Sunday, January 31, 2010
Family: Orchidaceae (or-kid-AY-see-ee)
Species: discolor (DIS-kol-or)
I took a walk today…a little nippy, but a welcomed change from yesterday’s cold, rainy day. It’s early for my wildflowers, but there are a few to see. The Cranefly Orchid is easy to spot in the winter. The leaves remind me of the annual, Coleus because of their colors. The top of the Cranefly Orchid’s leaf (in winter) is a mottled green, and the underside is shiny purplish red. They usually grow in colonies. There will be several leaves—each a single plant. These late fall-winter leaves are called “hibernal” leaves. The leaves will wither and die in spring, and a 12-18 inch stalk will grow. When the orchid blooms in mid-July, no leaves are visible. The flower of Cranefly Orchid’s flower is very delicate and inconspicuous. It is a towering spike of pale green and purplish tan flowers. Interestingly, it is pollinated by night flying moths.
Other common names are Elfin's Spur and Cripples Cranefly. Cranefly Orchids are not usually available in nurseries since, like all native orchids, it is dependent on fungi in the ground. Another reason it isn’t found frequently in nurseries is the fact that all parts of the plant not considered “showy” enough for gardens.
I once read a quote:
“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~
No, Cranefly Orchids aren’t weeds; in fact they are on some state’s rare and endangered plant lists. I enjoy finding the Cranefly Orchids, and they are a welcome sight in the dead of winter here at The Cabin Path….especially after the winter we are having!
Friday, January 29, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
BRRRRRRRRRRR...it's been cold! The Cabin Path Workshops will resume in March!
As many of you know, I lost my only sister to ovarian cancer in November. I cancelled all fall workshops to help with her care. It has been a slow healing process for both me and our 93 year old Mother. Cheryl was my best friend...and a huge believer in my projects here at The Cabin Path. I miss her...and I am planning a Butterfly Garden in her memory down at the labyrinth cove. A few days after her death, I read a quote: "If there were no changes, there would be no butterflies."
That quote surfaced four more times in totally unrelated places, and a very late season butterfly was on the doorknob of the Gathering Room one morning in December.
I felt as though she was sending me a message. Several have made donations to The Cabin Path in her memory, and all funds are going to the butterfly garden.
New workshops are coming! A group of photographers have been meeting regularly, and The Cabin Path has a Flickr Group! Talk of photography workshops are in the works, as well as music workshops! The Cabin Path Pickin' Group is sounding better every
month! We plan some nursing home concerts, a Caregivers Day concert, and a Gathering/Picnic on Jan 23 here at The Cabin Path. Our monthly (2nd Thursday Night) practices (6 PM -8 PM) are open to any that want to play or listen! I am also going to start a Loss Support..or I may call it a "Life Support" Group!... and the regular Thursday Home School Workshops will resume in March! (11 AM - 1 PM)
Plans and projects are coming together. Much work on the trails will need to be done after this winter, so if picking up sticks is your therapy, please let me know!
I can vouch that it is very healing.
Watch for more updates! 2010 will be an exciting new year for The Cabin Path!