177: Purple Reign

Lady butterfly
Perfumes wings by floating
Over the orchid.

~ Basho (Translation by Peter Beilenson)

Purple Reign is the theme for this year’s Orchid Mania at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.  Guess where I took my camera yesterday?

The photographer/blogger in purple. A self-portrait.

I am now in possession of 134 new photos of orchids to add to my already extensive collection of photographs of orchids.  Yikes.  What will I do with them all??

I will share some of them with you, of course.  Aren’t you glad you stopped today?  (As always, you can view the slightly larger version of the photos by clicking on them.)

The exhibit truly is a feast for the senses.  The colors and scents are amazing.  It was the perfect pick-me-up after a winter of whites, blues, and grays.

To be honest, 134 photos is a pretty modest amount.  I would have more except for the batteries.  It appears it’s time for me to invest in new batteries for the camera.  Even the back-up set don’t last long these days.

When visiting orchid exhibits, I do more than look at and photograph the flowers.  I take the time to lean in and smell them as well.  Orchids are known as the “king of the fragrant plants.”  It is a well-deserved title.  Orchid fragrances range from subtle to strong, and from pleasant to putrid, and everything in between.  I didn’t come across any of the unpleasantly scented orchids.  I’m not sure if there were any there or not.  It’s possible I missed them.

In general, the orchids pollinated by bees and moths tend to have pleasant scents whereas those pollinated by flies and other carrion-feeding insects are, to put it gently, not so pleasant (putrid and fecal scents, to put it not so gently, although some are more earthy and mimic fungal scents).

I found the line of orchids above interesting.  It reminds me of fish bones.  Someone else said they thought it looked like  a mustache.

I might have a few more orchid photos to share another day, after I’ve finished sorting through them.  That means it might be next year, at the rate I’m going.  Would you believe I still haven’t finished going through my photos from our trip to Colorado last August?  It’s true.  We keep traveling to other places or doing other things before I have a chance to catch up with myself.  Usually I manage to play catch-up  during the winter months, but this past winter was unusual in that I was spending time outside every day, taking photos while I was out there, and then blogging about it every day.  I may take a year off from blogging once this over.

Today’s Outdoor Adventures

M and I had originally planned to attend part of the 2011 Maple Tour here in northeast Ohio.  I thought it might be interesting to see (and photograph) how maple sugar is made.

Today's view of the pond

But it was such a gorgeous day that we decided to skip the maple syrup, as yummy as it sounds, and go for a walk around Wingfoot Lake State Park.

The park is not far from where we live, and we had never been there before today.  The north shore of Wingfoot Lake was originally developed for corporate retreats and employee outings by the Goodyear Company (located in Akron, not far from Wingfoot Lake).  You might be familiar with Goodyear.  They manufacture tires.  You might also know them by their blimps, one of which (Spirit of Goodyear) is based at the Goodyear Wingfoot Lake Airship facility just across the lake from the park.

Goodyear blimp and the air dock

The park was privately owned by Goodyear up until 2009 when the land and the lake were purchased by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, and is now open to the public.

We timed our visit to Wingfoot Lake State Park unexpectedly well.  The blimp folks were taking advantage of the nice weather too, by practicing their touch-and-go’s.  I’ll bring you some photos of that tomorrow.

Paved path to the lake

We had a nice walk around the park.  It is sunny, clear, windy, and a little chilly today with highs in the upper 40s.  Once you get moving, it doesn’t feel too bad.

Old cherry tree

There are a lot of beautiful, old trees in the park.  There are also plenty of recreational opportunities, or will be when the weather warms up and the facilities are opened.  There are tennis courts, badminton and volleyball courts, playgrounds, plenty of picnic shelters, a barbecue pit, horseshoe pits and bocce ball courts, an 18-hole mini-golf course, and (something I’m really excited about) an 18-hole disc golf course (yes!).  It’s been a while since M and I played disc golf.  We decided to take the discs with us the next time we visit Wingfoot Lake State Park.

Fishing Wingfoot Lake

You can also go fishing and boating.  We noticed that they do have boat rentals (paddle boats, kayaks, etc.) available (but not yet open for the season).

We had a nice walk.  The trails are all paved and there are not a lot of them, but it was enough for us for today.  We’re going to have to start doing some long hikes soon, to get in shape for some of our summer plans.

A last view of the lake as we left the park

I’ll be outside tonight, too.  I’m sure about a billion other photographers who have clear skies tonight will be out with their tripods and cameras, taking a shot at capturing a good photo of the “Supermoon.”

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38 Comments on “177: Purple Reign”

  1. Beautiful orchid photos, Robin! Like you, I have to smell every flower I go near and when I’m in a fabric or clothing store, I have to feel all of the fabrics. It’s all part of experiencing the “wholeness” of everything, I’m sure!

    My imagination saw every bare branch of those trees you photographed on your walk covered in brand new green leaves! Won’t that be spectacular? Every new season has such beauty. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      We are just sensuous people, Joanne. 🙂 I’m like that about feeling things, too. You hit the nail on the head when you said it was all part of experiencing the ‘wholeness’ of everything.

      When the trees leaf out it will indeed be spectacular. 😀

  2. Kel says:

    that ‘fishbone’ orchid is very unusual
    we have some rare orchids on the island
    apparently only found here, guess they haven’t learned to swim yet 🙂

    i look forward to seeing the supermoon, but only if she doesn’t bring with her more earthquakes or floods! i think we’ve had enough of those for awhile…

    • Robin says:

      lol, Kel! I don’t know why but sometimes your comments give me the best visuals. I have this picture in my head of an orchid swimming. Perhaps one of those in the line of orchids. They look like they have the ‘arms’ and ‘legs’ for it. 🙂

      I was hoping for a quiet and lovely supermoon too.

  3. Beautiful flowers! I can’t wait until flowers start blooming around here, I haven’t seen a whole lot, yet. Wingfoot Park looks very nice! I especially love the photo of the old cherry tree, looking up into the starburst of the sun – very nice! I, too, will be out with my camera, tripod, and remote tonight – attempting to capture this “Supermoon”! Can you imagine how many photos of this moon will be posted in the next couple of days??

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Holly. 🙂

      Only our crocuses are blooming so far but I noticed buds/heads on the daffodils yesterday and it doesn’t look like it will be too long before they bloom. That said, we’ll be cooling down after today so that may delay things. There is even (gasp!) snow in the forecast at the end of the week. I hope that changes.

  4. Post them, Robin, that’s one thing you can do with all your orchid pictures. I’ve never seen an orchid in person, they probably don’t grow here. I love the pink one, the colors are beautiful.

    • Robin says:

      I’ve never seen orchids in the wild, SunsetSeaSoul. Only in botanical gardens. I don’t think orchids would grown here (except indoors). It’s too cold for them.

      Thank you. 🙂

  5. SWK says:

    Beautiful flowers.

  6. burstmode says:

    You are indeed the master of the orchid shot. I very much enjoyed them.

  7. ladyfi says:

    Wow – such luscious shots of those flowers!

  8. Absolutely amazing and so close…I can almost smell them and feel their soft touch. Great photography, Robin. What a lovely walk along the lake, very picturesque tree silhouettes, love the old cherry tree.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you so much, Isa. 🙂

      I enjoyed the walk along the lake so much that I’m looking forward to visiting the park again once the leaves come out on the trees.

  9. penpusherpen says:

    I LOVE ORCHIDS, and so it follows I love your photo’s. I didn’t have a clue about them, ’til my boyfriend bought me one for my Birthday last year, since then I’ve been amazed at their variety and delicate beauty. So much contained in such a small flower. Nature is definitely proud of her orchids.
    (The line of Orchids looked to me … like a corps de ballet, limbering up together!! 😉 )
    and I keep forgetting to mention, your new avatar, (Gravatar?)… I think my eyes need checking, I wondered why you were using a black ‘bustier’ topped with purple frills, then I looked closer and saw the ‘shapely feet’ … I do need new glasses
    or maybe it how my mind interprets things?
    😉
    Fantastic Supermoon isn’t it? … Bess and I were out last night staring at it, well I was, she was more interested in the fox smells… xx Pen xx

    • Robin says:

      Aren’t orchids amazing, Pen? As you mentioned, there is so much contained in such a small flower. They had miniature orchids at the exhibit too, but I couldn’t find a way to photograph them that would give enough perspective to show just how tiny they are. (It’s not like I could move stuff around like I would at home.)

      The moon was wonderful. 🙂

      • Robin says:

        I forgot to address the Gravatar issue, Pen. lol! An eye exam might not be such a bad idea. lol! You won’t ever find me using (or wearing) a black bustier topped with purple frills. It sounds pretty and I’m sure my husband would love it…

        The new Gravatar is actually one I used a couple of years ago. I call it “Jazz Feet” because I took it at JazzFest in New Orleans in 2009.

        It’s getting chilly here again so maybe I’ll put my socks on for a few weeks.

  10. Bo Mackison says:

    Wow! What a great post. Let’s see — there are the gorgeous orchids–love the little green ones and the all in a row ones. I could almost smell them from here.

    And then it was so great to see your new part where the snow has ALL melted! When did that happen — wow!

    And I love your comments about keeping up with photographs. It really is a full time job if you shoot more than a couple times a week. I could work on photos 12 hours a day (and sometimes I do) and never catch up either. Ha! Maybe that’s why I went into the artist part of photography–so I have a good excuse to go out and shoot all the time. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Bo: That was a clever move! I hadn’t thought about it that way. Not that I need a good excuse to go out and shoot all the time. But I could use that excuse for all the time I spend sorting and processing.

      Not all of the snow has melted. You’re probably familiar with those huge piles that accumulate as a result of plowing. There are still a few of those around. But for the most part, the ground is clear. Yay!

  11. Bo Mackison says:

    Oh, and I LOVE your new header. Super moon, for sure!

  12. Karma says:

    No, no, no! You can’t take a year off from blogging! Ok? K! Okay, glad we got that taken care of! 😉
    I love that pink orchid fill-the-frame shot. The focus is beautiful.
    The purply (is that a word?)evening shot is gorgeous too.
    Is that supermoon on your header? Cool!
    PS now I am going to have “Purple Rain” by Prince stuck in my head today, LOL!

    • Robin says:

      lol, Karma! They say the way to get rid of an earworm (a song that’s stuck in your head) is to give it to someone else. Or maybe that’s a cold. 😉

      Well, okay. I won’t taken an entire year off. But maybe a day here and there. How’s that? 😀

  13. Kathy says:

    You could smell those orchids through the computer, Robin! You know what photo I like the best on your daily outdoor adventure? The curve on the old cherry tree. I was walking along a paved trail yesterday, too, although camera-less (unless you count the cell phone camera. Which I tried to take a few pics but can’t yet figure out how to transfer them to the computer.) P.S. I remember how THRILLED I was to be able to take off days whenever the mood struck. It was heaven–but, then, the year of the outdoor commitment stands out as a precious time, too.

    • Robin says:

      I’m so glad you could get a whiff of their scent, Kathy. Aren’t they wonderful?

      It was the curves of the old cherry tree that caught my eye. It is a gorgeous old tree. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cherry tree that large before.

  14. Marcie says:

    Love your new full moon banner..and your orchid images are divine!

  15. Tammy McLeod says:

    That fish bone orchid line is stunning. I’ve never seen anything like it.

  16. Barbara Rodgers says:

    What a delightful way to spend a day, a feast for your eyes and your nose! Your orchid photos are exquisite! I also like the “Paved path to the lake” shot – it seems to be inviting us in for a walk, very welcoming…

  17. Wish I would have known about the supermoon but your photos were amazing, as well as your photo’s of the Orchids. The third is my favorite! Im trying to figure out where I would hang it :).

  18. I LOVE orchids!! Too bad I manage to kill every single one that I ever bring into my house 😦 Amazing how they are lined up in #8&9, I’ve never seen anything like it before.
    Great self portrait, “special” ones like these are my favorite types of self portraits.

    • Robin says:

      I can’t grow orchids either, Michaela. My mother, on the other hand, could not only grow them, but make them flourish. I wish I had inherited her ability with plants and flowers.


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