Historic Places in South Jersey

Historic Places in South Jersey - Places to Go and Things to Do

A discussion of things to do and paces to go, with the purpose of sharing, and encouraging exploration of South Jersey.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Pink Ladyslipper orchid at Maruice River Bluffs

My Mother's Day Adventure began two days earlier on Thursday, when Barb Sp. and I hiked the Maurice River Bluffs after a delicious lunch at Wilflowers Vegetarian Restaurant on Main Street in Millville, NJ.  It was delightful to chat with the baker as she prepared banana mango cupcakes for the weekend bakery case.  
After our delicious,healthful, and plentiful lunch, we headed down Silver Run Road for the bluffs and joyfully hiked the orange trail, the blue trail, the red trail and the white trail.  Somewhere on the connection between the red and white trails, we got lost, and disoriented.  This doesn't usually happen to us as we are frequent hikers but that day we could not find our way back to the parking lot or the blue trail for anything, so our hike turned into a 4 hour exhaustion.  Finally a nice kid on a scooter out on the roadway, where we had wandered after giving up on the woods trails, pointed us in the right direction and we were saved.  In what I thought was an overly dramatic gesture, my dog threw herself flat on the ground and refused to go one step further, fotunately we were only yards from the car when she quit.  

On Saturday when my daughter came to visit for Mother's Day, we headed back for the same experience, minus getting lost.  This time I brought the trail map and hoped to find the orchids again to show her, but, no luck, they were elusive.  I think you had to be lost to find them.  They were probably off the beaten path as we were on Thursday.
We had the usual wonderful time however, with lunch at Wildflowers again, and the hike, followed by coffee at Bogart's Book Store where a talented guitarist/singer was performing.  A Perfect Mother's Day experience in every way!  And I bought a charming Mother's Day card at Bogart's for my sister.
So here is some information on the interesting orchid that we found:

"Pink lady’s slipper is more reclusive and shy than most other Jersey flowers—perhaps because it knows it’s special. It’s a wild orchid."
"For novices and casual wildflower gazers like myself, native orchids can be tricky to locate without a guide. Compared to your run-of-the-mill wildflowers, orchids are a rarity and usually found off the beaten trail. Plus, these flowers have a network of human bodyguards. In an effort to shield native orchids from being picked, dug up or trampled, naturalists tend to guard orchid locations as if protecting the whereabouts of Captain Kidd’s supposed buried treasure at Sandy Hook. "

So as you see, the woods were being very kind to me this year and paying me a great compliment in displaying for me one of their gems.  To be honest, I have a feeling I may have seen pink ladyslipper orchids somewhere out near Whitesbog once, too.  I feel honored!

HAPPY TRAILS!  Jo Ann  Happy Tails!  Trixie
and to those of you who have brought offspring into the world, Happy Mother's Day!

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