June 09, 2012 the Annual Charlie Horwood Memorial Pink Lady Slipper Orchid walk took place. NatureNL has sponsord these orchid walks on Mount Scio, usually on a Saturday near the middle of June, since the early 1970’s. Initially they were led by Charlie for a select few people he trusted with knowledge about the numbers and locations of the orchids. Before the forest regeneration shaded out the majority of the plants, it was easy to find, literally, thousands in an hour. Now, one can find perhaps 2-400 and that requires a more diligent effort. Access has been made much easier by the Grand Concourse; no longer need one bush-whack to get there. Unfortunately, construction of the paths near the top of Mount Scio destroyed several of the most prolific orchid patches! There is no free lunch!
Charlie passed away in the mid-1980’s and since then, I have led almost all of the Annual Charlie Horwood Memorial Pink Lady Slipper Orchid walks. This year over 40 participants saw, in an hour, about 275 orchid blooms. One plant had nine flowers, another seven. Charlie was always very protective of one albino plant and sadly watched it dwindle year by year as the forest thickened until it was no more. This year I found one plant with four extremely pale, only slightly pink, flowers so perhaps the genes remain.