Our next native orchid is in bloom right now, the Lily-leaved Twayblade Orchid. This one is my personal favorites out of all the orchids that I have had the privilege to see. The flower is so unlike anything else that I know, and I also really like the transparent purple color of the lower lip. I think this orchid looks like a flower that could be used as an alien plant on Star Trek! We’ve discovered a new fern species! We’re still not sure which species it is, but I can tell you that it is one of the moonworts (Botrychium). It is so tiny! At first we only saw one, but then as we broadened our gaze there were many plants in this particular area. I have pictures but I’ll have to post them later as they are on my personal camera and not the work camera.
Speaking of plants, the Green Dragon (Arisaema dracontium) is blooming. This plant is in the Arum family which includes Jack-in-the-Pulpit and Skunk Cabbage. There are several nice big plants in the shade garden at the back of the nature center. Green Dragon can be found throughout Ohio.
For those of you who have been out before, you know we have the observation bee hive in the nature center and an outside hive. For the past couple of years we have not had been in the outside hive. A few weeks ago we noticed some activity around the hive and we speculated that the inside bees were robbing the outside hive. Just last week we finally found some time to suit up and open up the outside hive. It turns out that a new colony of bees had moved in. There was lots of nice brood comb and many bees. Tom went out a couple days later and replaced part of the hive that had been invaded by mice and cleaned up the vegetation around the hive. I’m looking forward to going back out there to see their progress.
I’ll have some pics soon!