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I came across these two beautiful fairy slipper orchids (Calypso bulbosa) yesterday on a mosquito driven dog walk in the woods, not far from here. The skeeters were enough to keep us moving along and I did not spend very much time with these beautiful little orchids and my photos suffered.

According to the website, Native Orchids of Washington, there is only one species in the genus Calypso and within that species, there are four subspecies. I think this one is Calypso bulbosa var. occidentalis – Pacific or western fairy slipper. I wonder what is the tiny green caterpillar on the flower on the right?

Can you imagine the little forest spirits wearing these slippers as they move about in the woods, slipping unnoticed among the trees and casually leaving the tiny footwear behind when people appear?

 

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