Friday, August 1, 2014


Yesterday I spent the day at Quigley Creek Natural Area.  Quigley Creek is Chippewa Watershed Conservancy preserve in Mecosta County that protects 63 acres of diverse upland and lowland habitats.  This a fairly new preserve for the CWC, having been acquired in 2012.  I visited the preserve as part of a small group to do a survey of the preserve's plant and animal species.  While surveying everything, my main focus was on flowering plants (and to a lesser extent trees).  Next week I plan on sharing more about what we found, but for now I just want to share a couple of pictures of the best find of the day - the Lesser Purple Fringed Orchid (Platanthera psycodes).  We found four of these plants in bloom.  With the exception of Pink Lady Slippers, these are the first native orchids that I have ever found. 

Lesser Purple Fringed Orchid

Lesser Purple Fringed - I like how the individual flowers look like happy little dancing ghosts

Like any native orchid, these should only be enjoyed in their natural surroundings.  Orchids have very specific soil conditions and attempts to transplant them almost always result in dead orchids (and a hole in the ecosystem from which they were removed).  Please enjoy responsibly.

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