Sunday, June 28, 2009

Orchids to 'weeds Tour

  • Sunday June 28, 1:00 PM: Seven vehicles roll out of the Lowe-Volk Park of Crawford County, with a mixed assemblage of park and Greater Mohican Audubon members. We are in pursuit of flora.

Prairie Fringed Orchid, Platanthera leucophaea, a bird's-eye view reveals individual flowers look a bit like an doll wearing a large prairie bonnet.

In its full glory, 50 dancing angels. These beautiful flowers are moth pollinated; lose the lepidoptera and you lose the orchid. Diversity of species is important, and many seemingly insignificant players, have a vital role.

Here is our group, at least the not-shy ones, we were 17 in total. Warren Uxley was the leader of this flora foray, and a knowledgeable fellow to have about. This photo was from our second stop- the 'weed portion of the tour: Castalia Resthaven Prairie Wildlife Area.

A portion of the group scours the field, while others practised photography in the glorious sea of orange: Butterfly-weed, Asclepias tuberosa. This is the same prairie famous for Small White Lady's-slipper orchid in late April and a spectacular display of tall grasses and native sunflowers in late summer.

Our Hairstreak butterfly du jour was a dime sized Coral Hairstreak nectaring on Butterfly-weed, in fact every time I have seen Coral Hairstreak it has been in conjunction with Butterfly-weed. This is native plant you will want to have in your yard or garden, as a host plant for Monarchs and nectar spa for many other species.

1 comment:

  1. Cheryl, I found your blog through Tom Arbour at Ohio Nature Blog. I love this post! The orchid is exquisite and yes, we DO have Butterfly Weed (in both the orange and the hybrid 'Hello Yellow') as well as several other species of Asclepias. We LOVE our butterflies and bees!

    If you don't mind, I've added your blog to my list of Ohio bloggers. :-)