Monday, April 09, 2007

Wild Orchids 2007

Today was a warm Easter Monday Holiday here in La Sechere. I spent the day doing outdoor house and garden work and attending to my dog, JJ who has had an unfortunate encounter with a wasp nest. He got stung on the nose a few times on Friday in the woods and last night it must have itched so much he scratched his nose raw. It looked a lot worse than it was. Why do these things always happen on holidays? Our vet was nice enough to give some very good advice over the phone and I had some iodine ointment which seems to be working nicely!
But, I had a feeling and we took a walk to a field that is one of the highest points around here and there is a great view of Badefols d'Ans.
There, every year in the spring I see hundreds of purple orchis male plants. They are the first orchids to bloom in the spring and sure enough, there were about 30 plants already blooming. The latin name is orchis mascula and are on average 6 to 8 inches tall.
This is a close up of a plant. (Click on the image to enlarge.) I came home checked to see if the pictures in the camera were okay then took off in another direction into the forest to a glen down by the creek where another variety of orchid plentifully grows, but, too early, the plants aren't even above the ground yet. It's warm enough here, suddenly in the last week, the garden is blooming. We turned over the vegetable garden soil to air it before it gets tilled.
The raspberry plants are looking very good. I have 24 new strawberry plants on order, but the ones in the ground are already showing flowers!
The tree in the picture is a Marron d'Inde, which is really a European Buckeye! In a week it will be covered with hundreds of flowers. I'm going to include 2 more pictures in a small format which you can click on to view if you like. One is the glade in the forest I went to looking for the other variety of orchids and the other is of the tiny white flowers that carpet the ground there at this time of the year.

I hope that his orchid blog is interactive! Where ever you live, if you take an interest and there are wild spaces near you, you can find orchids. I will publish your orchid pictures and your notes about them. Happy hunting!


steve said...

The idylic life you lead! Back in Toledo it snowed last week with High's in the upper 20's (F). One day it was a record Hi of 80 F, the next day the temp didn't break 30 F and snowed. The ground is still barren and brown with no leaves on the trees yet.

liberal_dem said...

Beautiful photos again! The orchid is surely not related to the tropical ones, are they?

As Steve said, you are in an idylic place, if not an idylic life.


microdot said...

Orchids are a family of plants, all related that contain a number of species. The orchids that grow all over thte world are all varieties of a few distinct species.
The orchids that grow in Ohio or any where have tropical relatives. Some of the native orchids that grow in Ohio are quite spectacular. I remember finding lady slippers and spiral orchids and the rose pogonia among others.
By the way, the little white flowers in the picture are called here stellare des marais (Stellaria palustris).

historymike said...

Beautiful photos, microdot.

The weather in Aquitane is much nicer than the cold drizzle and snow we have experienced for the past 10 days. I think my tulips will die down without blooming.

Barb said...

The grove is beautiful. Bloggers may start to visit.