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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Stalking the Wild Orchid

May 29th, 2009 · 1 Comment

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Variety is the spice of my life. Which may in part explain why I have been married three times and engaged twice more.

I’m always seeking new experiences, so I seldom return to trails that I hiked recently. But only 12 days ago I hiked the Spring Brook Loop Trail, finding “Fields of Flowers,” including the rare and beautiful coralroot orchid.

And my love of that flower drove me to return today. When I saw the coralroot on my previous hike, it wasn’t yet in bloom, and several people I showed my photo to doubted if it was a coralroot. I wanted to prove to myself that what I saw and photographed was indeed a coralroot orchid.

Before it blooms it looks very much like a colorful asparagus stalk. Since I an re-reading Euell Gibbons’s 1962 bible of the environmental movement called “Stalking the Wild Asparagus,” I came naturally to stalking a wild orchid today.

I had read that deer like to nibble on the coralroot, and I have seen deer at least twice near where I found it. So I wasn’t confident that I would find a coralroot in bloom today, the first time I ever went out in search of an individual plant.

You can therefore imagine my joy when I found a whole stand of coralroot orchids just where I remembered them. I went wild with photographing them, and the only problem was selecting the one photograph I want to share:

The Wild Coralroot Orchid Today

The Wild Coralroot Orchid Today

Returning to the Spring Brook Loop Trail today was no hardship. It remains one of my favorite hikes because it’s not rocky and this 5-mile loop is just steep enough to give me a good workout.

Millions of other flowers are also in bloom. Even the yucca:

A Yucca Blooms

A Yucca Blooms

A Yucca That Will Soon Bloom

A Yucca That Will Soon Bloom

A Little Orange Bloom

A Little Orange Bloom

Fields of Flowers Along the Trail Near Where I Found the Coralroot Orchid

Fields of Flowers Along the Trail Near Where I Found the Coralroot Orchid

I’m learning that I can go back to trails that I have hiked and find something new each time. Wildflowers are as ephemeral as they are beautiful.


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Posted in: Hiking

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Robert Fenton // May 31, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Now we are seeing the talent you have. It is the returning to the same places and seeing the beauty of the changing seasons and following the changing plant life.

    Even the scenery changes with time of day and time of year. Even animal life changes and recording this change creates a book by itself.

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