The Florida State Park Plein Air Painting Tour – Painting each of Florida's State Parks on location
Today I went on a field trip to east Orlando for an Orchid Walk lead by Prem Subrahmanyam. Prem is an expert in Florida native orchids and creator of http://www.flnativeorchids.com We all gathered early in the morning and soon we off to our first stop. Surprisingly just a spot on roadside ditch! But it was a spectacular spot loaded with orchids and wildflowers. Below is my second shutter click of the day – a beautiful Grass Pink Orchid. There were many more great photo ops to come!
We spent about an hour just photographing the flowers as Prem answered questions and taught us about the species names and habitats they prefer. Then we headed our caravan to Fort Christmas Park. There we saw many Butterfly Orchids and Jingle Bell Orchids. The little Jingle Bell orchids don’t have any leaves, so to find them you have to look for the roots. There were also many different air plants (tillandsias) growing in the trees. While I was looking at one large specimen of Wild Pine blooming high in the oaks, a hummingbird came by to gather nectar from the flower! Soon we were off again to Orlando Wetlands Park. Here we saw more orchids and wildflowers. We had a little excitement while walking on the trail when I just about stepped on a pigmy rattlesnake curled up on the trail! I yelled SNAKE! and instead of running everyone gathered to take a photo of him – but I was too busy getting away from him to get my own photo! For some this was the end of their tour, but a few of us hardy ones drove on over to another nearby preserve and saw some hooded pitcher plants. The day was getting extremely hot, and we ended the day exhausted from the heat. The photo gallery below is only a portion of what we saw today. If Prem offers another orchid walk, I highly suggest you go!