A northern Minnesota tale: The orchid and the otter

  • Article by: PETER M. LESCHAK
  • Updated: May 18, 2013 - 3:59 PM

The benefits of being intimate with the spot on Earth you call home.

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pumiceMay. 18, 13 7:10 PM

Thank you for sharing this exquisite bit of knowledge and wisdom, Peter Leschak. It is beautifully written, balanced between your observations and those of the giants who have gone before you. This is my favorite line: "Humans discover mostly what we’re prepared to find, so it’s wise to be prepared for anything."

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cdjohnsoMay. 18, 13 9:16 PM

Read this earlier, then sat on my deck. Pair of hummers were scrapping, dive-bombing and F-16-ing in the plum trees. Redwing blackbirds were territorializing in the swamp. Orioles were coming and going from the feeder, using the Pond Oak as their staging grounds. Off in the distance the frog pond was frogging. And the dog was playing tag with a chippy in the woodpile. And now I'm inside, watching the Pond Oak silhouette against the lingering dusk-ness on the western horizon. Me-thinks Peter was onto something.

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twspt7May. 19, 13 6:58 AM

How exciting, to find a rare orchid on familiar ground! Nature frequently surprises, but it's harder to see surrounded by all the concrete down here in St Paul. Thank you for the postcard from up North.

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Kate23May. 19, 1311:33 PM

Peter, I just printed your exquisite Secret Lake narrative so that I can re-read it when the messiness of the frantic world threatens to obscure what's really important. You write beautifully. Many thanks!

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hweingartnerMay. 20, 13 2:39 PM

An email I sent to a dozen friends: Here is an article that you should read and it only will take less than 3 minutes. ‘A northern Minnesota tale: The orchid and the otter, the benefits of being intimate with the spot on Earth you call home”. Article by: PETER M. LESCHAK May 18, 2013 Unfortunately, we get so busy in our own little world; we forget to see the wonderful nature that is all around us. We spend too much time watching TV and not enough outside. While we are in Florida, we marvel at the beautiful wildlife there – alligators, birds, and in the ocean dolphins swimming and occasionally jumping high out of the ocean. While walking on a berm which takes the tram to the beach, we often will see anginas drying their wings just a few feet from walkers as they are not afraid. This is an interesting bird because it flies and also swims under water to catch little fish, yet it has no oil on its wings and therefore has to dry them. Another beautiful sight is almost any sunset and especially many times the afterglow on the clouds can be spectacular. Once, I have seen the “green flash” at sunset. Personally, while playing golf, I have seen eagles, a red fox, and recently two dear does. In Peter’s article he describes seeing for the very first time after years of paddling in a pond a Dragon’s Mouth Orchid growing on a rotting log which was a wonder to both he and his wife. Here is a picture I found of that orchid on line. He also went on to say at the end of the article this: “Two thousand years ago, a freed slave named Epictetus wrote: “Remember that you ought to behave in life as you would at a banquet. As something is being passed around it comes to you; stretch out your hand, take a portion of it politely. It passes on; do not detain it.” As if we could. We should all take time to smell the roses. I just wish that I would take the time to follow my own advice. Take care, Harry Weingartner

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