In Search of the elusive Calypso


I drove out to the Sandilands near Hadashville in search of the elusive Calypso bulbosa. I went early so I would not feel rushed in my photography. I wanted to see if my new tripod, which I bought last fall would help me get better photos and it helped big time.

This was my third try at finding Calypso this year. It is usually Manitoba’s first orchid to bloom though the Yellow Lady’s slipper had already been spotted by some of my friends. I feared that I might have missed it, but I believed, correctly that this flower had just been reluctant to appear because of a very cool spring. Weren’t we all reluctant to leave our shelters? Patience and persistence is what I needed to find this gem.

Fairy-slipper or Calypso Calypso bulbosa (Linnaeus) Oakes var. americana (R. Brown) Luer is one of my favorite orchids. Its small size provides outstanding beauty. The flower is about the size of a dime. These tiny little orchids flowers usually live in wet forests and bogs.



I strolled into the cedar woods at my regular spot and found one before I reached the normal place I have been finding them each year. It was a gorgeous specimen in a perfect place for photography. I was radically pleased.  I found a total of 5 at this location. This was a bonanza. Life is good.

Conditions were sensational for photography. First, it was very cool, and this helped to keep the mosquitoes away. It was quite windy outside the boggy forest, but the thick stand of trees kept the wind away. The sky was cloudy so excessive sun was also not a problem. I was ‘little girl’ happy. I took a number of photos of this lonely flower before proceeding to the regular spot. I got my fill of images at both these locations.


Then I moved a little farther east to another spot where I have seen these gems. Sure enough I quickly found 6 more. 5 were close together so I managed to get a photograph of 4 of them in close proximity to each other. Again, I was very happy.

After that I explored a little farther. It sure is nice to have lots of time. I found another 2 flowers close together which enabled me to get a photograph of one in focus with another in the background out of focus.

I left the bog immensely fulfilled. Life is good, even in a time of pandemic.


One thought on “In Search of the elusive Calypso

  1. Calypso Bulbosa are frequent (when they appear) between Grand Rapids and The Pas. I’ve found them north of GR near the Walter Cook Memorial Cave location and around Clearwater Lake.

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