Lady Slippers at the Blackstone Gorge

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Sweet sight of late spring–Lady Slippers!

The great thing about visiting places nearby is that different seasons offer such delightful treats, if you pay attention. From walks in past years, I knew lady slippers were growing next to the Blackstone Gorge, and I had seen a very few lady slippers in other nearby places. To enjoy other views of the gorge, check out these posts:  https://marjorieturner.com/2018/04/26/history-of-the-blackstone-gorge/  https://marjorieturner.com/2017/06/07/searching-for-mountain-laurel-blackstone-gorge/  https://marjorieturner.com/2011/10/20/enjoying-the-wonders-of-the-blackstone-gorge-2/

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Beautiful morning at the Blackstone Gorge

So we set out in the cool of the morning to see if we could spot these lovely northern orchids that are here once a year for a limited time only. No, this is not sales copy for a local retail store, just the truth!

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Bluets near the shoreline of the Blackstone River as it flows through the Gorge

We ventured near the banks of the river first, and spotted some sweet patches of bluets, tiny white flowers with a small touch of blue. Even while searching for flowers, we enjoyed the sounds of the rushing Blackstone river as it squeezes through the Blackstone Gorge–such a magical place.

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Budding mountain laurel waiting to burst into bloom in a week or two

In just a few weeks the mountain laurel will bloom here, but for now, the buds are waiting their turn.

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Low bush blueberry blossoms along the trail

Low bush blueberries are blooming, promising woodland treats for visitors who come here in late July.

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Clusters of lady slippers at the Gorge

I usually simply walk the trail here, with no particular goal in mind, but as I walked, searching for lady slippers, I was reminded of how rocky and sloped this trail really is.

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Much of the trail alongside the Gorge has rocks like these–watch your step!

If it were not such a small area, with multiple stunning views, I probably would have left it off my “Easy Walks” list, but because of the multitude of cool things just waiting to be discovered on visits to the Gorge, it remains on my list, despite its challenges.

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Very soon, the Gorge will be filled with the blossoms of these mountain laurels

In just a week or two, the lady slippers will be a memory, while the gorge will be filled with mountain laurel blossoms. And if you miss the mountain laurel, there is always more to see, regardless of the season. Happy Trails!

Marjorie

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Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed three guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, “Easy Walks in Massachusetts 2nd edition,”  “More Easy Walks in Massachusetts,”  and edited “Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed.” A native Floridian, she came north for college and snow! Marjorie is a Certified Legacy Planner with LegacyStories.org, and is the producer of numerous veterans interviews for the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s History Project. http://www.marjorieturner.com

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Walks-Massachusetts-2nd-Northbridge/dp/0989204340

More Easy Walks in Massachusetts

Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed

4 Comments

Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks

4 responses to “Lady Slippers at the Blackstone Gorge

  1. nice blog post…thanks for share

  2. People need to be reminded that Lady Slippers are protected by law, and it is illegal to pick or dig up lady slipper plants on Federal properties.

    • marjorie561

      Thanks Mary–yes, federal law protects these lovely norther orchids on federal land–regardless of the location, specific fungi is needed by the plant roots for them to thrive, thus digging up to relocate is almost certainly doomed to failure, so please leave them right where they are, and enjoy!

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