Sunday, June 13, 2010

Orchidelirium oversight...

A council has admitted accidentally mowing down one of Britain's rarest orchids - for the third year running. [Link] Smuggling, a multi-billion pound black market, provoking lust, prison sentences, intense rivalry, urinating on others' specimens, round the clock police protection, massacres, a sexual nature, extinction: all relevant in the murky yet illuminated world of...testicles...or should I say orchids, from the Greek ├│rkhis meaning 'testicle' (some orchids have two tuberous roots and ...well, you know what the ancient Greeks were like). Orchids are never far from the news, Last month we were told of police protection for one specimen and another has been in the news this week after, as I mention above, one of the UK's rarest orchids was mown down AGAIN. Plantlife’s Species Recovery Officer was NOT impressed. Beware you council contractors: you'll be first on their list when the day of reckoning comes: "...they're watching you, planning their take-over, waiting for the opportune moment...". I mean just look at the one in the "this week" link, it's laughing at us!

The Orchidelirium of the title isn't a joke, it was the name given to a specific period in Victorian times extending into the 20th century when there was a 'flower madness' provoked by orchids. Amongst other 'suspicious' tales this classic:
"In 1901, eight orchid hunters went to look for rare orchids in the Philippines. One of the hunters was eaten by a tiger, another had oil spilled on him and was burned alive, and five others vanished completely. The man who survived the ordeal collected 7,000 orchid specimens" [Wiki, click on image]
'What are you looking at me like that for?' said the only survivor...OK, I just made that up.

IMHO I believe that part of the wild orchids' allure, apart from wierd and wonderful shapes and colours, is a scent/aroma, some more obvious than others (e.g. vanilla) that affect us poor humans in ways we can't, or don't want to, control. For those interested there is mountains of information on this 2nd largest of plant families on earth that are also scarily adaptable and the most rapidly changing group (genetically speaking). The Orchid Review is 117 years old so it must be an interesting - and ongoing - obsession.

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bonnie said...

Beautiful and rather sensual with a delicious scent ....... heady..

.....and they do look a bit triffid like. :)

Span Ows said...

Hi Bonnie...indeed; some aren't so beautiful...just scary :-)

Paul said...

Interesting flower the Orchid because of its power over men. I think they are like really beautiful women, you take one look and think "yeah that's great but I want something a little more wild and unkempt."

Span Ows said...

Ah, but it's mainly the wild (and 'unkempt') ones are that strikes passion and awe into men...all the fabricated greenhouse bred 'cosmeticly' beautiful ones are passable but too "false": just like pansies (the flowers...)

Paul said...

You've not been looking at a photo of Cheryl Cole again have you?

Span Ows said...

LOL! ...that said I'd still love to Chernobyl.