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.
Orchids may get most of the attention here nowadays, but I sill grow plenty of cacti and other succulents.
The hooked central spines of Mammillaria pennispinosa are as sharp as they look.
Pleiospilos nelii, above, and Hoodia gordonii are coming along nicely.
Token orchid: the little octopus, Prosthechea cochleata, is blooming again.
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.
Another orchid opened its first blooms this weekend. This one is Cattleya Aloha Apricot. It is more frequently listed as a Sophrolaeliocattleya [SLC], but Sophronitis and most of Laelia recently have been lumped into the Cattleya genus, so it’s just a Cattleya now. It’s a compact plant, eight inches high including the pot, and the flowers are two-and-a-half inches in diameter.
… another orchid society meeting. This time the show-and-tell included a tiny Dendrobium and several nice Cattleyas. There are more pictures here.
I spent a week out of town visiting friends. Most of the time I left the camera in its case, but I couldn’t resist grabbing a snapshot of this old-style transistorless pocket calculator.
I also found a bit of color in the guest bedroom/auxiliary closet where I stayed. There are more pictures here.
Oncidium Tsiku Marguerite arrived back in May in spike. June came, it got hot, and the plant went into shock. It just sat there, the spikes not developing, until October, when the weather finally cooled a little. This week it finally bloomed. The flowers are not quite an inch long, and have a light sweetish fragrance. They’re a a bit pinker than I expected, but I’m not complaining. There are a few more pictures here.
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.)
… is curing varnish.
St. Joseph Church in Andale, Kansas, isn’t actually a “new” church. The current building was probably built during the first quarter of the 20th century (the parish history is vague on specific dates). However, it was damaged by a lightning-caused fire last year and has only recently been reopened after repairs and renovations.
Unlike most of the churches that I’ve been photographing, St. Joseph actually looks like a Catholic church, not a box or a spaceship.
The panorama is best viewed in the full-screen mode.
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.