Polyrrhiza lindenii, the Ghost Orchid


It is an uncomposed, low – res photo but I took it myself. I am an ordinary man but I saw this sight with my own eyes. How did this come about?


Fl has hot and humid weather that is awful for humans for most of the year. But it is a place where you can be close to the wellspring of life and living things. Word came to me on July 16, 2007, a Monday, that there was a blooming Ghost Orchid at the Audubon Sanctuary at Corkscrew Swamp. It was a hard wait until the next Saturday when I could drive the 200 miles to see if there was still a flower. I called the Sanctuary volunteers each day for the flower report, sometimes to hear that one dropped off after a hard rainstorm.

It was raining on the Saturday a few faithful friends and I made the drive down to Corkscrew and a grey veil hung in every direction as we walked the mile of boardwalk. Lightning flashed close by and we passed burned spots in the ground. We’d seen a dead cow in a field close to the preserve. We were too afraid to linger very long at the site but we were there, saw the flowers with our own eyes and took our photos. I even took off my glasses and looked at the plant – high on it’s tree and out of focus for me – so I can say ‘with my own eyes’ in complete honesty. The group of humans who have seen that flower is an exclusive club.

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