50,000 and Counting

This is dedicated to my friend Penny, who I was hiking with when we stumbled upon the first Lady’s Slipper I ever saw.

Thursday was a big day at the herbarium where I work. We, as a group, collected our 50,000th specimen: A Pink Lady’s Slipper. Dr. Jim Matthews, who is the founder of the herbarium, rightly felt it was an occasion for celebration. The reason for the choice of the Lady’s Slipper has to do with it being one of the first specimens Jim collected for the herbarium. We returned to the same site to collect this specimen. As we monitored for when the plants would flower, we discovered that the site now has an abundance of these wonderful plants thanks to the conversations efforts of people like Jim and our county park system. Please note that it is not permissible for individuals to collect such specimens as Lady’s Slipper unless they are associated with a scientific collection. Below are some images of the celebration along with a very short video of the actual collecting of the specimen.

Above – a Pink Lady’s Slipper in the wild. Below – Dr. Matthews getting ready to put the collected specimens in the plant press.

Below – Dr. Matthews signing the back of the herbarium sheet. All who were present that day signed the sheet as part of this celebratory collection event. If you look next to Jim’s hand that is on the table, the first Lady Slipper he collected and mounted for the collection is also part of the celebration.

And how can you have a celebration without a cake??? For more information on the herbarium and the work they do, visit their web page here.

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