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We now know how to pack and we’re in central Florida. This Boulder Boy spent the afternoon drooling on orchids at Krull Smith Orchids. I had to be careful since over-watering does not agree with them. They are perhaps the biggest orchid growers in the country. I think I took about 2500 pictures, and selected a couple for this blog.
The first, to me, looks like a person, eyebrows, looking at us and makes me laugh each time I look at it.
Orchids, belonging to the Orchidaceae family, are a mesmerizing and diverse group of flowering plants known for their exotic beauty and astonishing variety. With over 25,000 species spread across nearly every continent, orchids exhibit an incredible range of sizes, shapes, and colors, making them one of the largest and most ecologically diverse plant families on Earth.
Orchids have adapted to live in a myriad of environments, from tropical rainforests to cold Himalayan slopes and even semi-desert regions. This adaptability is a testament to their evolutionary prowess, allowing them to thrive in both epiphytic conditions—growing on other plants without deriving nutrients from them—and terrestrial habitats.
This one again looks like eyes and a face. With large yellow ears.
One of the most fascinating aspects of orchids is their complex relationship with pollinators. Orchids often employ intricate mechanisms to attract specific pollinators, such as bees, birds, and even moths. Their flowers can mimic the appearance and scent of a female insect to lure in male pollinators, a strategy that underscores the intricate co-evolution of orchids and their pollinators. This specialization ensures effective pollination but also means that many orchids are reliant on a single species for their survival, making them vulnerable to changes in their ecosystem.
Each is more fantastic than the one I just photographed. One (that we did not see) was seen by Darwin. he hypothesized that the had to be perhaps a moth with a 12″, 30.5 centimeters, proboscis to reach into the flower and get the contents. In fact the moth with the 12″ proboscis was discovered after Darwin’s death. He had correctly predicted its existence based upon the orchid’s size and shape. The allure of orchids extends beyond their ecological significance. They hold a place of honor in horticulture, with enthusiasts around the globe cherishing them for their elaborate and sometimes fragrant blooms. Orchid care can range from relatively simple to highly specialized, depending on the species. They generally require well-drained conditions and specific humidity levels, with some needing distinct periods of rest to flourish.
Orchids also carry symbolic meanings, often representing love, luxury, beauty, and strength. In some cultures, they are gifted as a sign of respect and admiration. The orchid’s ability to bloom under what may seem like the most inhospitable conditions is a powerful reminder of nature’s resilience and ingenuity, inspiring a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world’s complexity and beauty.
Tomorrow: Alligators <G> If I don’t post, that is a bad sign. Only the slowest person is in danger, and that might be me. Many years ago when my sister and I were viewing alligators up close and personal, my sister was nervous because we were (really were) too close to a LARGE ‘gator. I explained that I did not need to outrun the alligator (don’t try that at home), I just had run faster than her! Now, I pointed out that she’s faster than me. After decades her fear was mollified.