a chill February found me exploring a lonely trail in search of flowers and their attendant butterflies… Possibly a bear if I could see one. It was after all why I had picked an early morning and this particular trail that skirted a vast South West Florida marsh As I rounded an area looking down as I hiked I came across a small grouping, just a very few plants, of Nodding Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes odorata) Orchids. I had never seen these in my travels so it was pretty exciting! Nodding Ladies Tresses grow low and are rather small and they tend to blend in with the rest of, well, everything in the grasses. The blooms only last about a week or two so I was very lucky to come across them. Nodding Ladies Tresses are a ground orchid with just a few leaves and this wonderful flower spike that comes up about a foot. My book on Wild Orchids of Florida says that these are seen from South Dakota, east to Nova Scotia, south to Texas and in Florida. If you are lucky to see them in your area, take only photos and leave nothing behind but footprints… Orchids are protected in many States.