Happy holiday weekend
After a long week full of much needed rain, many people will have a long weekend to enjoy. Part of that weekend will mean cleaning up from the storms and for others mowing grass that will grow rapidly after all the rain will be part of the holiday. But this is also a good weekend to be out hunting for orchids in the central Appalachian mountains. The large purple fringed orchid I found in Bath County is well past prime, but other cooler locations in Bath and Highland may still have fresh plants. The large purple fringed orchid over in West Virginia around the Williams River and the Cranberry Glades should be nearly perfect this weekend. Indeed, this is probably the best weekend of the summer to make a trip over to the Cranberry Glades. Look for Grass Pink Orchids, Rose Pogonia and Large Purple Fringed Orchid. Also the pitcher plants will be in bloom and the board walk at the Glades is always a wonderful experience.
For anyone traveling between Bath and Covington, watch for the patch of cone flowers along the east side of 220 about half-way over the mountain. This flower is rather rare in the wild in the east and is a nice little treat to break up the drive across the moutain. You have to catch a glimpse as you go by since there isn't a safe place to stop. But these flowers are a good reminder that nature has little treats and surprises for us even on a windy mountain highway.
On another note, during July in the Mountain View room of the library in Monterey will be an exhibit of my nature photography. Forty-plus photos of orchids and other wildflowers along with some landscapes, trees and other nature shots. If you get by, I'd love to hear what you think. Happy Fourth of July.