Monday, June 23, 2014

Showy Lady Slipper Orchids at Purdon Conservation Area

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.


troutbirder said...

Gorgeous flower photos indeed. I am prejudiced on the showy pink lady slipper because it happens to be our "state flower." It's only found in the northern forests in Minnesota so we don't have it here in the south.

Shammickite said...

The wild orchids are gorgeous. I'm so glad their colony is being preserved. The tiny tree frog obviously wanted his picture taken, posing like that in the sunshine!

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Thank you for sharing, such beauty and the little tree frog us familar to this one who lives by the woods. So hot here
in the high 90's and it is daybreak when I am outside.

Lady Lilith said...

They look like such a delicate flower.

EG CameraGirl said...

The lady's slippers are stunning! I used to know where there were some here but I bet someone dug them up. Not good as they will probably die.

Cute tiny toad!

Kerry said...

Omigosh, AC. Lady Slippers and tree frogs are 2 of my very very most favorite things. Ever.

Indrani said...

This is an amazing variety of orchid and what a cute name. :)

I couldn't have assessed the toad's size had you not shown the comparison. Great captures.

Thank you for the visit to my blog. :)