More crazy orchids!

No wonder moth orchids are one of the most popular orchids in the trade! Sturdy and cheerful and covered with blooms! Some botanical genius put these two moth orchids in the same pot! My son gave them to me many years ago and their blooming periods still overlap annually. They started blooming when my last crazy orchids were about to finish their season. We’ve had orchids for months!

flower orchid 37 backsides

In case you missed all my earlier orchid blog posts this year, here are the truly crazy phaius tankervilles that brightened our lives for months! Can’t wait for next year!

Crayola Moment

Flower orchid sideview

Crayola moments are among my favorites! This is another view of my chocolate, vanilla and raspberry orchid. My drawings are done directly in ink on the page. No pencil or eraser involved. It’s scary and exciting to watch a line cut across a white field, wondering if my mind will wander or when my body will flinch.

37 backsides, an anatomy lesson & a Crayola Moment!!

flower orchid 37 backsides

37 backsides of Phaius Tankervilleae orchids viewed from the top. Wouldn’t you know, best lighting is from the back. Petals are like parasols!  Anatomy lesson: actually what I think of as petals are 3 sepals, remains of the original flower bud, and 2 petals. The “cup” part of the orchid is the lower (3rd) petal. It is used by the flower to provide a landing platform for its pollinator.

Flower orchid sketch

Here’s another Crayola Moment! I think there are 12 blooms on this stem. If I can’t count them, how can I possibly draw them?!

“Much of the reason orchids are so widespread is thanks in part to humans’ affinity for and desire to grow them. Mirenda thinks that the symmetry of the flower could have a lot to do with why people are so fond of orchids. An orchid has bilateral symmetry — like a human face — so if a line is drawn vertically down the middle of the flower, the two halves are mirror images of each other.

“When someone looks at an orchid, it looks back at you,” said Mirenda.”

“Chin up!”

Thank you for helping count orchids!

 

As a way of saying thank you to all of you volunteers who helped with the very difficult task of counting orchids, and for those who missed the prior publication of this sketch, here’s a Crayola Moment for you!

Flower phaius sketch

Color suggestion: vanilla, chocolate and raspberry!

I know it’s out of focus but check out that color!

Flower henbit

Henbit is an early spring-blooming edible member of the mint family. Members of the mint family have square stems. (Feel them!) The flowers look like fairy orchids. Hens love them. They also provide urgently needed nectar and pollen to early arriving hummingbirds and honeybees.  I will get a better photo. They often grow near chickweed and are regularly confused with dead-nettles.

flower dead nettles

Dead-nettles are also members of the mint family. Their blossoms peak out from under fuzzy, edible leaves.  The leaves turn reddish-purple as the season progresses. It’s Greek name, Lamium purpureum, means “the purple monster’. Sometimes they cover a plowed field, turning it completely purple. Watch along the road as you drive through farmland.

Flower Creeping Charlie

No, it’s not a Johnny-Jump-Up! Too early for violets here but not too early for Creeping Charlie. Often called ground-ivy because of the way it covers the ground, this edible member of the mint family has many names: Creeping Charlie, gill-over-the-ground, alehoof, tunhoof, cat’s foot, field balm and run-away-robin.  It was among the first herb and edible plants brought to North America by early settlers.

Orchid with 21 blooms & 25 buds!

Flower phaius sketch

Here’s a coloring project for you! Photo below provided as a guide or just do your own thing! Please let me know if  you come up with something yummier than this chocolate, vanilla and raspberry orchid?

Flower orchid phaius 2

Have you ever had 21 orchids in bloom in your bedroom- or anywhere else in your life? It was such a crazy realization that I had to count them twice. Then my husband started counting the buds that hadn’t opened yet. More photos to follow in a future blog!