Thursday, July 31, 2014

Just because

I don't think any of us can explain what makes us go Ooh or ahh despite being effortful or complicated or time consuming. That feeling, however, is contagious. Although I do not aspire to have the knowledge of Ken Butler our botanist in residence ( I forget his real titles but the queen noted his contributions a couple years ago so he has intials behind his name), I can enjoy sharing his marvellous passion and the accumulated knowledge that seems now to come so effortlessly. I enjoyed his wisdom and the transformation in him --and us--as we wandered over the hill in search of tiny orchids and the rare purple oxytropis  on a recent walk with the field club.

Both botanists and poets can make us appreciate the very grass beneath our feet.
Ken's fingers showing us how to differentiate among the many orchids up here. In this case, do not be misled by the spots. This is not the spotted orchid, it is the early marsh orchid, but you need to get close to tell the difference--and know what to look at.

Oh, for those who might be curious. The tiny, yellow, four-petaled flower is tormentil. Allegedly the name comes from the idea that it could be used to ease the pain of tootache. i dont think anyone now remembers if that were true or how it was used, but the name lingers.