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This portrait gallery is for Restlessjo, to whom I promised the next orchid I stumbled across.

First sighting of an orchid I've never seen before is always very exciting. The list is growing – duck orchid, bearded orchid, spiral orchid, glossodia: I've spotted these with my own eyes. Other acquaintances have been by courtesy of J's eyes.

This one was the youngest thing we saw in a day's ramble: considerably younger than the basalt (28 million years) and the sandstone (25 million).

Its petals were freshly unfurled, still slightly ruffled by their sojourn in the bud casing. The bronze sepals were longer than any I have seen on donkey orchids and the whole inflorescence was larger. There it was sitting splendidly beside the track, pinky purple, with yellow in its throat, and a white sticky disc on the upright sepal, just waiting for a native bee pollinator. Instead it had an enraptured woman, saying loudly “What is this? What is this?”

Then the homage began: flat on my belly with two cameras alternating, determined not to miss out on this special gift at the end of a day of gifts.




I'll be away for a few weeks, holidaying with an orchid loving friend. I probably won't be visiting your blogs or posting many of my own, except scheduled ones, until I return home. Enjoy the break!