We Drove 300 Miles for This?

We Drove 300 Miles for This?

26 September 2014
Autumn Coral Root (Corallorhiza odontorhiza)
Autumn Coral Root (Corallorhiza odontorhiza)

Well, yes. Yes, we did. A population of some ninety Autumn coralroot orchids that our friends on the Native Orchid listserve turned us onto. So we packed up the station wagon, and enjoyed the road trip from the hardscrabble Catskill land where we live, into the riches of the Chenango Valley, where it takes only a little imagination to envision either the past hopes or future potential of farming this land.

Chenango Valley
Chenango Valley
Autumn Coral Root (Corallorhiza odontorhiza)
Autumn Coral Root (Corallorhiza odontorhiza)
Erica and Fasolt
Erica and Fasolt

And it was Fasolt's first trip as an official orchid hunter.

He intrepidly accompanied us on our hikes on the North end of Chenango Valley State park - where we discovered another population of something we thought must be orchids.

Alas, only beechdrops, another form of parasitic plant that grows only with the roots of that tree. But I don't think I can give you any better reason to understand why people will drive literally an entire day to photograph wildflowers.

Beechdrops (Epifagus americana)
Beechdrops (Epifagus americana)
© - Erica Obey
Photos © - George Baird