Spencer Dykstra Photography | An Orchid Adventure

An Orchid Adventure

May 31, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

May 31, 2015




It has been a while since I have posted a long from blog post, I have been trying to promote images rather than writing. Yesterdays adventure however requires both images and words. It all starts with the many year search for a particular orchid; the Clustered Lady Slipper (Cypripedium fasciculatum). What is different this year from last is a map. I have in my possession specific locations. Yet, that is not fail proof as I came to find out. I was not successful in my search yesterday. That does not mean that the trip was fruitless.


The first plant I photographed was another orchid that I had been unsuccessful in photographing, but no longer. The Phantom Orchid (Cephalanthera austiniae) is quite unique in that there is no chlorophyll in the entire plant, it is almost entirely white. It also grows in dry shady areas, which is terribly difficult on imaging equipment. This time I was mostly pleased.


Phantom OrchidPhantom OrchidA quite difficult orchid


The next flower I found was a bloom I had never seen before. I suspected it was a lily of some sort due to its structure, but I was unsure of the genus. I looked it up when I got home and it was indeed a lily, Queens Cup or more fittingly Bride's Bonnet (Clintonia uniflora). It turned out that my favorite image of the day was of this charming flower.


Brides BonnetBrides BonnetA charming white lily


The next few hours were consumed with the search for the Clustered Lady Slipper; which as you know was a failure. Feeling a little discouraged after bushwhacking I decided on a whim to photograph the other 2 species of Lady Slipper I know of. I only hoped that I had not missed the bloom periods. I did not.


Lovely LadysLovely LadysMountain Lady Slipper


Orchid SpireOrchid SpireCalifornia Lady Slipper


These two I have featured on these pages many times. I do so love these beautiful blooms. While on the drive to the California Lady Slipper, I noticed a wetland full of another interesting lily; Reed Lily (Hastingsia alba). This interesting flower I had been trying to photograph for many years. I was finally able to create an interesting photo of this lily.


Lily GraceLily GraceAn interesting curve makes this specific chime quite interesting.


The key to this guy was finding one that was more interesting in shape than the typical vertical spike. In all I found 5 species of orchid, 2 of which I did not successfully photograph, but have in the past. Interestingly enough, my favorites of the day were what I was not expecting to be successful with, the lilies.



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