Say you’re walking around a patch of scrub or remnant vegetation and you see a scattering of green leaves that have fallen onto the ground from somewhere. You’re intrigued, so you kneel down for a closer look and you notice that they’re not fallen, they grew that way. At home you get out your native plant book and learn that they’re the basal leaf of a native orchid, but there’s no flower, so you wonder what will come up.
The next year, you’re wandering around in that area again and there they are again, but this time there are slugs on them! You kneel down again and see that they’re not slugs at all, they’re the orchid flower and suddenly their identity comes to you: Slaty-helmet orchids! Tricky little doodads. These photos show you how tiny they are – the flower is about the size of my little finger nail.
I bought a macro lens adapter on Gumtree, and it arrived today, so I rushed up to the amazing nature strip outside my property to investigate properly. The Raynox DCR-250 macro adapter lens did a mighty fine job attached to the zoom lens on my Panasonic Lumix DMC GX7, and has a universal fit so is suitable for many lenses and cameras.
The lesson is to be watchful, and willing to wait.
I went for a ramble into Yallakar, west of Harrow, a few days ago and was rewarded with finding my first sighting of greenhood orchids of the wildflower season. As with much in life, it was only when I stopped looking that I saw them!
Panasonic Lumix GX7, Panasonic Leica 45mm macro lens. Cropped and border applied in Snapseed app.