Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bog Candle (watercolour 5 x 7 in.) Sold

4 July finds me sitting on a mossy stone with the hem of my jacket dipping into the clear fast-running water of a braided brook, in a steep-sided valley of Rhody Brook, at the south edge of the Caledonia Gorge Protected Natural Area, New Brunswick. One tall narrow flowering stalk of the Bog Candle Orchid, Platanthera dilatata, is just at eye level and my large umbrella shelters us both - and most importantly, my watercolour paper - from the steady drizzle. There are a few other Bog Candles blooming among the sharp-edged whispy blades of Carex and lush herbs that tussock the valley bottom, separating the many shallow channels of the braided brook, but this one is near the woods, with a dark, sprucy background. The scent of the tiny white flowers is sweet and spicy, like cinnamon and cloves.

An Arion slug is munching delicately on a blossom of Blue Flag right at my elbow, and I pause my painting to extract the camera from my pack - capturing an image of gracefully curved tail and orange body rearing up from green leaf to purple petal edge. There were not many slugs evident on the forest floor as we came down into the valley, but we found lots on rain-wet vegetation in the valley bottom, including many very small ones.
A female Blackburnian Warbler calls and flits about among the Spruce boughs beyond my orchid. As the drizzle stops and insects emerge, several gather on the underside of my umbrella, including a male Scorpionfly, with a long, narrow face and an orange, scorpion-like end to its tail. Fred adds a Spring Peeper and a baby trout to our survey of Rhody Brook. He and Sophie and Janet find several native Philomycus slugs crawling on logs, but no salamanders under cover. Perhaps they are all out hunting through the moss on this rainy day.

1 comment:

  1. let's see the photo of the gracefully Iris-munching Arion!


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