Old Man nearly Dies of Heat Exhaustion but survives to celebrate whats right with the world



I took this photograph of an orchid yesterday and it is already one my favourite orchid images  ever. It is Dragon’s Mouth (Arethusa bulbosa) the star of the Brokenhead Wetland Ecological Reserve.        

Yesterday, after I found the Moccasin-flower, that I blogged about, I moved to the Brokenhead Wetlands Ecological Reserve, one of my favorite places in the world. Today it was resplendent.

I met people in the parking lot who assured me there were not mosquitoes in the bog. That was a relief for it allowed me to remove my leggings. It was 31ºC and humid (as bogs always are) so I did not relish continuing in the heat with long pants.  Had I not removed them I feared that tomorrow there might be a headline in the Winnipeg Free Press“Old man dies of heat exhaustion in bog.” Or perhaps “Crazy old man…”

At the edge of the fen I spotted a wonderful Dragon’s Mouth(Arethusa bulbosa) orchid, the star of the show. This was the headliner and for good reason. It is a wonderful flower clad in magnificent pink. This is certainly one of my favorite orchids.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the number of cars in the parking lot and number of people I met along the trail. The trail is obviously being well used and everyone I talked to loved the area.   Even the children were interested in the bog. I noticed they spent a lot of time there, often lying on the boardwalk peering down into the bog.


I was surprised to see Small Round-leaved Orchid (Galearis rotundifolia) as it is now called. It looked like the flowers had just recently emerged. I tried to get a photograph but it was very difficult to do that from the boardwalk. What a pity. My photographs were not very good, but it was the best I could do.


This is the smallest of Manitoba’s Lady’s-slippers. A mosquito looks like a giant on it. This is the very rare Ram’s head Lady’s-slipper .  Last year members of the North American Orchid Conference group of which I am a member came here for their annual conference and seeing this was high on the agenda of most attendees.

Today was a strange day. It was extremely hot. So hot I actually stopped photographing Arethusa bulbosa before I really exhausted the Stead site. That is a sin. But I was just plain tired. Added to that, it was windy and I had a lot of trouble getting the right focus.  My recent cataract surgery did not help. Partly that is because my “improved” eye is so much better that my glasses subscription is wrong and that eye is still blurry.  So I had to reject a lot of images. Yet I also captured some  images that pleased me a lot! I am confused, but very happy with the “keepers” I got. It was a great day in the hot bog.

Thus ended one of my finest days in the bog ever. Despite my cataracts, the wind, and excess sun I did my best to capture some images. Today I was able to celebrate what’s right with the world as the photographer DeWitt Jones always recommends. It was all good.

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