Archive for the 'Photos' Category

Indoor Orchids Chase Away Winter Blues

Saturday, January 8th, 2022

Orchids can help take the chill out of a gray winter, cold rains, and short days. Fortunately, I have a lot blooming indoors right now. First, there’s a fragrant Cattleya hybrid in the row of photos above. It’s been reliable for years, pumping out white blossoms with rich purple coloring. The ruffled petals and lips […]

December’s Solstice

Tuesday, December 21st, 2021

The winter solstice is a glass-half-full or half-empty issue. It’s easy to lament the shortest day with the least light, but also easy to celebrate the increased light after today. With the assistance of a few extraordinary orchids, I’m voting for the optimistic, glass-half-full version of things. These brilliant blooms from an old orchid show […]

Coast Redwoods Tower Over the Forest

Thursday, December 9th, 2021

I doubt that any photo of ancient Coast Redwoods can convey how massive these giants are. When standing before them in person, it’s impossible to comprehend their height. Looking up their straight trunks, and then looking up some more, you finally see the tree canopy against the sky. It’s hard to avoid straining your neck. […]

A Wild, Weedy, and Intoxicating Orchid, Part 2

Monday, November 8th, 2021

The Broad-Leaved Helleborine is indeed a wild, weedy, and intoxicating orchid. It’s an invasive species in North America, with nectar that drugs its insect pollinators. On the coast, just south of San Francisco, the plants near us grow in a tough botanical neighborhood. Their small patch of woods on a steep hillside is full of […]

A Sweet Little Caucaea Orchid

Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

This Caucaea was a great find at a San Francisco Orchid Society sale last year. It’s a cool-growing miniature with a strong, sweet fragrance. Caucaeas are in the Oncidium family, and they’re named after the Cauca region of the northern Andes. Caucaea is pronounced “kaw-KAY-uh.” This species is Caucaea phalaenopsis, named for its resemblance to […]

A Wild, Weedy, and Intoxicating Orchid: Epipactis helleborine

Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Have you ever seen a drunk wasp? I have. Dave and I recently spotted one while were on a trail in a small wooded area near our home in Pacifica. The insect, shown in the first two photos above, was intoxicated from the nectar of a wild orchid, the Broad-Leaved Helleborine. The wasp hung upside […]

The Autumn Equinox

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

A long time ago, when I moved to California from the East Coast, I thought it was spring all the time. Part of my culture shock was learning that the seasons were different here. Around Philadelphia where I grew up, we had hot, humid summers, and cold, snowy winters. In contrast, San Francisco summers are […]

True Blue Orchids

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

Blue is a rare floral color, but the vast orchid family doesn’t disappoint, so it is possible to find true blue orchids. Some feature brilliant tones, while others have subtle hues. There are also imposters. Blue Moth Orchids in the supermarket are actually white blooms which are injected with dye. Many orchid varieties with “blue” […]

Summer in Our Garden

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

Summers on the Northern California coast are typically cool and foggy, and this year has been no exception. That allows us to revel in cool-growing Cymbidium, Epidendrum, and Masdevallia orchids, as well as other plants like fuchsias, poppies, and nasturtiums. Their bright colors stand out against the green background, enticing bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and humans. […]

A Lady Slipper Standing Tall

Sunday, August 8th, 2021

Alien-looking Lady Slippers beg the question of how strange flowers from another planet might be. While this Paph comes from right here on Earth, it looks like something from a sci-fi movie. It’s an unidentified hybrid that I bought a few years ago in a grocery store. These photos show various angles of this wondrous […]