Among the prairie wildflower connoisseurs native orchids are often the top prize to photograph. In this case two cars and six people were cautiously checking the ditches for a very rare orchid specimen in Minnesota and Iowa. It was the white lady slipper as luck would have it Barb's nephew Ray, a complete novice, spotted them. The other group, keeping an eye on us and looking for the same thing, quickly caught up. These orchids are protected by law but there is a certain secretiveness involved here as occasional lawbreakers are known to exist. These are people who dig orchids up and usually kill them off as they are very difficult to transplant successfully
. Thus some become endangered or even extinct.
White lady slippers and the somewhat larger and less rare yellow lady slippers
From the same area taken by Mr. Science (Gary)
White lady slippers
The following pictures were taken several years earlier of Baron and a very large patch of shooting stars. If you compared to the first pictures taken this year you'll note that the area is much more wide open meaning there on lots of shrubs and little trees sprouting up all over. This is because the local conservation agency had not deliberately burned this area to defeat the shrubs and allow the wildflowers to thrive in nature this process would have been continued by lightning storms. For the photographer it's also much more difficult as you have to scrounge through the thickets to find the wildflowers.
Baron among the shooting stars. My big guy fondly remembered