Sunday, April 30, 2006

I is for...

Indian Pipe. This gorgeous plant doesn't actually contain chlorophyll, which is why it is white. It instead feeds off nutrients in the soil and other nearby plants. They are common in the boreal forest of Northern Ontario, although it takes careful looking to find them. I plan on going out this summer and finding photos of lots of other common but unique plants around here, including two carnivorous plants - round-leaved sundew and pitcher plants.

EDIT: Hi to anyone who's gotten here from the "I" ABC-along contest! I thought I'd add some other information about the photo.

It was taken when I worked at Blue Lake Provincial Park as a park interpreter, and it was one of the best jobs I ever had. I got to spend all day outside in the sunshine, in a beautiful BEAUTIFUL place, teaching people everything I knew about the fascinating plants, trees and rocks around them. This was taken with the park's new Sony digital camera, using the close-up setting. We needed good pictures of many different plants and animals to use as slides for slide-shows, so one afternoon I went out and went crazy with the camera. I got lots of wonderful pictures of things like Kinnikinnick, Blueberries, and Crowberry. This Indian Pipe picture however turned out the best of all of them, and is one of the most beautiful pictures I've ever taken. It really shows the tranquility and beauty of the boreal forests of Canada. Everything is incredibly green and still, with sunlight filtering through the pine and spruce. It's cool, but not too cold, and the ground is soft with sphagnum and peat. You rarely hear bugs (once you're in summer's heat and wearing Muskol ;) but instead hear white-throated sparrows. As you move into a clearing you'll find Indian Paintbrush and Buttercups. By a stream you'll find Spotted Touch-Me-Not, Wild Mint, and Blue Flags. You can see minnows and little bass in the water.

If I could spend my whole summer doing nothing but hiking in the bush I would be incredibly happy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's a really gorgeous picture of the Indian pipe. I've seen other pictures that made it look rather ghastly, but you've captured its delicacy very well.