Here she is, standing in an open wet meadow called Putty Pond. As you can see, it's no longer the pond it used to be when the stream that fed it was dammed to provide a water supply for a nearby (now defunct) garnet mine called Hooper's Mine.
If you click on this photo, you just might be able to make out the many white spikes of Ladies' Tresses blooming abundantly among the grasses and sedges at the edge of Putty Pond.
At first glance, this Hooded Ladies' Tresses looks quite a bit like the more familiar Nodding Ladies' Tresses, except that the florets are somewhat more uplifted.
The key difference is how the lower lip is somewhat fiddle shaped, narrowing in the middle before flaring out at the end.
Other factors in identifying this little orchid are its location in a wetland that is more alkaline than acidic (S. cernua prefers more acidic soils) and also its blooming time in the middle of summer. I wouldn't normally start looking for Nodding Ladies' Tresses until late in August.
Another interesting plant that was new to me was this Three-square Rush (Schoenoplectus americanus) (Oops! See note below), which absolutely filled the area that once was a water-filled pond. True to its name, this plant has stems that are triangular in cross-section. I wonder why it's not called "Three-angled Rush" instead, since a square would have to have four angles.
We were intrigued by this large brown dragonfly that hung vertically on a tree in the shade of an adjoining thicket. I believe it's one of the Darners, but I couldn't match it exactly to any pictures in my dragonfly guides. I sent an ID request to BugGuide.net and I'm still awaiting a response.
Evelyn next wanted to visit nearby Hooper's Mine, where garnets were once mined from the mountain's bedrock, but first we stopped off for cold drinks in the pub of Garnet Hill Lodge, an all-seasons resort overlooking Thirteenth Lake. The view from the porch of the pub was spectacular!
A ten-minute hike up into the mountains brought us to this abandoned quarry with impressive walls of chiseled rock. My photo certainly doesn't do justice to the monumental impact these high walls have when you first come into the clearing.
Many garnets remain embedded in the granite here, and it was obvious that people still visit this area with rock hammers and picks to extract the stones.
On our way back to North Creek to return Evelyn to her home, she guided us along some back roads that gave us some truly spectacular views of the mountains to the north, the highest peaks of the Adirondacks. Oh, it was quite the day and place for a perfect Sunday drive!