I Missed One Last Chance: But Not Again

We spent the first two weeks of December in Florida doing lots of work setting things up so our contractor can start the rebuild of our condo after the destruction of hurricane Ian. My goal was to spend at least one morning walking around the Naples Botanical Garden seeing what is new this year and taking a few photos. It didn’t happen because there was just too much to do. I missed my chance at one last visit in 2022.

This subtropical growing zone needs constant attention to keep the grounds looking neat and tidy. There was a lot of cleaning up going on during this last 2022 visit to the garden, although I didn’t think of it as a last visit because I knew we would be down again in December. Little did I know that our lives would be consumed with planning our own clean-up and making sure the people who were hired by the condo association could do the really dirty grunt work of tearing out without throwing away things we could salvage.

I took a lot of photos that morning in the garden, and the photos that I enjoy most are the very small orchids that were on display in the orchid garden. I never posted these photos throughout the summer and fall and now Tina has given us a “last chance” to post photos that haven’t been used in other challenges this year.

These are very small orchids so I chose to take photos with the orchids in front of my hand for perspective. I think I have only taken one selfie in my life so maybe this photos will make it two selfies.

I love the small orchids and have spent lots of time working on photographing them in a way that captures both the delicacy of their flowers but also the strength of their presence in the garden. There are hundreds of orchids at any time in this small outside enclosure, and it would seem that the small orchids wouldn’t be seen – however they are placed so my eye sees them immediately. However, when photographed they do get lost within all the other foliage and orchids behind them. Luckily when I photograph them I know it won’t be my “last chance” because I return to try again within a week – after I have had a chance to analyze what didn’t work.

This next blue orchid bloomed for many weeks just outside the orchid garden and each week I would take a few photos of it as I was leaving the garden. The buds are so simple but once the flower bursts out it becomes very messy and difficult to photograph. I believe just one bloom is out in the next photo with a couple more starting to emerge behind the bloom. When two or more are out it is impossible to distinguish one from another.

Thank you, Tina, for this last chance to participate and share some photographs from a time and place that has given me good memories and photographs to sustain me through this trying time. Your “last chance” photos brought great joy to me.

9 thoughts on “I Missed One Last Chance: But Not Again

  1. Wonderful post Pat. I’ve never seen orchids that small, and your photography was beautiful. I hope your rebuild goes easy. When I was a kid, I was in a hurricane, but, fortunately, we didn’t have damage. Try to live in gratitude through the process and take care.


  2. Those orchids are all so lovely – I think my favourite is perhaps the second one down on the right in your gallery, but all are gorgeous! I can see why they draw you back to photograph them again and again. I feel for you regarding your condo. I do hope you can start to work your way through the mess of rebuilding and one day start to enjoy it again 🤗


  3. Your botanical images are glorious Pat, those tiny orchids are wonderful and using your hand to show their size was the perfect choice! Glad you got to visit the garden and that it is still in flower. I hope the condo restoration is going OK. We have good friends who have a condo on Fort Myers Beach and the first 2 floors were completely gone. Such a horrific storm, my heart goes out to you and others who have lost so much. Hoping the new year brings you comfort and moments of joy.


    • Thanks, Tina. I vacillate between times of great joy and times when I feel my head is going to explode. We are close to getting the FEMA money from our our condo insurance and being able to start the rebuild.


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