A special orchid flower, a special species
This is an unusual place for me to post images of orchids. Most of my “orchid portraits” — of which there are dozens and dozens — have a dedicated orchid photography website: An Essence of Orchids. But when there is a very special plant, she has the “honor” of illuminating this website.
It doesn’t matter if you know anything about orchids or grow them. My intention in sharing these images is to communicate something that is beyond words and ideas. A recognition, an awareness, an opening, an experience of something beyond the physical. This is fundamentally why I create photography.
2020 was a very special year for this orchid species. We have five blooming-size plants of Cymbidium tracyanum — and every one flowered at the same time. This has never happened before. In our location, they are a bit “fussy” about blooming. The conditions have to be just right or they happily keep growing bigger and bigger … but no flowers. (We’ve had this particular plant for 3.5 years without blooms.)
I’ve watched them grow bigger and bigger each year. The largest is about 4′ (1.2m) wide. I start to wonder why I have these shelves filled with really big green leaves. And, then, when they bloom, I understand why.
For the 2021 solar new year (Winter Solstice), we had four of this orchid species in the house, and one at the door (it was just too big to fit inside easily!). Not only beautiful, they are incredibly fragrant. The orchids even seem to know when you are talking or writing about them — they spontaneously start to emanate beautiful fragrance at any time of day. Like now.
Breathe deeply and receive.
I have two more “orchid portraits” of Cymbidium tracyanum. You can experience photographs of the “really big one” that I described above here and a very different orchid portrait of the rare alba (white) form.