Return to Artist Point

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I returned to Artist Point near Mountainburg, Arkansas to search for the Galearis spectabilis - common name: Showy Orchis. Two years ago, I noticed this plant nestled in the lush moss only a foot or so away from the walking path. I wanted to revist the location the following year to catch the bloom so that I would be able to correctly identify the plant. I failed again. Up until recently, I promised myself to be on time - I would not miss the flower a third time! Sunday as I searched desperately to find the orchid, my mind began to wonder if something had happened: poachers, harsh weather, pollution, physical damage by fallen trees or animals. Having given up, I began to accend up the hillside when I noticed a familiar location next to a young Beech tree. My eyes focused on a little clump of dead orchids. Something did happen, but I am not sure what killed the Showy Orchis.

While in the area, I spotted some of nature's intricate designs:

Erythronium albidum

Urnula craterium

We even decided to stop by the recently completed Lake Fort Smith and see how the fish were doing.