We heard about and visited Purdon Conservation area in our first year in this area. After eight years, it seemed like another visit was in order. Having received Twitter updates on the progress of these Lady Slipper Orchids, I knew that the time was right. It also helped that it wasn't a boiling hot day because it can get pretty muggy and buggy down in the marshy area.
Joe Purdon discovered a small cluster of this species back in the 1930s and decided to nurture the colony. This necessitates cutting enough trees to provide sufficient sunlight. Presently, there are around 16 000 plants on the site that is now administered by the MVCA (Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority — and as always, I remind visitors that this Mississippi of Eastern Ontario is unrelated to the mighty USA river of the same name).
To preserve the site, visitors are reminded to stick to the boardwalk. This is also rather good advice because it is a low-lying, swampy area. Sue is obeying the rules well in the following photo.
There are orchids aplenty beyond the boardwalk, but there are enough close by to satisfy the average photographer, and I am very average. I carried my lenses and tripod with me, but I don't know why I bother sometimes because I just used the attached lens and hand-held.
The above and below photo is the same, the difference being that the following one is cropped from the upper photo.
As we entered the site, another photographer told us where to find a tree frog (above) — on a sign and not in a tree. He was there when we started our walk and still there at the end. He is about the size of Sue's finger nail, which although longer than mine and probably yours is still just a finger nail. Oh, I may as well post that too although I hadn't intended to.
Below is a butterfly, which I must now google to see if I can identify. Sigh: so much work. Alrighty then: it seems to be a White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthemis). It was resting on a table, regularly opening and closing its wings. I didn't want to frighten it away by getting to close.
At the other entrance to the conservation area, some distance from the orchid section, one can take a short walk to the lookout and catch a glimpse of Purdon Lake. Visitors can also walk closer from down below, but we chose not to.
It was an altogether pleasant outing, about an hour away from home. Did I say that admission is free? Well it is, although there is a handy dandy donation box or two on the property.