The Phalaenopsis orchids I got back in November have been doing well, so I picked up a few more at an auction yesterday.1 When I took some close-ups of the ones in bloom, I discovered that I had acquired more than just orchids. The plant below is in isolation until the insecticide arrives later this week. (Click to embiggen; right-click and open in a new window to see at maximum size.)
The botanical garden recently added a “Chinese” garden. It doesn’t look like much yet, despite the big ceramic dragon on the wall leading to the little pagoda, and the plants that catch your eye are as likely to be American as Asian. I did spot the tree peony above there yesterday, which is definitely Asian, albeit Japanese. It’s Paeonia suffruticosa “Kokuryu-nishiki”, first introduced at a Yokohama nursery in 1905. The name, according to at least two sources, means “Black Dragon Brocade,” though Giggle Translate says “Small clew nishiki.” More pictures from yesterday’s visit are here.
Last year’s seedlings are approaching their first anniversary. I’m gradually potting them up individually, which will take a few weeks.
The Neofinetia falcata (or Vanda falcata) that I got back in November survived my inept care and is now in bloom. It’s a small plant, almost a miniature. The blossoms are about five-eighths of an inch across, and the length, including the spur, about an inch-and-a-half. This, I gather, is on the small side; an inch across and two-and-a-half long is more typical, according to what I’ve read. At night the flowers smell like vanilla with a slight hint of lemon.
I’ve mentioned before that the Japanese obsessed over these little epiphytes.1 Cacti, which would have been unknown in Japan until the later 19th century, turn up in everything from Martian Successor Nadesico to Elf Princess Rane, so there ought to be an occasional Neofinetia here and there in animated shows. But, as far as I know, there isn’t. Perhaps there’s one in the later episodes of Hyouge Mono, which I never finished, but probably not. I can’t think of any shows featuring orchidaceae.
Snapshots from the local renaissance faire on a dreary March day. (The calendar says “April,” but the thermometer doesn’t agree.)
Update: there are more pictures here.
Caution: if there are Scotsmen toting cabers in the area, make sure that they are heading away from you, not toward you.
I spent last Sunday afternoon at Southwestern College in Winfield, where there are a couple of humid greenhouses filled with orchids. Above is a panorama from inside the smaller greenhouse. It’s the largest panorama I’ve made yet, assembled from 37 individual pictures: 29,186 x 14,593 pixels, which works out to more than 400 megapixels. You can read the labels in the pots if you zoom in. It’s best viewed in full-screen mode.
If that doesn’t work for you, try the lower-resolution Flickr version below. (Panoramas in Flickr don’t work well in Safari, unfortunately.)
I also took some conventional photos in the other greenhouse, which you can see here. I wasn’t able to take as many pictures as I had hoped, unfortunately. There was the inevitable society business meeting, which wasted half an hour. That was followed by a slide show, which wasted the remainder of my time there. Why would I want to look at pictures of orchids when I can see the real thing the next building over? Grrr.
The Yoshino cherry is coming into bloom now at the botanical garden. Unlike the crypto-British Okame cherry I photographed earlier, this one is a genuinely Japanese variety. (Click to embiggen and see with better color.)
Other colors on display include red-orange,
There are many more pictures from yesterday’s outing here.
Yesterday, the Okame cherry at the botanical garden reached peak bloom on a sunny day with light wind, and I was able to visit there then. Most years this doesn’t happen, so I took a lot of pictures to record the event. There are more here. As usual, click to embiggen and view with better color.
Curious fact: although Prunus “Okame” is a hybrid of asian cherries and has a Japanese-sounding name, it was actually bred in England.
This orchid was already in bloom when I got it back at the beginning of November, and it kept going and going. Every single blossom lasted at least two months. We’ll see if I can get it to bloom again in the fall. (The other Phalaenopsis, the little P. equestris, is still going strong, and it looks like there is a new bloom spike emerging.) (Update (April 14): The last blossom finally dropped off yesterday.)
Click on the images to see them larger and in better color.
Before Koichi Mashimo’s trilogy1, there was The Nutcracker, as produced annually by Friends University Ballet.
I spent the evening tonight taking far too many pictures at the dress rehearsal. I’ll eventually post a bunch on my photo weblog, but it will take a while to go through them all.
Update (December 10): I’m through with the party scene in act one. The pictures are here.
I’ve put one in puzzle form below the fold.
The cactus seedlings are six months old now and starting to show typical spination. There are more pictures here.
I spent part of the afternoon downtown today at the Air Capital Comic Con. Overall, the cosplayers were underwhelming — perhaps they wore their better outfits yesterday — and there was a surfeit of Spidermen and Harley Quinns, but there were a few who made bringing the camera along worthwhile. There are more pictures here.