The Showy Lady’s-slipper

My bike route was not an inspiring one. It was a straight out and back ride on a quiet road that offered little variation in scenery. But on this particular day I found some stunning views. If you like wildflowers, that is.

With the late spring, the blooms I was enjoying were far past their normal seasons. Fields of daisies and patches of red hawkweed dominated the roadside. Sprinkled along the way were lupine, wild roses, buttercups and clumps of purple iris. And then there were all the flowers I couldn't name – numerous varieties in yellow, white and purple. But the absolute best were the Lady's-slippers.

Lady Slippers

For a span of several miles, the grassy ditches on both sides of the road were richly adorned with clusters of the beautiful flower. I was thrilled to see the first few blossoms, followed by amazement at how ubiquitous they were. Despite being Minnesota's state flower, I usually consider them to be a rare find. This was a showy display.

What added to their appeal was the brilliance of their color. These were not demure pink flowers. They had richly colored bulbs bordering on deep purple. They stood out in sharp contrast against the fresh spring greenery.

These Lady's-slippers lived up to their name – they were showy indeed. And turned an ordinary bike ride into one of delight.


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