Thursday, 6 June 2013

Stand to attention!!

I've been digging around my old transparencies of late, not sure I can scan them all, there are hundreds mostly dating back to the Eighties but when I came across this little beauty, I had to give it a go. One of our rarest plants, this is a Military Orchid photographed in Buckinghamshire in 1982 (hence the slight colour shift in the slide). You'll have to excuse the out of focus close-up too, in those days my 'macro' lens consisted of an old 50mm binocular objective lens held over the front of the standard camera lens! Amazing it worked at all...

As far as I know it only has two sites in the country these days (I believe it was only three in 1982) - even back then it was a military operation getting in to see it (is that where the name came from?), involving a planning session with our 'mole', a pre-dawn visit and fence climb to get the shots and out again. Happy days spent with the late and great Alan Bundy and my older brother - can't beat 'em! And, if you ever wondered why species like this are not 'fair game' to be tweeted out to all and sundry, here's why - I recently discovered that a collector who learned of this site (it was well publicised in the 1990's so that everyone and their mother could go and see it), went in and dug up six plants!! I urge you, think again before posting locations of rare or scarce species of any sort, before we loose the lot!

This is another rarity too although much more widespread than Military orchid - this is a Man Orchid photographed...well, somewhere - it was over 30 years ago :-)

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