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Another great article Shar...perhaps I'll look for these orchids in my walks in the forest...Shar when all of the learning was happening between you and Aunt Bett, how old would she be??? also how old was she when she passed on..am sure you wrote about it in other articles but it escapes me at this time...
I too have been curious about your Aunt. Do you happen to have a picture of her that you could post? It would be especially nice if you could post one of the two of you together. How absolutely fortunate you were to have had such a fascinating person in your family during your childhood.
I have never seen a lady slipper orchid. They were probably there when I was on short hiking trips but they apparently weren't too noticeable to my uneducated eyes.
I'll see what I can find for you, but I know I don't have a picture of the two of us together. I am not sure why that is, but maybe I should check with some of my older relatives. Not many of them left, but maybe.
She never liked to have her picture made, I do remember that.
Slipper orchids are very small, but are on tall stalks, maybe 18+ inches or so. Not really noticeable if you aren't looking for them.
I think I would have noticed the blooms so probably if there were any they weren't blooming. I would heartily recommend that you notify all of your living relatives and find out who might have family pictures that you have never seen or don't possess. You could always scan them or have them make copies of them for you. I have been attempting this myself for several years now. Often I have had to go to extraordinary means to obtain the pictures from people. Thankfully so many of our people have some method of reproducing such pictures but occasionally a relative will live in a rather isolated area and can't be of any help. This has created a real problem in some instances for me. One such trip that found it necessary to make was to take a picture of a very large family picture that the person had hanging on the wall and had no way to copy it. Another long trip led to a big disappointment. This elderly relative supposedly had a picture of a particular relative that no one else had pictures of.
End of story...
The picture was an early one of my grandmother and we already had it. It was not the person that she thought it was. Here is where research can go awry easily. Her family was so proud of that picture that we didn't have the nerve to tell her that it wasn't the person she thought it was. We dutifully carried the picture to a shop and had it copied for them and for us. Then we returned to their isolated mountain home with the pictures. Our dirty deed having been done we hurriedly bid them a hasty goodbye and left feeling terribly guilty but happy to see that they were so happy. Oh, well. So goes life.
Great article. I love the personal stories mixed with technical details. Here is a link from Plant Delights Nursery that contains another article: