Monotropa uniflora

indianpipesAka Indian Pipes. I didn’t know the Latin name, I had to google it and I’ll let you do that too. I found one site that said it was related to the blueberry! I don’t know. I don’t really know anything about plants. I envy people who can identify them but I can’t. Except for the ones I can, and Indian Pipes is one of those. It’s because we had them in the woods along the shore of Gitchee Gumee when I was a small child and they were specifically pointed out to me as something that we DO NOT PICK! Lady Slipper is another of those DO NOT PICK! varieties. And then there are the DO NOT EAT! Which is any berry except blueberry and wintergreen and we have a FEW wild strawberries and raspberries around but they are generally too far away for a small child to walk without a chaperone. But WATCH OUT!!! Because there are some berries around here that are very very blue but they are not blueberries. If you can follow that! They are commonly known (here anyway) as Snakeberries and if you are a toddler and put one in your mouth, an adult will promptly turn you upside down and dredge it out again. So, just don’t do it, okay?

I am up here on my annual busman’s holiday (I’ll let you look that up too). Yes, I am that boring. Honestly, I have been on a few of those grand tours through the Badlands or wherever. You know the kind — the kids get sick and the car breaks down and the dog runs away. And I do not know what I would do with myself on a cruise. So here I am. And I have not found any Indian Pipes in our woods yet this year. I’m sure there are some around somewhere but, then again, the woods here have changed somewhat in the last fifty years. The trees are taller, etc., etc. Maybe it isn’t dark enough on our forest floor for Indian Pipes any more. But over on top of Mission Hill, they are absolutely *everywhere*! They are not easy to photograph, at least not with my rickety old powershot. So this is the best I could do. You can click here or on the Indian Pipes for some more photos I took wandering through the woods in front of the cabin. Can you tell the real blueberries from the snake berries?


3 Responses to “Monotropa uniflora”

  1. Margaret Says:

    That is a very cool looking plant and I would swear I’ve never seen it before. It looks like it’s off Star Trek!

  2. jane Says:

    looks like it might be a pretty good year for blueberries!!!

  3. rabbi ann white Says:

    thanks for taking us on vacation with you. I am savoring your experiences.