Saturday, February 7, 2009


Those wacky Dutch went through their tulip mania phase in the 17th century with tales of fortunes being traded for a single bulb. Apparently, the Brits experienced their own version of flower frenzy ~ as Victorian England went bonkers collecting new varieties of orchids. Given that orchids grow in every habitat (except for desert and glacier) those collectors must have traveled to the ends of the earth.
Orchid madness is alive and well today ~ although the enthusiasts that I’ve run into seem like reasonable folk and not at all the sort that would kidnap your flower. But they sure know what they like!

Of all the botanical designs I’ve ever created, the orchids are always the ones that disappear first at a show. I always regret not having more to offer but the roots and details are so darned intricate it puts a limit on the number I can do without succumbing to my own form of orchid madness. This is one of my favorite pieces from my most series of orchid designs.

Click on the picture to enlarge. You can see a few more examples of this design by visiting my Orchid Set on Flickr.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Nature Studies

As I mentioned on some previous post, I enjoy being a docent at the Smithsonian's Naturalist Center in Leesburg, Virginia. They let me arrive once a week (usually Fridays) and hang out with their wonderful specimens. I try to be helpful but, honestly, I'm no science teacher and leading a 7th grade group through the concept of classification is way out of my league. That's a task better left to the professionals. My main goal is to make life easier for the staff by helping with extraneous little projects like installing artwork or helping design a lepidoptera index drawer. When I'm done looking helpful, I enjoy my own little scavenger hunt ~ opening drawer after drawer each brimming with natural history! "Kid in a candy shop" does not begin to describe my experience.