Last Friday Eric Durban - resident orchid guru - guided a few of us monitors to a site in Maumee State Forest where Putty Root orchid (Aplectrum hyemale) grows. You can just make out three green leaves and two dried stalks with their seed pods.
Each plant sends out one leaf each fall. The leaf, conspicuous atop the fallen leaf litter, gathers energy all winter. A single flower stalk appears in the spring, after the leaf has withered. One of my favorite bloggers, Jim McCormick, has a great post on this orchid.
We made a mental note to revisit the site next May and see the flowers.
On the way back we stopped by one of the old Chestnut trees in the area. When I last visited this site, the tree was difficult to find in the overgrown woods, but seemingly healthy. It has since developed symptoms of Chestnut blight.
The Metroparks cleared the area around the old Chestnut and volunteers planted saplings grown from seeds. Each white tube covers a sapling. If you look closely you can see this years copious fruit.
Perhaps by the time these saplings are as large as the parent tree there will be a cure for the blight.