Becky is asking for odd squares throughout February and I believe that these lady slipper orchids qualify.
‘Lady slipper’ is the name familiarly used for orchids in the Cypripedioideae family. Popular plants, they appeal to gardeners and photographers because they play infinite variations on a well-known tune. As part of their quirky appeal, slipper orchids have different expressions if you look at them the right way*. For example, gurning like the ones above…
timid like this one with a veined pouch…
or lofty and self-satisfied like this. Mind you, it is rather fine with a green and purple nose, a blotchy eye mask, a pink spotted pouch and a halo above the whole. Could we be modest if we sported such glories?
(*The right way being with one eyebrow down and one eyebrow up, if you can manage it.)
I’ve often wondered about the slipper name, not having had any slippers remotely like these, but finally I see it. You have to ignore the upper and side bits and imagine you are slipping your toes downwards into the insect pouch. Everyone but me knew that, I dare say.
These dejected green orchids illustrate the slipperness about the best amongst the pictures I have.
The last is one of my favourites, because it makes me smile. I shared it several years ago using a different crop. What’s their expression? I think they’re defending their territory, so trying to look fearsome, united and impressive. Or backing away in horror. Or alien invaders, unsure of their welcome. Something along those lines.