Jenny Ward Angyal
Along the winding, wooded path, May apples hide their white petals under leaves like green umbrellas. Dwarf crested iris splash the stream bank with purple. And then a rustle in dry leaves draws my eye as a toad disappears into the duff. Her movement reveals two tiny clusters of rare ‘showy orchis’ – pixie flowers on stems barely two inches high, each bloom with a lavender hood and a snow-white tongue.
Two days later finds me trudging back and forth along the same stretch of trail, wishing I’d made better note of landmarks as I scan the base of every promising tree trunk for the elusive orchids. I’m about to give up when, just as before, a rustle in dry leaves draws my eye. The toad hops twice and vanishes against ridged tulip-poplar bark . . . but not before she’s shown me the magic blossoms once again.
to whatever spirit guide
at each moment
the mockingbird invents a song