This is Minnesota's state flower, the Showy Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium reginae). It's rare and protected. AND we have them in the backyard!!! I waited in anxious anticipation through the spring, watering almost everyday and shooing away digging squirrels.
My dad saw them on the news last week. Someone vandalized the fragile flower at the arboretum. Sad that something so pretty and dainty is becoming endangered because of how irresponsible we are with nature and its gifts.
The Showy Lady's Slippers did not show off as long as I thought it would. It bloomed for about a week then we got a few days' of rain and today, the petals are wilted brown. I only got two chances to photograph them and the light wasn't good on both days. I also found how challenging it is to focus on white flowers.
The orchids can live up to a hundred years old according to the news article. It doesn't bloom until it is 10 to 20 years old. There is only a short window of opportunity to see its flowers. I feel lucky and grateful.
Lesson learned like always, cherish beautiful moments while you can. Nature never fails to teach us the value of impermanence.
Tomorrow is my last day at work before our nurses' union go on strike to fight for patient safety and health insurance benefits. There is a lot of misinformation out in the public and even among us, nurses.
I felt somber as I walked to the parking lot today. I have trusted and believed in this institution for nine years (and I still do). Even close-knit families have arguments, I'd like to believe that this disagreement mirrors that. I hope we keep our integrity and professionalism as we try to uphold our ideals of what we think is right and what we rightfully deserve.
The above photograph instantly cheered me up as I browsed for images for this week's post ( a day late).