NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

GSMNP - Reagan's Mill and Porter's Creek

When we were unsuccessful with our quest to find the llamas of Mt LeConte Lodge we moved on down the Roaring Fork Nature Motor Trail to Reagan's Mill. Don't ask me anything about Reagan's Mill....I skipped the education this time and just enjoyed trying to capture the simple beauty of it.

 On the advice of the photographer we met on the way to Grotto Falls we checked out  the Porter's Creek Trail to try to find the elusive ladyslipper. We weren't the only ones in search of this pink temptress, and we soon stumbled upon her fan club.

I found this interesting information on the US Forest Service website:

In order to survive and reproduce, pink lady's slipper interacts with a fungus in the soil from the Rhizoctonia genus. Generally, orchid seeds do not have food supplies inside them like most other kinds of seeds. Pink lady’s slipper seeds require threads of the fungus to break open the seed and attach them to it. The fungus will pass on food and nutrients to the pink lady's slipper seed. When the lady’s slipper plant is older and producing most of its own nutrients, the fungus will extract nutrients from the orchid roots. This mutually beneficial relationship between the orchid and the fungus is known as “symbiosis” and is typical of almost all orchid species.

Pink lady’s slipper takes many years to go from seed to mature plants.  Seed-bearing harvest of wild lady's slipper root is not considered sustainable. Pink lady's slippers can live to be twenty years old or more.
Education is great...but simply adoring one of nature's masterpieces can be even better. So...enjoy!

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