When each Friday morning dawns, I know what I have to do. It’s time to work the morning in the visitors center (VC). It’s not that I really dislike working the VC, it’s just that I’d rather be outside doing other things. A half a day isn’t so bad though, and at least today 16 people stopped in. When no one shows up, it’s more than a little boring. Early on, a lady came in and announced, “They’re blooming!”
Lots of folks have been waiting for this day this spring. Notice those flowers at the bottom of the sign? Those are pink lady slippers. They don’t look very pink in this photo, but just wait. We’ll probably have as many or more people visiting the refuge to see these flowers as we do morel mushroom hunters. I was chomping at the bit to get out there and see them. I’ve been checking one of the best spots on the refuge just about every day with no luck.
Once I got home for lunch, there was this good sized snapping turtle in John and Bridgett’s driveway. Probably a female looking for a place to lay its eggs.
Eventually, she moved on and made her way along the mowed grass line. Do you see those two black round things on its shell? I thought they might be snails hitchhiking a ride. It turned out they were leeches (ick!) as you’ll see in my last pic of this post. She sauntered along the grass edge about 50’, and then made a 90 degree turn to go right under John and Bridgett’s rig. Then she stopped. I banged on their door to let them know they had a visitor. Guess she wasn’t going to do anything while we all watched, so I asked John and Bridgett if they’d like to go see the lady slippers.
We piled into the truck and headed down County 29. Sure enough, overnight the blossoms had appeared.
These beauties will only be here for the next week or two, so I’m sure I’ll be posting more pictures of them. Some of the blooms are darker than others. I like the deeper colored ones best. As we stopped for photos, three more cars pulled over to join us. I guess it’s kind of like folks stopping for pictures of blue bonnets in the Hill Country of Texas. You just have to marvel at them while they’re here for a brief time.
Do you remember those Where’s Waldo books back in the 90’s? I had several of them that I used when I worked in juvenile corrections in New York. The boys always enjoyed trying to find Waldo, and everything else that was hidden in those pictures. Today I took a picture that kind of reminded me of those books.
THE END!! (notice the uncurled leech on the right side of the shell.)
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy