How sweet it isPosted: March 12, 2012
Attending the Orchid Mania exhibit at the Cleveland Botanical Garden usually means leaving the cold, snowy, black and white world of winter and stepping into the colorful, warm and humid tropical world of orchids. The colors and scents are a feast for the eyes and the soul after the stark, almost colorless, almost scentless days of January and February. This year there was less of a contrast between the sunny, bright outdoors, and the vibrant, showy orchid exhibit. I’m not sure why I felt that way. I know I’m not the only one who did and/or commented on it. Perhaps because winter has been so mild.
Even feeling that way, the first thing that hit me was all the color. We may not have had snow on the ground for contrast this year, but other than the crocuses and tree auras, we don’t have a lot of color right now, either. The orchids are aglow with color.
Once the eyes adjust to the brilliance, then the nose can begin to take in the sweet perfume. Not all orchids have a pleasant scent, or a scent at all. One (which I did not get a photo of) smells strongly of chocolate (yum!). Another has hints of citrus, while many carry a floral scent that is difficult to describe other than as floral.
Usually when I photograph orchids I try to get a lot of close-ups. This year I wanted to do something a little different and go for groups of flowers. As it turns out, this was a good idea because I was shooting with manual rather than auto settings, and it’s very difficult to get a sharp close-up without a tripod. Not impossible, but difficult.
I’ll have more from Orchid Mania for you tomorrow. We had such a beautiful weekend, especially Sunday, that I’d like to share a little of that with you today, too.
Watch where you step
The wildlife in and around the pond are stirring. This next photo might be scary for some. Just thought I’d warn you.
It was so warm and sunny yesterday that the snakes decided it was time to wake up and enjoy the Sunday. This little Garter Snake spent most of the afternoon coiled up near the patio, relaxed and basking in the sun. I saw a few others while out on my walk, hence the recommendation to watch where you step.
There were all kinds of birds out and about, including a few robins. What I didn’t notice at first when I took the above photo of a robin was what he was watching at the time. There was a muskrat sunning itself on the shore. By the time I did notice the muskrat and point the camera in that direction, it slid back into the water and the best I could manage was a rather bad shot of its head.
Spotting the muskrat solved the Mystery of the Cattails. I’ve noticed dug up cattails along the shoreline of the pond. Now I know who has been digging them up. I hope the mink gets to the muskrat soon or we’ll have to put in more fencing to keep the muskrat from undermining the dam.
M and I spent most of the day outdoors. I worked in the garden for a while, and then planted myself on the patio with a good book, joining the snake in some sunbathing. It felt almost like summer. The weather headline for this week is “Widespread Warmth for Week Ahead” (at weather.com). The sudden warmth has me pondering if we’re going to skip spring this year and melt right into summer.
I reckon that’s it from the Bogs for today. It’s warm and rainy outside, not a particularly good day for a walk unless you don’t mind getting wet and squishing around in the mud. I’m trying to decide what to make for dinner. Anyone have any good (vegetarian, of course) ideas? I seem to have gotten into a cooking rut once again. I do find it interesting that my latest go-to comfort foods include Chickpea Picatta, and a variety of green soups. Perhaps I’ll make some sort of pasta tonight. It’s been a while since we’ve had a pasta dish. What’s your favorite pasta recipe?