Orchid Count 2017

On The Bluff Trail June 13, 2017: Lady’s slipper orchids at left, albino below; Labrador tea in flower, the last of the Rhodora in flower, swallowtail butterflies, huckleberry in flower and swamp sparrow in song.
Click on image for larger version.
On this hot, bright mid-June day, we (David P and Kai) counted the number of lady’s slipper orchids that could be seen from the trail between the trailhead and the Pot Lake junction. I counted one side going in, Kai the other and we switched on the way back giving two independent counts for both sides of the trail. As in 2015 and 2016, Kai (now 15) viewed far more than David P (“a senior”)

Here are the numbers from today and from 2014, 2015 and 2016.

June 13, 2017: 135 (Dave) 336 (Kai)

Lady’s Slipper orchids abound on the Bluff Trail (2016) : 434 (Kai)

Orchid Counts 2015: Good News!: 147 (Dave) 262 (Kai)

Mid-June Wildflowers on The Bluff Trail (2014): 133 (Dave)

So… Kai’s number was down a bit from last year, but above his count for 2015. Overall, the lady’s slipper orchids appear to be doing quite OK, which is welcome news given that use of the trail increased greatly over the last 2 years. Other native species were doing just fine as well, some shown in the photo panel at top.

Another welcome result: No exotic plant species were observed, although there are many on the BLT. Together, these indicators suggest that the Ecological Integrity on this busiest section of The Bluff Trail is being maintained.

Also, no garbage and no fire pits for which we can thank the many volunteers, and the hikers!

One Reply to “Orchid Count 2017”

  1. Thanks for counting orchids – having several years of data is really interesting! Given the width of the trail at times I wonder how many orchids get trampled and crushed.

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