Let’s get small

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.)

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Back again to the garden

Tricyrtis

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.

Trichocentrum jonesianum

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Plastic and rust, and Japanese vanilla

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.)

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Orchid society meeting, October 21

Dendrobium “Thai Jewel”

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.

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Phalaenopsis, again

An unnamed Phalaenopsis hybrid. The label says

Dtps ________
(Blessed ‘Walnut Valley’ HCC 76 pts
x Phal Talsuco Date ‘Max’ HCC 77 pts)
BKR/MCT SC1511
Unflasked 09/29/2012

“Dtps” is the abbreviation for “Doritaenopsis,” i.e., a hybrid between Doritis pulcherrima and a Phalaenopsis. However, the genus Doritis has recently been lumped into Phaleanopsis, so the Dtps label is obsolete, and this plant is entirely a Phalaenopsis.

To see the three-dimensional images, cross your eyes so that pairs of images overlap, forming three images. Focus on the middle image, and the picture should snap into 3-D.

A “keiki” at the tip of a spent Phalaenopsis equestris bloom spike.