Friday, April 6, 2007

Aye, Calypso I Sing to Your Spirit

Another treasure has sprung from the forest, Fairy Slippers (Calypso bulbosa). This little beauty is actually a parasite--it depends on mycchorizal (sorry, I'll have to fix the spelling later)fungus filaments connecting to green plants to obtain it's nutrients(Fairy Slippers have no chlorophyll). It is very particular in where it needs to grow, and very rare. If you pick it it will die, the roots are very fragile. Here is the face of one that grows on my NW corner.
And here are a few down by the bus stop, lit by late afternoon. The Haida Indians used to eat their corms, describing them as "greasy"(we would translate that as "buttery"). Haida girls would eat the corms to enhance their decolletage.
Every field guide describes them as VERY RARE DO NOT PICK EVER. And here....
is the miracle. A space about 20' x 30' is covered with them!
Backing up more...I turned the color booster way up so you can see how many there are by their magenta glow. I get so excited when I see this every spring. It gives me a tremendous shot of hope for this world. (click on it to see the's not a very good picture, but I only wanted to convey the abundance;0)


cyndy said...


Thanks for the photos, it is nice to know that Fairy Slippers are alive and well....(they remind me somewhat of the indian pipes which also lack chlorophyll...)the stems look very much alike...

Larry said...

Oh, I'm envious! No Fairy Slippers here, but I hope to see some Showy Orchis later in the spring.

Nice photos! What is the "color booster" on your camera? I'm wondering if there is analogous control on mine.

wyldthang said...

cyndy--we do have indian pipes(yay! "old growth indicator species'!!), they come up around June/July, if they decide they want to.

larry--look forward to seeing your orchids. The color booster is in the program on the computer for editing pix(came with the camera), but I think all that editing stuff is also "in" the camera--but I don't bother editing in the camera.

burning silo said...

Those are beautiful little flowers.. and so many of them!