|Showy Lady's Slipper Orchid - Cypripedium reginae)|
If you've never seen these beauties in person before, I couldn't recommend some time spent with them more. It's worth the drive from any corner of Ohio to see our largest and arguably "showiest" orchid in perfect bloom. Your blogger was there earlier last week to do a census count on the population; something that had apparently never been done and I was more than happy to take the time to do so. The final count was almost 500 flowering plants. That's almost 500 gorgeous reasons to get in your car and make the drive to Cedar Bog sometime this week. There's plenty more to see than just these so make sure to walk all around the boardwalk trail and see what other fascinating plants and habitats it has in store.
Just please be sure to remain on the boardwalk at all times; each year it seems to get worse with trampled "livestock" paths off the boardwalk to the best clumps of these orchids. These rare plants take up to a decade or more to reach flowering maturing and can live for decades more as they grow into larger, double-flowered specimens. No one wants to see all that time and potential lost because of our own over-eager attempts to see them closer and more personally. So if you have telephoto lenses or good zooms on your camera utilize them and not your feet!
Cedar Bog is located near Urbana, Ohio in Champaign county. You can check out their website for directions and more information here: http://www.cedarbognp.org/.