Friday, June 15, 2012

Simply Irresistible!

A student in my workshop for the summer interns at Cornell Plantations asked just this Monday what my favorite flower is.  It caught me by surprise as I've never thought of wildflowers in terms of favorites.  After a little thought, I could only answer Showy Lady's Slippers.  Why?  They are wildly sensuous in appearance and are special in that they only survive in the wild and never  have succumbed to human propagation.  They are, indeed, a rare and special treat.

So, when I got the email that they were in bloom, all plans were changed. Off I went with spouse and a friend, on short notice, to an isolated fen in the Finger Lakes.  All I will add is that I was thankful for having a friend who trusted to share the location with me, and for my LaCrosse rubber boots. 

To me, Showy Lady's Slippers ( Cypripedium reginae )  have a personality that is regal and the name in latin reflects that as  reginae, a Queen .  So, I first explored that aspect in a composition.

There is also, as I said, a sensuous nature to the Queen.  So, I shaded the blooms for a softer image.


I can easily spend hours exploring the nature of this wild orchid. In soft diffuse light they are tender and in brilliant light they are noble.

But I am also aware that my companions only find mild amusement at my lying on the wet ground, as they drift away to explore a bit and await me.  Next spring I will again anticipate another visit with the Queen.

Paul Schmitt

1 comment:

  1. Since I know nothing about wildflowers, it's not surprising that I had no idea that Lady Slipper is in the Orchid family! What I can imagine is "spouse" giggling aloud at your lying down on the wet grass for the sake of photography!!!! Stick with it, though--great stuff!!!