Wednesday, July 18, 2012


July 10, 2012
Mud Pond, Moreau Lake State Park

No man ever makes a discovery,
ever an observation of the least importance,
but he is advertised of the fact
by a joy that surprises him.
The powers thus celebrate all discovery.
        HDT Journal, August 8, 1852

Day Two of Le Tour de Plants.Up early again, to meet with Jackie and Andrew at Mud Pond.
Here is where Jackie and I had located a secluded patch of Goodyera tesselata, and we were happy to show them to Andrew (who had specifically timed his visit with the hopes of seeing them in flower.)

But first, a walk along the water’s edge, where eeep-ing frogs zipped across the water like skipping stones as we approached.
Except for this fellow, who stood his ground.

(Not especially smart, especially in a pond frequented by Blue Herons.)

It's a place where beauty can conceal a beast.

Where pondweed and bladderwort greet the morning sun.

Then we cut over to the shady woods, to see the Goodyera, where Andrew set up and took careful photographs. He was totally smitten.


The individual flowers remind me of Lamb Chop!

This plant is not all that common here, but is almost completely extirpated in his home state of Ohio.
It was at this point that we realized something.

As Andrew was taking portraits of this rare plant, Jackie casually mentioned that the cow wheat was in bloom now, too. 
“WHERE?” Andrew exclaimed.
He had never seen it – so it was another Life Plant for him.

And here we had been strolling past it all morning, not pointing it out to him, since it is so "common."

After that, we all walked along with a new sense of discovery.  

We were pointing out EVERYthing, in case it was something Andrew had not ever seen. 
He asked if we had any Checkerberry plants here.
“Oh, sure,” I said, “ I munch on a leaf every time I walk this trail …”

I realized that rarity is a relative thing,
and that we have the commonest of riches at Mud Pond.

Where a flower is not just a flower, and even a stone can be more than just a stone.

So I happily led them around to Checkerberry Hill (where there were a few plants still in bloom),  

and to The Delta, where we saw the puff-flowers of Burr-reed,

and dragonflies without number.

As the sun shone brightly overhead, we stood ankle deep in a carpet
of False Pimpernel and Dwarf St. Johnswort.

And one last glimpse of beauty - this American Copper, feeling quite secure and camoflaged on a neon-orange bouquet of Butterfly-weed.

A back-to-down-to-Earth PS: – among other treasures we found that day,
one unfortunately discovered ME.
Yes, they are really THAT small in the nymph-stage. 

1 comment:

  1. It's always a pleasure to walk with you, and that pleasure is always amplified by your wonderful photos and narrative. How on earth do you find the perfect Thoreau quote to accompany each post?