"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Thursday, May 25, 2017

I Guess I Haven't Been Paying Attention

So this morning, as I was opening the blinds on the window where all the plants are clustered, I noticed that my Encyclia tampensis is blooming.

Now, you have to understand, an orchid blooming is not something that happens fast -- being epiphytes, they have slow metabolisms.* It just goes to show how distracted I've been that this one managed to put out a stalk with four buds without my noticing.

I'm also surprised that it's blooming at all: I've had this plant for years and this is only the second time it's bloomed. The first time was the summer I was able to put it out in full sun. (They're native to Florida, ranging up into the South Carolina coast,and tend to favor sunny locations on branches and tree trunks.) I haven't been able to provide those conditions in my new place (no yard), and I'd sort of resigned myself to just letting it grow until someday. . . . (And from one small plant that I purchased years ago, it is now three rather full plants.)

The picture is close to mine, but the lip is completely purple on mine; the color of the petals and sepals is not quite as strong, but would be stronger if it had more light.

* That is, most orchids are epiphytes, at least the tropical and subtropical species. Most of our native North American orchids -- lady's slippers, ladies' tresses and the like -- are terrestrial and can be found, or once could be found, in prairies and grasslands, or in the case of lady's slippers, oak woods. (And, fun fact, there are species of Cyprepedium -- lady's slippers -- found as far north as Alaska.)

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