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Photographer's Note

Julie and I have found these flowers on several trails in the Columbia River Gorge, but this is the first of many photographs I've taken of it that actually turned out halfway well. This is the most difficult flower to photograph I think, at least for me.

When these orchids open for a short time each spring it's as if the forest is being reborn. The plant's botanical name is Calypso bulbosa. Though not endangered, they require special conditions of shade, moisture, and soil that cannot be duplicated outside of old-growth forest. The single leaf has a very limited ability to photosynthesize, and so cannot provide all the nutrients the plant needs . This orchid, along with many others in the Pacific Northwest, grows in partnership with a fungus in the soil that shares nutrients taken from the roots of trees. So in a way, the orchid is using the needles of evergreen trees in the forest to provide the nourishment it needs through a fungus. For this reason, they won't grow if dug up and taken home.

For more on this see my sister Julie's photo. I think her's is a bit more true to color.

Photo: Cropped, Levels, resized, sharpened, framed.

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Additional Photos by Lori Cannon (LCannon) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 395 W: 147 N: 580] (2798)
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