Sunday, June 26, 2022

Rose Pagonia Orchids


Hunting for wild orchids in the New Jersey pine barrens is one of my favorite summer activities. Last week I visited a bog full of these pretty pink rose pagonia orchids.

See the colorful fringe on the flower's lower lip? It's the inspiration for one of the flower's other common names -- the snake mouth orchid.

These orchids are not just pretty. They smell delicious, like sweet raspberries. 

Look for rose pagonia orchids in wet places, especially where sphagnum moss grows.

So pretty! Click to enlarge.

This remote spot where I saw all these orchids brings to mind words attributed to Confucius: "An orchid in a deep forest sends out its fragrance even if no one is around to appreciate it." 

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Happy Father's Day

"The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature."

                                                                        - Antoine-François Prévost

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Linden Flowers Blooming Now

The linden trees on my street are blooming and the air is full of the limes-and-honey scent of the flowers. Aromatherapists use lindens to "calm and relax body and mind." I'm for that! Click to enlarge. 

More pendant linden buds ready to open.

Enjoying the linden smell and waiting for the rain to start again, I give you a poem. The lime-tree mentioned is one of the linden's common names. The last word of the poem is the place in Germany where it was written. 


Trees in the Garden by D.H. Lawrence

 Ah in the thunder air

how still the trees are! 

And the lime-tree, lovely and tall, every leaf silent

hardly looses even a last breath of perfume.

And the ghostly, creamy colored little tree of leaves

white, ivory white among the rambling greens

how evanescent, variegated elder, she hesitates on the green grass

as, in another moment, she would disappear

with all her grace of foam!

And the larch that is only a column, it goes up too tall to see;

and the balsam-pines that are blue with the grey-blue blueness of 

things from the sea, 

and the young copper beech, its leaves red-rosy at the ends 

how still they are together, they stand so still

in the thunder air, all strangers to one another

    as the green grass glows upwards, strangers in the silent garden



Sunday, June 5, 2022

Pitcher Plant Flowers


Click to enlarge this pretty pitcher plant flower. They are booming in the New Jersey pine barrens right now.

The ones I usually see are more purple, like this. One of their common names is the purple pitcher plant.

Odd, right? It's not hard for me to picture them blooming below a sky full of pterodactyls.

The leaves of the purple pitcher plant grow at the base of the flowers and are modified into pitfall traps like these -- pitchers. The plant grow in areas with poor soil conditions, trapping insects in the pitchers to supplement their nutrition.

The pitcher traps fill with rain. An insect that falls in is deterred from escape by downward facing hairs and eventually is digested.

The strange and lovely purple pitcher plant. See it now in a bog near you.