Why Pick Orchids?

2013_04_09 PIC - Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea) 01
Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea)
Ahh yes, the best laid plans of mice and men, last weekend I said I’d put up some photos of orchids. Well I left my camera at home by mistake when out checking roads for a Great Bustard survey as I was in a bit of a rush. Thus no photos but I did check out a good spot for four species of orchid, one of which actually being a hybrid. And I found them. The next day I did the census of Great Bustard, (53 counted) and went home to pick up my wife and son and visiting mother who loves orchids. Off we go for a picnic to see the orchids. I was very excited to show my mother the flowers as she was very surprised a place such as La Mancha would have them. So what’s new…

2013_04_09 PIC - Champagne Orchid (Orchis champagneuxii) 02
Champagne Orchid (Orchis champagneuxii)

Anyway, we had a sunny picnic and went to look for the orchids. I could only find three species. Where were the four Sawtooth Orchid plants?? I searched and searched where they had been but no sign of them. I was gutted as they were the stars of the show. As we were about to leave, we noticed a couple, and the man was taking photos with a decent camera and tripod of one of the Butterfly Orchids. I thought, lovely, appreciation of nature in spite of the fact it would appear that someone picked or uprooted the Sawtooths. Suddenly my mother calls me to say that he had then uprooted the plant and was walking back to his car!!!

I immediately went over to him and informed him that this was a nature reserve and that taking photos is fine but taking plants, especially orchids, was not. If we all did that there would be none left and told him I had just spent half an hour looking for the Sawtooth Orchids but they were gone. He sheepishly suggested someone had probably picked them as he held the forlorn plant in his hand.

Very apologetically he replanted it saying that I was right, they were more beautiful in the ground where everyone could enjoy them. If everyone picked one in Peralvillo, they wouldn’t last long. I do hope the Sawtooth Orchids survive.

2013_04_09 PIC - Champagne Orchid (Orchis champagneuxii) 01
Champagne Orchid (Orchis champagneuxii)

The orchids here were photographed in Picón, 5 minutes walk up the road from our house.

Contact Oretani Wildlife for guided birding, wildlife and flora tours in Montes Norte and Castilla La Mancha, in central Spain.

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