Orchids – 2016

Spending some time cleaning out old files and smiling that my criteria for photos worth saving has changed a lot in just a few years. I am deleting a lot of them but here are some orchids worth saving because they still bring me pleasure. They were taken in November of 2016 – I’m looking forward to visiting them again when we return to Naples Florida in the fall.

These orchids were blooming in the Naples Botanical Garden, that has the largest outdoor orchid collection in the country. Well worth a visit if you are an orchid lover and in the southern part of Florida. They have over 1,000 orchids with different blooming seasons.

Transition Time Again


I’m taking a break from packing and laundry and cleaning out the refrigerator. It is time to make our transition to our other environment. I have nine orchids growing on trees around our condo here in Florida – and I spoke to our son and he said the grass has turned green in southern Michigan. As we drive north we see spring unfolding in reverse; leaving lush green foliage and flowers blooming and arriving in our northern neighborhood in very early spring.

This is not just a weather transition for us. Many of our condo friends here in Florida have left for their northern homes or will be leaving in the weeks after us. It is hard saying goodbye even though we know we will see them again in October or January. We also look forward to seeing northern friends that we haven’t seen since December – and we have a 3 month old great-granddaughter who met us when she was born and I think is missing us.

The main topic of conversation at the pool this past week was packing. So many of us seem to fill our cars twice a year taking things back and forth. We talk about how we can carry less back and forth, how we need to have sufficient clothes at both homes, figure out what we don’t need to take north. I decided to not worry about forgetting something because Michigan has stores and I can buy anything I can’t live without.

What I need to do now is say good-bye to my favorite places and things here in Florida so I can feel excitement about going back to all the things that I love in Michigan. We have been saying good-bye to our favorite restaurants, we went to the beach for a sunset, and I made my last trip to the Naples Botanical Garden. On Sunday we attend the Easter service at the church we fell in love with and consider our home church, and as is tradition every Sunday in Naples we will have breakfast at the counter at Blueberries. Then we will change clothes, shut down the condo, and hit the road.

My Florida Orchids


It is that time of year when we pack up the back of our car with all those things we think we will need between now and April and head for southern Florida. Things like shoes we didn’t leave there, some clothes I enjoy wearing, fabric for two quilting projects that I have started (no I haven’t found a good fabric store where we reside for the winter), a box of yarn to make hats to bring back in November to donate to the homeless shelter (and another plastic box with all my knitting needles, etc), camera gear, and some boxes that JB has packed up. And of course all our electronics and their respective charging cords.


Our southern winter life and our northern summer life are so different that there isn’t much in either place to trigger memories of what life is like in the other. When I am in one place I seldom think of the other, so I experienced a delightful surprise when I opened this file of photos of the orchids I have attached to the trees around our condo. If I remember right I have eight or ten, some blooming in fall and some in spring. This orchid is a winter/spring bloomer so I’m now excited to see the fall bloomers that will be waiting for me.

Thanks, Cee, for inspiring me to post these posies and do a little writing. I’ve been experiencing a blogging block lately.


Captivated by an Orchid


Usually I turn left as I leave the entrance buildings, walk past the orchid garden to get to the lily pond as the sun is just reaching out to give a morning kiss to the opening blossoms. My routine is to turn into the orchid garden at the end of my trip after having a ginger limeade and scone at the Fogg Cafe.


I changed my routine last week, deciding to take a look at the orchids first – instead of waiting until I’m tired and ready to go home. On the short walk along the outside of the garden this orchid stopped me in my tracks. I was captivated by the beauty of the flowers demurely hanging from the stalk, the drops of water.


I have taken hundreds of photos of the orchids over the years but I haven’t been happy with most of the images once I download them to my computer. Maybe it is because I usually take them when I am tired and my senses are dulled. Maybe it is because of how the flowers grow or their environment. The orchid garden is full of foliage and flowers.


Many of the images I bring home are deleted because the background is too bright or too busy. But yesterday I was reading a book on photography, thinking of the orchid images I have been processing, and the WordPress Daily Prompt of “captivating.” I think orchids require a difference type of connection with me and my camera.


I have worked hard to record the anatomy of the orchids – to make an accurate image. This isn’t easy because I want the subject to be sharp, the edges clean – but orchids have fleshy parts that result in soft edges. They look out of focus. But even more important is the fact that many orchids seem to have a personality that doesn’t want to be recorded in a factual way.

I don’t think I have been listening close enough. That first orchid, the one that spun me in my tracks, taught me that it was too special for my standard way of trying to capture an orchid. It taught me that I need to think about what makes orchids so captivating. I need to allow myself to be pulled in by the orchid so the image I make will hopefully captivate the people who view my photographs.