...tall spikes of Great Plains Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes magnicamporum) grew along a path by a small pond near Lake Erie. Further down the path, several more plants were scattered through a soggy field along a boardwalk. The bright, bright white of the spiraling flowers popped wherever it stood.
Originally I thought this was Nodding Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes cernua), but Andrew at The Natural Treasures of Ohio blog let me know it's Great Plains. Thanks, Andrew! Click here for a nice article to help you tell them apart. Apparently, Great Plains Ladies' Tresses are more fragrant than Nodding Ladies' Tresses. I don't remember them being fragrant, but we were looking for birds, and I had my long lens with me, so to photograph them, I couldn't get that close!
...adjacent to the tall, lanky and showy white orchid was a pond where an equally tall, lanky and showy white creature stood. The Great Egret, fishing in a sea of green, was the flower's perfect complement...
...spiraling upward in a double column, the flowers of the native Great Plains Ladies' Tresses form what looks like a braid and accounts for its common name.
Like all orchids, Great Plains Ladies' Tresses requires a specific species of fungus for normal growth and forms a symbiotic association between the root tissue and the fungus (click here for more information).
...love that frilly lacy ruffle!
...the egret continued to fish while I admired both him and the beautiful white flowers growing in a tight spiral.
I photographed this flower on September 17, 2011 while at the Midwest Birding Symposium.