Weedy Orchid V

Presenting a macro of a Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) growing in our rose garden, in full bloom, a profusion of orchid flowers.

Helleborine, the scientific name species designation, means like a Hellebore. It must refer calyx, the outer leaves forming the flower bud, these open to reveal the flower. In this macro, the unopened buds are upper right. Bottom center the calyx, fully open, with the flower ready to accept pollination, fertilization. After opening, the calyx seems to be part of the flower, a characteristic of hellebore (see Helleborus argutifolius).

The flowers attract a variety of Hymenoptera. I observed wasps, yellow-jackets visiting. Today, each flower is a ripening fruit. I need to photograph is stage.

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Photograph is from a 100mm “macro” lens, f6.3.

Click me for the first post of this series.

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Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Weedy Orchid IV

Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine), a wild orchid, is a wide ranging, invasive, plant now found across North America. I suspect this success is based on a partnership with fungi. Commonly known as the “Weedy Orchid” it is not especially particular on the fungus partner, accepting a wide, curiously undefined for lack of research, variety.

In this the fourth of a five part series, the 50 mm lens f-stop is tamped down a bit, narrowing the diaphragm to f2.2, yielding the column of orchid faces in sharp focus. The nodding top, bent into the frame, unfocused, stem and leaves soft focus, still lots of detail discernible. Background far less distracting.

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Today’s header image is from yesterday’s post, by way of comparison.

Click me for the first post of this series.

.to be continued.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Weedy Orchid III

This series reveals an an interesting plant I encountered July 2019. the Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine), a wild orchid.

Each flower produces a seed capsule with an uncountable profusion of minuscule seeds. Germination is only possible if a fungus is present, mycorrhizal symbiosis the scientific term from the root words myco (fungus) and rhiz- as in rhízōma “mass of roots.”

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This photograph minimizes the clutter of this rose garden site, lost in a beautiful bokeh, at a cost of much flower detail. Many of the numerous blooms are out of focus. F-stop is set to wide open, f1.2. The apparent image distortion, upper left hand quadrant, is the blurred arc of a juniper bush limb.

Today’s header image is from yesterday’s post, by way of comparison.

Click me for the first post of this series.

.to be continued.

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Weedy Orchid II

July 2019 I photographed an interesting plant growing in the wild. Motivated by curiosity I identified it as Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine), a wild orchid.

A few years back we fenced in the rose garden as protection against marauding deer. This orchid specimen thrived within the enclosure, possibly turbocharged by rose fertilization.

The number of tiny flowers on a single stalk give a freakish, monstrous impression.

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Here, the tripod is moved to the fully illuminated side, at f9 the details of the interesting leaves, entire flower stalk including the top bent toward the view, are in focus. The background fencing is a distraction.

Click me for the first post of this series.

.to be continued.

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Weedy Orchid I

July 2019, while hiking Fillmore Glen I photographed an interesting, till then unknown to me, plant growing on shale till beneath the gorge wall. Motivated by curiosity I identified it as Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine), a wild orchid.

Using this information, I found the plant growing in our yard as a persecuted weed, observed closely a specimen surviving in a neglected nook and discovered the tiny face of an orchid flower.

2020, on my request, germinating plants with the same leaf form were spared weeding, even allowed to grow among the roses were the specimen of today’s photographs thrived.

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I captured this and all following (posts) photographs of this orchid in late afternoon light, after the sun was behind the hemlock hedge to the west, mounting on a portable tripod made the shot possible in this light.

This specimen benefited from the ample fertilizer applied to the surrounding roses. Compare with the specimen photographed in Fillmore Glen, in post header. I needed to fit into a tight space, so the smaller tripod was used. The lens is a 50 mm, f-stop 5.6. I could open up the diaphragm to 1.2, though the additional blur would not improve the background very much (over f 5.6) at a cost of much of the plant out of focus. Each orchid is smaller than a “pinky” fingernail.

..to be continued.

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Hammond Hill Walk V

Facing the sun

I close this walk at the turnaround point, the high meadow, with a fireworks display of daisies.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Hammond Hill Walk IV

“We Had A Great Ski — Tob”

New since I was last here, this bench, made from local “blue” limestone dedicated to the memory of cross country skiing.

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Here are sounds you may experience while sitting here on a summer afternoon.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Hammond Hill Walk III

High Meadow

After birdsong, open spaces are an unexpected wonders of these walks. Nowhere listed on the map, and on private lands adjoining the forest, this meadow comes upon the hiker’s consciousness gradually as the trail approaches.

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I have seen those gigantic seed heads here and there and never taken the time to research and identification. Do you recognize it?

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To be continued…..

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Hammond Hill Walk II

Diamond Strands

Hammond Hills walks are a solo affair for me. Pam joined in days past, summer and winter, and fell out of love with the lack of flowing water and bugs. The pleasures of the place, for me, are the miles and miles of varied trails, the sounds among silences, unexpected vistas from hilltops.

The trails themselves are unlovely, beaten down by mountain bike tires or grooved by skis. On the hills I am always on alert, listening for the sounds of bodies hurtling down. The bureaucrats called this “mixed use.” It could be worse, motors are excluded. Today there were two bikers.

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A sprinkling of wild rose.

The song of the Hermit Thrush, a sound of diamond strands, always stops me. Here are two 30 seconds clips.

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Click me for better experience viewing the following video. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page. Note the replay icon (an arrow circling counter-clockwise.

To be continued…..

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Hammond Hill Walk I

Buttercup Meadow

Hammond Hill New York State Forest is visible as an alluring height from many places of Tompkins and Cortland Counties. It is not on the list of tourist destinations, very popular for locals to mountain bike, and cross country ski at an advanced level for the steepness of some trails that wend over this high hill.

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The beauty of this wildflower meadow took me by surprise. The pink flower is a Bouncing Bet, AKA Soapwart. Scientific name Saponaria officinalis. The genera name is from the latin root for soap, “sapo.” The juice of the plant mixed with water can whip up a lather. Thus, also its common name, Soapwart.

The meadow is almost entirely buttercup. Click me for a post about a member of the buttercup family that is the first to flower.

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To be continued…..

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills