Photo of the Week – May 23, 2013

Many thanks for all the great feedback on my garlic mustard post earlier this week.  If there’s one big lesson from all the responses and suggestions I got via blog comments and emails, it’s that there is no standard effective treatment for garlic mustard right now.  In some places, one treatment works well, in others, the same treatment fails.  As seems to be the case with most invasive species issues, it’s important to use a variety of strategies and adapt over time as you figure out what works at a particular site.  That said, it was nice to hear that at least some people are seeing positive responses to treatments and improvements over time.

Now, for a more positive topic…

Yellow lady's slipper orchids blooming at The Nature Conservancy's Rulo Bluffs Preserve in southeastern Nebraska.

Yellow lady’s slipper orchids blooming at The Nature Conservancy’s Rulo Bluffs Preserve in southeastern Nebraska.

As I said in the last post, while we were at the Rulo Bluffs Preserve last week, we found several yellow lady’s slipper orchids (Cypripedium parviflorum) – one of Nebraska’s rarest plant species.  I’d love to say the orchids are responding positively to our management, but the truth is that all of the plants we found were in areas where we’ve done almost nothing!  They were on north or east-facing slopes where fire doesn’t carry well, and where we haven’t focused much of our thinning work.

I’m not saying our management isn’t working (we’re seeing many other species respond positively to our management) – I’m just saying that these individual orchid plants were not thriving as a direct response to our management.

They’re just thriving, and that’s good enough for me.

A close up of one orchid flower.

A close up of one orchid flower.