Friday, May 18, 2012
Western Fairy Slippers near Yelm
On Saturday we went on our first excursion of the year with the Washington Native Orchid Society to a location near Yelm to see the Fairy Slippers and other plants. The location is protected and we had to sign papers agreeing that we would not publish any location information along with our pictures.
The Fairy Slippers here were nearly finished, but we did find some in the woods that were still fresh and worth photographing. One thing we found was a clump growing on a log, something none of us had seen before. We figured they had been growing at the base of the tree when it fell and continued to grow there.
In the first of these photos you can clearly see the "bulbs" at the base of the stems, less clearly in the second photo. These bulbs are often damaged and the plant destroyed if the flower is picked, as happened with hundreds of them in another more public location recently.
The flowers in the second picture are differently colored because they are in different stages of development, the two on the right pollinated and fading. The brightest flower is the freshest or them all, the other unpollinated flower still a light pink.