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Steve Foss

Arethusa (dragon's-mouth orchid)

6 posts in this topic

Forgive me for starting with a number, but this is No. 16 in my neverending quest to photograph all the 40+ species of wild orchids in Minnesota.

With a reputation as a rare orchid, the Arethusa actually can run unbroken for miles with thousands of individual plants in vast stretches of peatland in north central Minnesota. But up here in the boreal forests around Ely, it is a bit more elusive.

I was out with clients today, mostly looking for ladyslippers (yellows and stemless photographed) and moose (none to be found), when we came across these little 8-inch-tall beauties. So delicate, so wonderful, and all with ambient light with no help from diffusion/reflector discs. It was simply a great day to be out after widlflowers, with a lot of diffuse overcast and very little wind, and a few rain sprinkles mixed in.

All with the Canon 30D and Canon 100 f2.8 macro, iso400, handheld.

1/640 @ f2.8

3655855328_e011c36008_o.jpg

1/800 @ f2.8

3655059115_e40a00dbba_o.jpg

1/80 @ f7.1

3655856800_9f3ebdfd9b_o.jpg

1/125 @ f7.1

3655856174_c778044beb_o.jpg

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The second looks like it's waving good bye. grin

You are in the zone!

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Thanks, Mike.

And here's a messy little environmental portrait shot just after a light rain shower. Eight inches tall, tops. A discerning eye will note the leaves of a blue flag iris and wild strawberry as well. Other individuals were nearly buried and hard to find among the prostrate branches of leatherleaf shrubs.

3655144179_eb4c134b9d_o.jpg

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Ken, we actually were driving and moved right by it before my brain kicked in.

Rose pogonia or arethusa, I shouted! And we went right back to it. We were moving along at barely above idle speed. At even 20 mph it would not have happened. Drive-by shooting indeed. The faster you go, the more you miss. gringrin

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Great shots Steve. I like the 2nd and 3rd the most. It's always fun to see what number you're up to. Can't wait to see all of them.

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