|Pink Lady's Slipper|
We drove along the north edge of Lake Michigan then headed north through the middle of the Upper Peninsula half way between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.
Stopping at a National Forest Recreation Facility, we found Pink Lady's Slippers (Cypripedium acaule) growing amongst the carpets of Low-Bush Blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium).
This area has very sandy soil, with sugar maples, red and white pines, pin cherries, paper birch and serviceberries. The forest floor is covered with the Low-Bush Blueberries.
|Low-Bush Blueberry Flower|
The beautiful white bell-shaped flowers of Low-Bush Blueberries that will turn into the delicious blue fruit.
Along the sandy shore some nice surprises.
|Lance Leaved Violet|
The white flowers of this Lance-Leaved (Bog) Violet (Viola lanceolata) dotted the sandy shore.
|Round Leaved Sundew|
These are amazing insectivorous plants that snare their insect prey on the sticky excretion from the glandular hairs on the leaves. "When an insect lands on one hair, the other hairs sense it and bend over the insect, making it adhere to their sticky fluid. The hair glands then release and acid and enzymes that dissolve all the soft parts of the insect, and other leaf glands absorb the released nutrients." (Forest Plants of Central Ontario, Chambers, Legasy & Bentley)
Reindeer Lichen dotted the ground in the forest openings forming large patches.
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) was also abundant in the sandy soils around the pine trees. The new red growth was emerging. The leathery leaf is very fragrant when crushed. The flowers emerge in July and are similar to the Low-Bush Blueberry.
Along the margins of the woodlands in full sun were clusters of Sweet-Fern (Comptonia peregrina). Another plant with a fragrance, the new growth when crushed has a sweet fragrance.
We have Sweet-Fern in our yard along a rock retaining wall in sandy soil where it's doing really well.