When I was young nearly EVERY vacation we went on had to involve a Scenic Railroad in order to happen. In other words, no train- we weren’t going there. I think the only reason we went to Disney (AKA “Ratland” by my train-loving dad) was because of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. (This incident left me in tears and fearful of roller coasters until my senior year in high school when we HAD to ride roller coasters in order to complete physics experiments at Great Adventure’s Physics Day. My so-called friends convinced me to not only get on a roller coaster, but to get on the one that had a loop and went backwards. Now I’ll ride nearly any roller-coaster. I guess they were good friends after all.) As my dad feels about trains, I feel about waterfalls. Wherever my adventures take me I seek out the waterfalls nearby. Over the past couple of weekends I was lucky enough to be near quite a few falls, and the timing was perfect to see a great variety of wildflowers as well.
‘Tis the season. I am getting beautiful pictures sent to my email and phone. The orchids are blooming! Friends share their finds with me regularly and each one excites me. These are not the run-of-the-mill tropical orchids you can now find in row after row at the big box stores. Though they are lovely in their own test-tube-propagated way. These are the wild, native, I-can’t-believe-I-just-found-an-orchid, orchids that make even the most grueling, mosquito ridden, tick infested, poison ivy covered hike worth the effort. May through October, I hike with one eye on the trail and one eye in the woods looking for bright spots of color that would indicate an orchid.
Showy Orchis, just one of the orchid pics I received so far this year from friends on their own adventures. Photo by Erin Range
White tropical Phalaenopsis Orchid, or Moth Orchid. Commonly found in the wilds of big box stores and garden centers. Much more easily found and propagated than our native orchids.