Maine was great of course. While there I found some flowers i first noticed two years ago after a really rainy summer on a nature trail down the street from my grandfathers house. It is Monotropa uniflora (aka Ghost Plant, Corpse Plant and Indian Pipe) a colorless bizarre looking parasitic flower. Double parasitic actually, because it gets nutrients from root fungus which get nutrients from tree roots. I desperately tried to find some evidence of it growing in Eastern Europe somewhere so I could work it into a painting for my show but no luck (I will discuss the total regional inaccuracy of the flower above at a later time). It actually seems to be pretty hard to find so it's kind of amazing that I've found such an abundance of it in Chamberlain, ME. I'm definitely going to work these into a painting soon.
"Colorless in every part, waxy, cold, and clammy, Indian pipes rise like a company of wraiths in the dim forest that suits them well. Ghoulish parasites, uncanny saprophytes, for their matted roots prey either on the juices of living plants or on the decaying matter of dead ones, how weirdly beautiful and decorative they are!...Yet to one who can read the faces of flowers, as it were, it stands a branded sinner. Doubtless its ancestors were industrious, honest creatures, seeking their food in the soil, and digesting it with the help of leaves filled with good green matter (chlorophyll) on which virtuous vegetable life depends; but some ancestral knave elected to live by piracy, to drain the already digested food of its neighbors; so the Indian pipe gradually lost the use of parts for which it had need no longer, until we find it to-day without color and its leaves degenerated into mere scaly bracts...No wonder this degenerate hangs its head; no wonder it grows black with shame on being picked, as if its wickedness were only just then discovered! To think that a plant related on one side to many of the loveliest flowers in Nature's garden - the azaleas, laurels, rhododendrons, and the bonny heather - and on the other side to the modest but no less charming wintergreen tribe, should have fallen from grace to such a depth! Its scientific name, meaning a