Protected lady’s slippers in Acadia National Park

BAR HARBOR – In a rite of spring, we returned last week to Acadia National Park to look for a hidden colony of pink and white lady’s slippers. We also came to see the showy yellow orchid on public display at the Wild Gardens of Acadia.

Yellow lady's slippers in Acadia National Park

Don’t pick the yellow lady’s slippers

We were disappointed to arrive too early at the secret spot where the pink and white blooms are – although we have a favorite picture of them as one of the rotating photos on this blog. It was a tough winter on Mount Desert Island, making everything a week or two late.

But we were glad to find the yellow lady’s slippers in full color at the park’s Wild Gardens of Acadia. The yellow flowers haven’t been found in Acadia in the wild for decades, according to The Plants of Acadia National Park, a book project of the Garden Club of Mount Desert Island, Friends of Acadia and the Maine Natural History Observatory.

The first time we stopped by the Wild Gardens last week, the yellow lady’s slippers were protected by a wire fence, to deter thieves. (Believe it or not, people have stolen the flowers from the garden before.)

Acadia National Park, yellow lady's slippers

The wire fence protects the yellow lady’s slippers at the Wild Gardens of Acadia

But on our second stop last week, they were surprisingly cage-free.

Hopefully next spring, and for many more springs to come, we’ll have the chance to experience the brilliance of the yellow lady’s slipper at the Wild Gardens, and the glory of the pink and white orchids in their hidden spot.

To learn more about the Wild Gardens of Acadia, created and maintained by volunteers, and a committee of the Friends of Acadia since 2010, go to Wild Gardens of Acadia’s home page.

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