If you can’t make it to Japan for this year’s cherry blossom viewing, you can stop by the botanical garden in Wichita, where the Okame cherry1 is just coming into bloom.
There are more pictures here.
Above is a list of some of the files in my camera this afternoon. Evidently it is unstuck in time. Some of the pictures that I took tomorrow at the botanical garden are below the fold.
You might also see Maxthompsonara Bryon Rinke, a multi-generic Zygopetalinae hybrid bred at Sunset Valley Orchids, first flowered by Bryon Rinke of the KOS and named for Max Thompson at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. You might even see Max and Bryon.
There definitely will be several tables full of blooming orchids, plus plants for sale. I’ll be there taking too many pictures, as usual.
Although there were some mid-size to large blooms at this month’s orchid society show-and-tell, the stand-out for me was the smallest, Platystele umbellata, above. The entire cluster of burgundy flowers was roughly a quarter-inch in diameter. It was difficult to photograph — I really needed a macro lens (ideally with another lens stacked in front, and with the camera connected to the computer for focus stacking) and a tripod — but after several tries I managed to get a passable picture.
The Platystele was dwarfed by Stelis viridipurpurata, which was nevertheless quite small itself. Each flower was about a quarter-inch across.
There are more pictures here, including Habenarias.
In addition to the usual close-up photos, I also made some panoramas of the botanical garden this past weekend, such as this view of the lily pond. (Panoramas look best in the full-screen mode.)
There are more views of Botanica at my panorama page. (Click the “recent” tab.)
I spent yesterday afternoon at the botanical garden, this time with an ordinary zoom lens. There was relatively little color outside, but I found some. There was more at the orchid society meeting inside, where the room was
refrigerated air-conditioned. There are more pictures here.
When I last visited the botanical garden, I took the fisheye lens instead of the macro. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the panorama tripod head with me, so all the garden panoramas came out too glitchy to post. The above was salvaged from one of the waterlily pond.
A few odds and ends:
Zappa fans might find this old advertisement oddly familiar:
I returned to the botanical garden for the first time since I hurt my leg. While there, I spotted the bricks above in the butterfly garden1 walkway.
All the lego sculptures have been emplaced. To me, they just look dumb and waste space better devoted to interesting plants.2 The phony Victoria, above, takes as much room as a dozen real water lilies and looks ridiculous. It’s pointless, too, since the garden usually has the real thing in a different part of the pond later in the summer. Perhaps the silly things are attracting more visitors, but even so I look forward to their removal in the fall.
Although I missed the peak of spring, there were still plenty of real plants to see.
There are more pictures at my Flickr site.
Botanica, the botanical garden in Wichita, has installed a number of sculptures in the gardens. Most range from “meh” to kitschy. I rarely bother to include them in my photographs. Currently the people who run the institution are installing a bunch of figures made of Legos in awkward spots through the grounds, such as the pansy above. I hope they’re temporary. They have novelty value and might attract a few additional visitors to the gardens, but there are much more interesting things you can do with Legos.
Unfortunately not temporary are the panels at the south entrance of the not-particularly-Shakespearean garden. They’ve been there as long as I’ve visited Botanica, and they look a little worse every year. (Right-click and open in a new window to see at maximum ugliness.)
Yesterday the Yoshino cherry was in peak bloom at the botanical garden. Unlike the crypto-British Okame cherry in flower last week, Prunus x yedoensis really is a Japanese hybrid.
The early Ranunculaceae are also putting on a good show.
There are more pictures here.
As always, click the pictures to see them larger and with better color.
At Botanica in Wichita.
I get tired of lugging the tripod along on photo expeditions, so I’ve been looking for alternative methods of taking close-ups. All but the last picture here were taken with an inexpensive but quite nice 18-55mm zoom lens, with a diffuser on the hotshoe flash. The real test of the system will come at the orchid show in two weeks.
As always, click to enlarge and see in better color. To see at full size, right-click and open in a new window.
Pictures from another damp, dreary morning. As usual, click to enlarge and see in better color.
Pictures from a dull, overcast day.
At the Kansas Orchid Society meeting at Botanica. The lighting in the hall was miserable, so I needed to use the camera’s built-in flash. As usual, click to embiggen and see with better color.
Botanica, July 14, 2018.
As usual, click to embiggen and see with better color; right-click and open in a new window to see at full size (recommended for the vertical panoramas).
As always, click to embiggen and see in better color.