Of all the wild flowers in our forest the Lady Slipper is by far the most beautiful, rare and just plain magical. I would not know about these flowers if it weren’t for my Mom and the incredible Lady Slipper she had photographed in our forest when I was little. She loved the photo so much that she had it framed and it still hangs on the wall at home. Remember this was well before the digital camera and Photoshop! Her understanding of light and shooting clean was amazing!
The first sign of the Lady Slipper was usually early summer and on our walk through the forest we’d check the usual spots where they might be hiding. Dark, damp and somewhere they would not be disturbed is where we’d find them growing in massive bushes. Dad marked a tree with tape so that we knew not to go trampling over this natural sacred spot. Dad would usually keep Mom updated on their progress as to when they were in full bloom so she could venture out to capture more amazing photos.
There were some years the mosquitoes were just too thick we couldn’t last more than five minutes before we burst out of the bushes flailing our arms everywhere. The mosquitoes were like the Lady Slipper protectors. Swarming around them and keeping intruders out of range. But we always came in peace to photograph their magical slipper shaped blooms and most of the time the mosquitoes let us. We respected these magnificent flowers and kept them our little secret. While out walking in the bush we’d always be mindful that a Lady Slipper could be underfoot.
I started to associate these flowers with the Faeries. Their blooms were large enough for a faery to sleep inside and it was exciting to think we might encounter one during our visits to the Lady Slippers. I figured it was such a protected and safe spot that it would attract faeries for sure. The photos I’ve shared with you show the massive size of the flowers and the possibility of a faery hideout. I never did see a fairy but there’s a good chance we caught one in one of the photos. Can you see it? If not then the only thing I ever caught during a visit to the Lady Slippers was poison ivy. Yeah apparently crouching down in the bushes is not the best idea as I ended up with it on my wrists and hands. Ouch!
To this day the Lady Slippers peacefully make their home in the Forest and I’m sure they welcome the faeries that stop by for a nap. But only for the very short magical time that they appear.
There is beauty hidden in the places you’d least expect. Always keep your eyes open and you will find it.