The lady slippers are out! With all the blowdowns this past year, I hoped they would manage to erupt through the rubble. A group of fifteen to twenty plants, a third of them blooming, are yet again scattered across the curving slope of a conglomerate outcrop.

Lady slippers. The concept of orchids growing in New England is staggering. I think of them as tropic, difficult to raise, picky and delicate. Not winter-hardy or robust enough to flourish in our acidic woodlands.

And their blossom is, well…I’ll say it. Erotic. Scrotal. Yet girly pink. Maybe showing us the common ground shared by our two genders.

Native Americans, calling it moccasin flower, saw it with different eyes. Some said it could invoke spirit dreams just by its presence. Others used is as a sedative for mental health issues and women’s issues.

Me? I see them as a symbol of resistance, persistence, and spring. Welcome back, beautiful ones!

And you?

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