Woodland Wildflowers Update
Pink Lady’s Slippers
These are my favorites of the whole year!
The Pink Lady’s Slippers are out in full glory now! We took a walk yesterday afternoon, and I had to practically force the boys to go find seven Pink Lady’s Slippers and one particular native Flame Azalea before they could finish. Nature is a blessing, and getting outside is good for all of us. They’ll thank me for it some day.
We have several hills where the Lady’s Slippers thrive. They have a special microclimate, and in those locations you still have to go out searching. You’ll find one here and another there, then sometimes you’ll stumble upon a little patch of them! The largest patch I’ve seen blooming is the five we spotted on Sabbath! Lovely!
We discovered (just Greg and I once the boys met their quota) some pale Ladys Slippers for a change, as well as the darker pink flowers.
We learned something new! Pink Lady’s Slippers have a scent! It’s delicate, and nice. Maybe a little like the old fashioned aroma of the Trailing Arbutus.
I’ve written about the Pink Lady’s Slippers several times. you can read those posts below.
The native Flame Azalea also decorate our homestead. These woodland wildflowers grow in the Appalachian region, and grow in the acidic woodland soils along with Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron.
This year, we have a color range in the Flame Azaleas. For the first time, I spotted a bush that was so dark that it was almost red! That was the bush I required my sons to visit.
We have pale yellow and orange azaleas as well, and I love all of the variety!
A New Woodland Wildflower!
Large Whorled Pogonia
Yesterday as Greg and I climbed up the hill after visiting the Ladies, I almost stepped past something odd. I circled back and bent over to take a look, and I found the plant below.
I had no idea what this plant was, but was intrigued. Picture This app to the rescue.
Turns out it’s in the orchid family like the Pink Lady’s Slipper. The Large Whorled Pogonia is a new wildflower for my list, one I’d never even heard of. It’s pretty in it’s own way, but probably not a show-stopper like the Pink Lady’s Slipper. Still, I’m glad to have stumbled upon it, because it had a very unique look about it.
Dwarf Crested Iris
We still have a few of these irises out on the hills. They add a nice splash of color out in the woods.
Woodland Wildflowers are a Real Treat!
Wait a few days and everything will change! That’s the way of the forest! Each day is a new surprise, every hike holds hidden treasures!
My reminder is the same as always—you will never know what’s out there unless you get out and look! You can plan Nature Time, but you can’t plan what you’ll find—or not find.
For every wonderful walk with amazing finds, I have many sedate strolls where it seems like I see nothing particularly new. But even that is ok. Just being out in nature gives us benefits. Breathing in the first air is healing, getting our hands in the dirt benefits our immune system, and provides an uplift for our moods.
Cultivate Your Sense of Awe
I learned recently about the Awe Factor. Getting out into nature, experiencing the wonder that God has made—these things bring us satisfaction and help to put our lives into perspective. God is wonderful, and His creations fill us with awe.
Nowadays, though, I rarely carry a book while hiking. I almost always have my phone, and Greg and I have both found the Picture This app to be tremendously useful. We have identified tons of plants with this app. It’s so easy! You just snap a picture of the plant in question and it spits out a name. Of all the plant ID apps we’ve tried, this one gets it right most often. I know it’s the lazy way, but I still learn the plant. If I were just using the app and forgetting what I learned, I’d stop, but it works for us as a great tool!
I like this poster that identifies many common woodland wildflowers. I wish it was for my area, but it looks like many of the specimens are similar to ours.
I enjoy coloring, and the detailed drawings in this woodland wildflowers coloring book depicts common wildflowers. The drawings are accurate and detailed for use with colored pencils. I use Prismacolors.
What’s blooming in your woods, on your meadow, or in your backyard? We can compare wildflowers if you’ll tell me in the comments below.