Friday, August 28, 2015

Nygaard "By The Numbers" (with apologies to

Cluster of Purple Fringed Orchids. Photo
taken on the Munger Trail.
If you've ever listened to American Public Media's "Marketplace" program, you may have heard one of their "By The Numbers" segments, in which they discuss current topics by using the numbers associated with them. As Madame Greenan says, these segments are like a "verbal infographic." She thought it would be fun to organize a summer recap in the same way. So I did one about my summer, and I'd like you to do one about yours. 

The exact format is up to you, but you must emphasize NUMBERS and you must produce something that can be posted or embedded on your blog. Please include at least ten NUMBERS. The goal is to present information about your summer that will give your readers some idea of your personality, your most passionate interests, and your actual summer experiences. (In my example, I've included data from all of 2015--that's an option for you, too.) My post is very long--yours doesn't have to be even half as long, unless you want it to be. You should include captioned photos taken by you or a family member (give them credit!) and relevant links. Make sure to apply some useful labels (tags) to your post as well. You can model your post-title after mine, if you wish.

This is the number of miles I put on my car in 2015 (so far) while making trips to various places in Minnesota and (one place in) Wisconsin to search for native orchids and other wildflowers. 

I posted over a thousand photos of wildflowers, orchids, and various fungi on Facebook in 2015 (so far). The fall fungi season is starting now and there's one last wildflower I hope to photograph before the end of September, so this number will undoubtedly rise before year's end. I posted far more photos on Flickr, but I don't even want to know how many (several thousand, at least)!

Rose Pogonia, a lovely little orchid. Photo taken near
Herbster, WI.
This is a rough estimate of the number of miles I drove in one day during an unsuccessful search for Rose Pogonia and Purple Fringed Orchids. I drove up to the little town of Orr, MN, to check out the municipal Bog Walk there, and then, on a whim, decided to head over to Red Lake to check out the Big Bog State Recreation Area. If I had planned my day better, I would have skipped Orr and spent more time in the Big Bog, the largest peatland bog in the lower 48. The bog walk there is much longer and more impressive than the one in Orr. I did not see any orchids in bloom in either place, however. 
Entry to the mile-long Big Bog Bog

In 2015, I purchased and learned to use a GPS app on my phone so that I could better find my way through the Pennington Bog (my favorite orchid-hunting area) which has no trails to follow. I also use the app to mark waypoints where I've spotted orchids so that I can find these flowers again in future seasons. In 2015, I put 53 waypoints on maps for future reference. 

This is the number of orchids I saw this year.

Dragon's Mouth Orchid, Pennington Bog.
This is the number of orchids I saw in bloom this year:

Purple Fringed Orchid
Showy Lady Slippers*
Yellow Lady Slippers*
Stemless Lady Slippers*
Ram’s Head Lady Slipper
Rose Pogonia
Dragon’s Mouth*
Small Round Leaved Orchid*
Spotted Lady Slipper
Palomino Lady Slipper
Striped Coralroot*
Early Coralroot*
(I didn't see the Spotted and Palomino Lady Slippers in the wild but rather planted in pots in the garden of a friend, Josh Horky.)

Josh's Spotted Lady Slipper
Twelve of the orchids I mention in this post I had never seen until 2015. It was an amazing year of orchid-hunting. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to accumulate so many first-sightings again in one season! 

12 & 12
Twelve of the orchids named in this post (the ones I've marked with an asterisk) I saw while making twelve forays into the Pennington Bog SNA (Scientific and Natural Area). Some of these I've also seen in other places.

10, 1, & 6
Ten of the twelve orchids I've seen in the Pennington Bog I saw on one single morning (and six of those were in bloom at the time).

Four of the seventeen kinds of orchids I saw this year were not yet in bloom (I'm not completely certain of the identification of the last three):
Hooker’s Orchid*
Rattlesnake Plantain*
Tall White or Green Bog Orchid* 
Northern Bog Orchid*
Long-Bract Frog Orchid*
Unfortunately, I didn't have the time or the energy to go back and see them all when they were in bloom. 

Naked Miterwort, photo taken near
While photographing other wildflowers this year, I saw five flowers I'd never seen before:
Wild Calla Lily
Swamp Candles
Large Beardtongue
Naked Miterwort
Dutchman's Breeches

I've visited three Bog Walks in 2015: one in Lake Bemidji State Park, one in Orr, and one in the Big Bog, near Red Lake.

Scarlet Cup fungi, Jay Cooke State Park.
Early in the spring and again in the fall, I also photograph the more interesting fungi that I see, and so far in 2015, I've seen two that were new to me:  Scarlet Cup fungi (in Jay Cooke State Park) and Witches' Butter (various places).

Rattlesnake Plantain foliage, Pennington Bog.

I keep a kind of mental list of the orchids I hope to find in the future. For 2015, my goal was to see the Ram's Head Lady Slipper, which I did. I thought maybe I'd see the Dragon's Mouth a few years from now, but I stumbled on it this year. Such luck lets me move two orchids like the Showy Orchis and the Fairy Slipper up the list as the focus of my search for 2016. 

One of the orchids I saw this year for the first time, Rattlesnake Plantain*, was in leaf only--I didn't get to see buds or blooms. I also didn't mark it on my GPS app, so I'm hoping I'll be able to find it again next year.

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