Now that I knew that this bog had stemless lady’s slippers growing in it and that they were in bloom, a return trip was in order. After reviewing the photographs from my first experience with the stemless lady’s slipper, I had a better idea of how I wanted to capture these flowers to really showcase their beauty. I also researched their ideal habitat to know what to look for in this bog to see if I couldn’t find plants growing in spots where I could easily setup my tripod, and have flowers that weren’t blooming too close to other plants.
I decided to enter the bog in a different spot, allowing me to get to the bog’s interior easily. Once to the bog’s interior I found Labrador Tea in bloom with the occasional swallowtail butterfly drinking the nectar of its flowers. I picked a path through the bog that offered the least resistance, walking in the low areas to avoid stepping on any orchids. This part of the bog has black spruce and tamarack with moss and Labrador Tea growing below and few other species of plants visible at this time of year. Further along the bog’s longitudinal axis false-lily-of-the-valley and cotton grass began to replace the Labrador Tea as the dominant vascular ground cover. It was here that I began finding stemless lady’s slippers blooming, while they didn’t grow out of the mosses at the base of every tree, there were many trees that had at least a lone plant blooming.
The next task for me was to find the flowers that would allow me translate the images I had in my mind into photographs. I chose a flower and began making photographs. At one point I watched a bumblebee force its way into the “slipper.” I waited for a while to see if it would find its way out the exit at the top of the flower; rather than watching the bee’s struggles I decided to move on and photograph other flowers. I found many flowers blooming but only photographed a few of them. Looking back at the images I can’t help but be amazed at the uniqueness of each flower. If you look closely you can see that two of these photographs are of the same flower, the lighting changed between photographs but the “blemishes” on the petals remain.
-EAK, June 2014