Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cascading orchid

Cascading orchid, originally uploaded by maxful.
In their native habitat Phalaenopsis (Moth orchids) have a pendant habit. They cling to rocky outcrops and tend to flower downward. Years of cross breeding and careful staking have now bred hybrids that stand upright on our baby grands and show benches. Poor butterfly. I draw you as you as the heavens made you.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Regent Bowerbird – King Orchids

Regent Bowerbird – King Orchids, originally uploaded by maxful.
In the 1950s we lived in a rural setting on the outskirts overlooking Brisbane – on the edge of a rainforest. Grandad presented me with a 410 gauge shotgun on my fourteenth birthday and I began shooting rabbit, hare, duck, and quail for the table.

One day in the depths of a cloud forest near Mount Glorious, I raised my gun to fire as an incredibly beautiful gold-and-black bird descended between me and the pigeon prey. Stopped me in my tracks. Not shy or timid, the dazzling creature swung upside down on some overhead vines and appeared to look right down the barrels of my gun.

Shaken I watched the golden bird, a Regent Bowerbird, watch me watching it perform. The moment of awakening. I put down the gun and never fired a shot again.

That was my one encounter with this wonderful species. Sudden awareness. Birds are wonderful creatures and I was not sent here to destroy them.

Never having actually seen a bower, nor the shiny trinkets the male bird collects to attract a mate I took some liberties with this sketch. But the image of that one early encounter burns bright as day these sixty-something years later.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Coelogyne assamica

Coelogyne assamica, originally uploaded by maxful.
Not a lot of orchids flowering at the moment but the art file continues to blossom forth. This, number 66 in the series. Coelogyne assamica hails from Burma but this study is from photographs of a plant growing in a friend's garden in San Salvador and posted in FlickR on the net. Small world. The Grevillea and Blue Wrens are an Aussie touch.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dragonfly visits Spider Lily

Dragonfly visits Spider Lily, originally uploaded by maxful.
A dear old Dutch Lady gave me this Spider Lily. It moved house over the past years to end up as part of a creekline in Cooroy, South East Queensland. I considered it a rarey. Now, Council landscapes in Brisbane suburbia are awash with never-ending streetcapes of the plant I was told came out of Africa. Wrong. Seems Hymenocallis is a genus of some 70 species with a broad range including (I Googled) 'the southern United States to the north, down through Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and into the very north of South America'. Or am I getting it wrong? Think I'll remember my Spider Lily this way – visited by a Dragonfly and happily ensconsced on a waterway out back of Noosa hinterland, Queensland.