Far Guy and I went out looking for more White Lady's Slippers and found two more clumps. I finally heard back from Welby Smith the Botanist from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He writes...
The white-flowered form of this species is caused by a simple genetic mutation, so white-flowered plants should continue to produce white flowers year after year. But they will probably not breed true. That is, offspring of white-flowered plants that originate from seed will probably be pink and white rather than all-white. If white-flowered plants seem to be increasing in number then it is probably the result of vegetative spreading via underground rhizomes. For some reason, a number of different pink- or blue-flowered plant species have white color forms so it must be a fairly simple mutation. Thanks for sharing your discovery with me. Welby
In an earlier email he wanted specific directions of exactly where these plants could be found. I had documented the site with photographs, so that next year we can follow the plants progress. It should be interesting from year to year to see if more whites appear. My specific directions leave a lot to be desired.. I am no good with road numbers, and those numbers over there are confusing.. both are similar numbers. one a 37 and one a 39..do you suppose I could remember which was which? Heck no, and the little roads are not always marked..eventually I found it..but I could have driven over there and looked at a road sign faster than I eventually found the info. I need a new Minnesota Road Map.
When I was on the Fire Department, I used to drive the Chief nuts, you see I grew up around here, and he was from Texas..big city.. they use real important road numbers in Houston. I knew all the old places here by the name of the people that used to live there, this was way back before the enhanced 911 system and real addresses. We had Star Route, RR2, RR1, the mail man knew where everyone lived at least on his route. I knew who used to live there, the Chief knew who lived there now.. so if he needed me someplace..he had to find a translator.. he found dogs worked well.. " You know the green house with the big black dog and the little white dog?" Sure, you want me to go to Sparky and Fido's house..sure thing Chief, you know if you had just said the old xxx place I would have known exactly where you wanted me to go. I could never remember his call number either.. or my truck number.. and radio etiquette, well that just escaped me. "Chief it is me, I am at the hall" " Chief, I just left the hall." then if he answered me, I would say "Roger, Roger." Drove him nuts. I could never remember if a 1072 was a dead body or a car accident. and it ain't polite to ask over the radio either. Then you had to switch channels..to the Fire Channel.. and if that didn't work to get him on the radio..we live in the sticks you know.. I would have to relay messages to dispatch.. and they would have to relay my message to him. If he was on one side of the small hills and I was on the other..we could not communicate except through dispatch.. what a pain in the you know what that was. Must be lots of Iron Ore in those measly little hills. Then if the communications tower gets hit by lightening.. you have to go back to the plain old phone calls. One day a few years ago, he was on a call all alone, he called here, and said " Hate to ask you, but can you go? I am it today. I might need help on this rescue call ." I said "Pick me up at the end of the drive. " I waited a long time.. the call had been cancelled. I kinda figured that out after I had drawn great pieces of art out in the dirt road while waiting.. you know on old RR2. It is much easier now, with the enhanced 911 system, and the naming of all the roads, and cow paths. I still call some old places by their old names, even though lots of different people have lived there. Old habits are hard to break.
I am a bit slowed down today.. it might be the cool weather, today is cool and windy.. certainly doesn't feel like JULY.. it feels like fall weather. You know cold, damp, dreary, just before an early freeze. I was outside, in sweats, a sweatshirt, a hooded heavy Sweatshirt and still got cold .. I refuse to bring that Parka back out for use in JULY :)