Friday, June 8, 2012

Grass Pink Orchid

In my last post, I mentioned that I was going out to a special place for the afternoon.  It's the time of year when the orchids bloom and a tour was being done to show them off.  This place is a State Nature Preserve and is highly protected because of it's fragile nature and many threatened and endangered species.  It is open to the public, as it should be.  There is an extensive boardwalk network covering just over a mile that leads visitors through all the different micro-environments of the "Bog".  Visitors are REQUIRED to stay on the boardwalk to protect the various species, some of which date back to the ice ages.  The trouble is, that some people just cannot help themselves and will venture off the boardwalk to get a closer look at some of the more interesting species, ie: rare orchids in bloom.

The paths are very noticeable, which I'm sure encourages more people to venture where they shouldn't.  The damage is not as noticeable, but it is done.  Plants are trampled.  Some rare.  Some possibly endangered.  When I went back out on a week night to make this image, the paths were even more extensive.  The worst part was that it was clear that some of the orchids had been taken.  They won't last but a day or two and the plants will not grow without their perfect environment.  So they are lost forever.  What these people are doing is not only illegal but also immoral.

As a nature photographer, I feel a responsibility to the land, plants and animals I photograph.  I photograph them to preserve them in my images.  Most people who take photographs do the same thing and SHOULD feel that same responsibility.  These wonderful plants, animals and places help give us the joy of practicing our craft.  Of expressing ourselves in this art form.  We owe it to them to help preserve their homes and environments.

It has been said to "take only pictures and leave only footprints."  Well, even footprints are unacceptable in some places.  Please don't be one of, THOSE, people.


  1. Beautiful picture and wise thoughts. Thanks.

  2. Thanks Jill. I'm glad you liked it and appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  3. Thank you so much, Mike!!!!! I'm one of the volunteers and a member of the board of directors of the Bog and we appreciate all the help we can get!!!! I have a nephew with a shotgun who keeps wanting to help patrol. I keep telling him it's probably not a good idea, but sometimes ....! Enjoy many more visits to the Bog!

  4. Thanks for the comment Becky. I do what I can, as I've been visiting the "Bog" for decades and love every time I go there.

    I understand that some people, just don't get it. They don't realize how fragile the "Bog" is and how desperately it needs to be preserved. I guess it's the same with pretty much everything in our "modern day" lives.

  5. Thank you Mike. We try very hard to protect the Bog and educate our visitors. It is so mind-boggling that our worst offender has a PHD in Natural Sciences and still came twice that we know of to trample in the muck to get a better view. How many smaller plants we damaged or destroyed we may not know. You would think with those degrees he could read signs. It was so embarrassing to take you all out on the walk and find so much had been trampled already. I, too, wish people would leave less footprints. In the Bog. We have provided a nice place for feet to travel and see the beauty that is there. I hope word gets out and our visitors, like you, will help us take a stand for the fen. Thank you so much! Sally

  6. I guess no amount of book learning can teach common sense. It's a shame that the selfish actions of a few can do so much damage and make things harder for others.

    As for getting the word out, I try. A lot of the images on my blog and web site are from the Bog. It is one of my favorite places and has been for decades. I think a lot of my love of nature came from high school field trips to the bog and teachers like Terry and my HS biology teacher, Mr. Delapina. They made learning fun and kept me coming back for more.

    You guys keep up the good work too. Your efforts are GREATLY appreciated!