Photographer's Note

there are three reasons I decided to post the photo:

first reason: a while ago I promised Shelly that I'd post a "woman's photo" to show a solidarity with this post. Shelly, this one's for you. [p.s. I've decided to establish Pink Photo Theme /"pink" as in ultimate girl colour/. ladies, help me fill this theme :)]

second reason: exactly one year ago I felt my heart skip a beat when I read an automatically generated e-mail from B&H telling me that one order of brand new Nikon D200 body has been shipped from their warehouse.
that camera is an awesome beast, althought occasionally too heavy for me [like when I took this shot - I had borrowed a scary lens from Kristaps, and the combined weigt of the camera body and lens was staggering 2,405kg. needless to say, no tripods were allowed].
the flower I chose to mark this occasion is Phalaenopsis equestris, one of the many amazing plants at the "Orchid Garden" exibition earlier this year in the New York Botanical Garden.

third reason: the orchid itself.
orchid family is the largest family of the flowering plants, there are nearly 22,000 accepted species of orchids, which equals about four times the number of mammal species, or more than twice the number of bird species. new orchid species are still being discovered at a rate of between 200 to 300 per year, mainly from tropical regions, as new areas of forest are opened up by road building and development schemes. new species such as the bright purple Phragmipedium kovachii, discovered in 2002, caused a huge stir in the orchid world and even made headlines in the New York Times; specimens smuggled out of their native Peru were selling for almost $20,000 each.
the mysterious plant was the 'must have' accessory of the 1800s. to supply the ever increasing desire for more novel and beautiful orchids, many nurseries in the 1800s sent out orchid hunters to collect vast numbers of plants from the wild and ship them back to Europe. the first plants of each new species brought back to England fetched high prices, the largest amount ever recorded was in 1890 when £1,500 was paid for one orchid, that is equivalent to around £96,500 today.
the orchid first is mentioned in Chinese literature, while in the first mention in Japan is the ancient tale of the emperor's wife, who was sterile but managed to give birth to 13 children in succession after inhaling the fragrance of C. ensifolium.
in Greek mythology, Orchis was the son of a nymph and a satyr. during a celebratory feast for Bacchus, Orchis committed the sacrilege of attempting to rape a priestess, resulting in his being torn apart by wild beasts, then metamorphosing into a slender and modest plant. Greek women also thought they could control the sex of their unborn children with orchid roots. if the father ate large, new tubers, the child would be male; if the mother ate small tubers, the child would be female.
Theophrastus was the first of the Western authors to mention orchids. it was he who first applied the name Orchis scientifically, echoing the myth of Orchis and reflecting the resemblance of the double root tubers to the male genitalia that got old Orchis in trouble in the first place.

/most of information from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, web-page/

ISO 200, 200mm focal length, pattern metering and auto white balance.

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Additional Photos by Kristine KL (avene) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1586 W: 134 N: 2932] (12675)
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