Looking forward to seeing the island a lot, even though I’ve read that July is basically the worst possible time to visit.

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Sherry Hill 1 year, 1 month ago

beautiful.. 
i must admit, i wouldn't have thought of Georgia as an outdoorsy/woodsy place.. 
you are enlightening me thru your photos.. :)

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Sherry Hill 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank you, I’m really glad to hear that! smile Lately I've been trying to focus less on having expectations and more on being open to what's around me, and it's a much happier way to be. I lived here years before and never noticed half of the cool stuff right under my nose because I was so aggravated about other things.

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Olga Helys 1 year, 1 month ago

#2 SO WONDERFUL
GREAT
thanks for sharing

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Olga Helys 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank you so much! smile Glad you enjoyed them!

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Antonio Gil 1 year, 1 month ago

You've captured so well these little beauties. Kudos

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Antonio Gil 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank you! Glad you enjoyed them. smile

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Camellia Staab 1 year, 1 month ago

What a beautiful flower and your captured probe its beauty. Thanks for sharing.

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank you! It’s hard to believe it can be so challenging to grow an orchid indoors and then they just grow naturally outside like it's nothing!smile

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Björn Roose 1 year, 1 month ago

Honestly, culture and nature often don't go very well together. However, it's easier to be an island of culture on your own, than to be an island of nature on your own, so I prefer nature smile

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Björn Roose 1 year, 1 month ago

Agreed, I’ve noticed that nature and culture can be mismatched from lot of places I’ve lived. In general I think people tend to have more annoying habits than nature does, so nature usually wins for me too. smile

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
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