What's In A Name? Duck Flowers Or Lady Slipper Orchids. The Memories Are Just As Sweet.
<![CDATA[Spring is now at it's peak here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Although it's been a rainy and cool one, we did have a few sunny and warm days this past week. I took advantage of one them and took a walks in the woods near my house last week.<a href="https://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/railroad-tracks-7.jpg"><img class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-50846" src="https://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/railroad-tracks-7-300x200.jpg" alt="railroad tracks -7" width="300" height="200" /></a>
I was searching for a beautiful spring flower that evokes so many wonderful memories for me. But first some of the things I found on my hikes. Not far after I entered the woods I ran into a very common critter in our area, the cottontail rabbit.
And I also encountered the noisy cries of a catbird that moved into the woods along the path. They are not shy and will sure let you know they are in the area. i also saw a lot of red winged blackbirds, and of course, many of our spring favorites the robin.
Many new plants were also in flower including the comfrey plants which hopefully in a few day will be attracting many bees and insects to their flowers.
As I walked by some of the ponds I again scared a pair mallard ducks. I am surprised there aren’t any ducklings yet.
I also saw a pair of killdeer and was able to sneak up on them before they took off with the loud cries. They didn’t put on their “broken wing’ act either leading me to believe they have yet to have built their nest.
I made it to the railroad tracks and enjoyed walking the rails under the blue sky filled with puffy cumulus clouds .
Along the tracks were a few of the pretty and delicate starflowers.
And I found what I was searching for, the lady slipper orchid or, as my dad called them, the duck flowers.
It seems like only yesterday when my dad first took me in the woods to search for these intricate flowers. He would gather a bunch of these and the honeysuckle azalea for our house.
We would drive along the old coal haul roads searching for them with our dad urging us to keep our eyes peeled. Those days, and the many days we searched for wild mushrooms, provided me with some of my most cherished memories.
I continued to bring home a bunch of these flowers for my dad until I realized how rare and endangered they are. . I will admit I still would bring one or two home for dad every Spring. Now that dad is gone i left them grow and this one patch has produced an amazing amount of flowers these past two years. I have a feeling my dad had something to do with it. These beautiful flowers will always remind me of him, those cherished memories and that wonderful gift he gave me, an appreciation of the beauty of the many wonders of nature.
I headed back home, with happy thoughts filling my head and encountered another spotted sandpiper in one of the ponds. It was another nice day to be outside in Northeastern Pennsylvania. So much happening this time of year, but nothing as pleasing to me as finding duck flowers. This will always remind me of dad. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike last week. https://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/railroad-hike-and-duck-flowers-may-19-2016
“I think I like wildflowers best,” I explain. “They just grow wherever they want. No one has to plant them. And then their seeds blow in the wind and they find a new place to grow.” (Richelle)”
― Rebecca Donovan,