This was the day I discovered the Calypso Orchid, and I am obsessed.
In many respects, this was not a great hike. It was shorter than we planned, and became an out-and-back rather than a loop, all because logging had disrupted the trail so much it was indiscernible. But, Number One Son was with us (bonus number one) and because we had to back track, Spousal Unit saw a bird fly out from the same spot twice. Number One Son discovered the nest with four eggs (bonus number two). I studied information on NestWatch, and this is most likely the nest of a Dark Eyed Junco. Other possibilities are Brown Thrasher, Song Sparrow and Spotted Towhee.
And then I saw the orchids (bonus number three). A single grouping on a hillside. Brilliant colors. So ornate. I could not wait to get home to look for more information about them.
Calypso is a genus of orchids containing one species, Calypso bulbosa, known as the calypso orchid, fairy slipper or Venus's slipper. It is a perennial member of the orchid family found in undisturbed northern and montane forests. It has a small pink, purple, pinkish-purple, or red flower accented with a white lip, darker purple spottings, and yellow beard. The genus Calypso takes its name from the Greek signifying concealment, as they tend to favor sheltered areas on conifer forest floors and bogs. The fairy slipper requires specific mycorrhizal fungi to survive.
Calypso bulbosa var. occidentalis, the Western Fairy Slipper, is found only in the Cascade mountain range and west of the Rockies in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho and Montana. It has a white beard and a lip that is heavily spotted with brownish-purple.
Linking to Mosaic Monday
Too bad about the hike -- especially knowing that it is logging operations that have caused the disruption to the landscape of the area. Lovely seeing all the gorgeous natural flora, especially those beautiful orchids. Just think what the world would look like if man didn't damage and try to control everything. Forests are a wonderful thing and must be preserved.ReplyDelete
Tammy - I agree that total devastation is unacceptable. On the other hand, some forest experts are now saying that thinning a forest is critical to prevent all-consuming forest fires, which have become more frequent in the last decade, largely owing to years of full fire suppression efforts by the forest service. I am sure the truth is in the middle ground.Delete
I am obsessed with Balsamroot! I love how it covers all the hillsides in Montana. Such a sturdy plant. I am on the Oregon Coast right now and obsessed with Spindrift. It is like very tall clover with pink heads. It is everywhere around our condo. So pretty! :) KitReplyDelete
Kit - I like the bushy nature of the Balsamroot - so many flowers on one plant! Glad you are enjoying your Oregon trip. Is Spindrift a naturally occurring plant?Delete
I'm happy to see that despite a few setbacks you enjoyed the hike and found a few bonus treats along the way. Thank you for sharing the wildflowers of Montana with the Mosaic Monday crowd this week.ReplyDelete
Maggie - I look forward to sharing more Montana beauty in the near future. Watch this space!Delete
The south spencer trail ended up as a trail of delights! Pretty flowers, the wonderful birds nest and the orchid. Add your son and I'd say -- "delightful"! Happy Monday!ReplyDelete
We have several friends who have had bad news lately on the health front, and so I keep focusing on how much we have to be grateful for, even if not everything goes the way we have planned!Delete
The orchid is a treasure, so beautiful & good shot too.ReplyDelete
Thank you. I wear glasses for reading and detail work, and so when I am on a hike without them, I can't tell if I have a good shot until I get back home with my glasses!Delete
The yellow flowers are so cheery looking. Orchids are delicate and so intricately formed - what a serendipitous find along your hike.ReplyDelete
I love the word serendipitous!Delete
A quick note to comment on your comment on my post. The photos were taken on Highway #1, which is where you'll travel through Banff, Golden, etc. Enjoy!ReplyDelete
How wonderful to come across those orchids! WOW! They really are gorgeous. And aren't the little bird eggs precious! I love to hike. You never know what you'll see. I'm going to put your blog in my sidebar. I love your blog! Hugs, DianeReplyDelete
Diane - so exciting to be added to your sidebar. Thank you!Delete
Beautiful Orchids. I found on while hiking in the North Cascades a while back. Was so excited! I did find a similar Orchid called Bletilla striata it is purple also called Chinese Ground Orchid and Hardy Orchid. I found a yellow one called Bletilla ochracea. Love 'emReplyDelete
I hope to find more varieties on future hikes.Delete
You’re so blessed to have found such hidden treasures during your hike. I’d be thrilled with the discovery of a bird’s nest with four eggs. Calypso Orchid has an ornate and mysteriously beautiful face. They look like soldiers standing and protecting the entrance to a fairyland.ReplyDelete
What a creative description - I love it!Delete
It'll be hard to top that hike ... the bird's nest, the sunny yellow flowers (usually always my favorite) but the orchid tops everything...so beautiful ...and then the good company too of course!ReplyDelete
Number One Son has not had much time to hike with us since he started his summer job, so that truly was a blessing!Delete
Those flowers are such lovely ones, pretty little faces on each and then the surprise bird's nest, love nature's secrets~ReplyDelete
It's amazing what we can see if slow down enough to look.Delete
Sometimes, it's not the distance or direction or things according to plan that are the most important things about a hike. Sometimes, it's precisely BECAUSE of detours or sudden changes that one may come across such natural treasures.ReplyDelete
I am proud of my Greek heritage for a number of reasons. Knowing the language, especially, has its perks, as in the case of our Calypso Orchid, today. What an exquisite flower it is, and so precious, protecting itself in sheltered landscapes!
Wishing you a wonderful week, Angie,
Poppy - what a refreshing perspective - I will work to keep this in mind ....Delete