Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Great Orchid Hunt: Part II

I went out alone yesterday to see if the Calypsos were in bloom. To my great delight, every patch I'd seen a week ago was in full flower! Many were right along this muddy ATV track...(I worry for their safety).... The sun was in the West and each patch of orchids glowed in the slanting evening light.



The groups of blooms were dense and bright----not much else in the underbrush is in leaf or flower yet.


Each bloom was only about 5" high. I was alone on the trail-----good, as no one saw me crawling around on my stomach trying to get perfect camera focus.


Totally captivating! I think this was my favorite group.


What I hadn't expected was their scent. It was a strong perfume that floated in a halo around them----I had to get very close. Sharp, sweet.....can't even describe what it reminded me of. I took a few very deep breaths----when is the next time I'll be able to enjoy a full-body infusion of orchid essence?







So far, the images I've seen of Calypso bulbosa show a more rounded lip, and no yellow, hairy spot. Kind of like this orchid's soul patch. Look at that cleft chin!


This is my favorite shot. Don't they look like they're having a great time?

It was a good evening for me. Finding anything in my life that truly delights me has been difficult and rare these days. I thought that with the advent of Spring, I would feel brighter, feel better, more optimistic. Recent events have been weighing me down, however. It seems I can't quite get out from under a dark cloud. Seeing these Calypso orchids in all their fragile beauty gave me a lift.

6 comments:

Riverlark said...

Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures, Eero! They (the orchids) look like they're having a great time!

Carson said...

I'm glad the orchids made a small parting in the clouds for you :)
I don't think I've ever seen orchids in the wild before, and Alaska is the last place I'd expect them, funny I always associate them with the tropics.

bike&beer said...

is it some greater dark force that is around us? what is it with the generalized down? bugheart, you, me... seems we have all fallen under some dark spell that is taking its time to lift. interestingly, i too posted about orchids... some things are really uplifting i guess. i so am looking fwd to brighter days, literally and figuratively!

patcaribou said...

wow..great pics...nice macro..they look like lil walt disney characters...i found a single solitary orchid out by northland wood near the city garbage dump last weekend, growing in a clearcut area near a patch of moose nuggets and puffballs...

johnny said...

THANX FER SHARING....they are beautiful....reminds me of crawling around outside OLYMPIA,WA. one fall....getting my knees soggy and wet in the forest photographing all the amazing mushrooms...Isn't it so satisfying...especially when it's all yours...

akfnp said...

Love those little lady slippers as my Nana used to call them. She "hunted" them every year in northern Maine, recording where she found them from year to year. Havent discovered them here. Wonder if they are hiding in these woods down here in the Valley?