I love this image of two butterflies because to me it looks as though the pattern and coloration on their wings is as if created with colored pencils. It has a delicate softness to it. Acrobatically mating upside down, together they join to create an interesting merging of patterns, both sides slightly different but equally beautiful.
This teeny little beauty is an orchid originally found in Madagascar, and suitably named Aerangis Punctata. The plant size is usually about an inch big, and the flower it makes is bigger than the plant itself. I would watch the bud forming for months before it opens. It forms with a curled nectar filled spur which it unfurls just before the flower opens. Definitely builds an orchid lovers anticipation! Most Aerangis orchids make perfume at night to attract particular moths which have a long proboscis to pollinate the flower. Interestingly, the nectar in the spurs of some of these orchids have a concentration gradient which gets sweeter the deeper into the spur. This encourages the moth to penetrate the spur all the way and thus successfully pollinate the flower, and not waste sugar on moths with a short proboscis. Have a great weekend!
Sometimes I think my husband believes I’m crazy by how excited I get when I see a decaying tree trunk full of perfectly formed sprouting mushrooms. I think they’re absolutely adorable, and I mustn’t be the only one. I can see why people have often drawn fairies sitting atop mushrooms and toadstools. They seem like the perfect playground for teeny fairies to bounce across, and shelter under when it rains.
Mushrooms are also a perfect example of how death gives rise to new life. In the rainforest, every time a tree dies it gives life to millions of other organisms and its legacy lives on. I hope some of you share my delight in photographing mushrooms, and if so, please share a link to your photos, as I would love to see them!
I recently took a photo of this moth, plainly colored in tan, black and white. I found the geometric pattern on its wings quite strikingly symmetrical and streamlined that it reminded me of a fighter jet airplane. A very large and very beautiful winged creature.
This Friday I have chosen one of my favorite orchids to show you… which was terribly hard to choose because I have so many favorites for so many different reasons! This one is Oncidium Sharry Baby. Far from being the biggest or flashiest of orchids, I have chosen it because it smells amazing. Fittingly it is nicknamed the Chocolate Orchid, because that’s exactly what it smells like, and quite powerfully so. It flowered reliably for me every year at Christmas time (summer in Australia), and used to make a Christmas tree like explosion of flowers along a very tall stem. Every day on my balcony it smelled like someone was baking desserts and would make me crave chocolate! A wonderful orchid indeed… Have a fabulous weekend everyone!
It has been a life long dream of mine to see big fluffy bears in the wild. This may be due to the fact that Australia has absolutely no large mammalian predators (our biggest is the dingo, which is basically a gorgeous golden colored dog, we do however win with the scary reptiles). So I went to Canada during the season where bears are hunting salmon in the streams to fatten up before winter hibernation. It was truly a National Geographic experience. I went to a salmon hatchery on Vancouver Island which is known to attract the local bears.
I was able to watch the bears for hours, who were thankfully much more interested in the salmon than the tourists on the edge of the stream! They were so spoilt for food that they barely ate much of the fish before discarding the half eaten carcass, much to the delight of the nearby birds. It was a magical experience to be in the presence of such large and spectacular creatures such as these.