Floral Expressions

Orchid Mind

Orchid Mind -- 2012

The Marie Selby Botanical Garden in Sarasota, Florida has a world-renowned collection of epiphytes, including many species of the orchids and bromeliads that inspired these images.

There were yellows, reds and greens in abundance on this warm spring day in March, and the dramatic showy inflorescecne of the bromeliads complemented the more delicate and complicated statements by the orchids. As the days pass and seasons change, different plants burst into bloom, so a visit to the Garden always holds something new.

bromeliad inflorescence

Inflorescence -- 2012

Bromeli-eyed Inflorescence

bromeliad inflorescence

Bromeli-eye - 2011

People often anthropomorphize, sometimes seeing facial or other human features in plants or inanimate scenes, and often ascribing human feelings and emotions to pets, to wild animals, and even to important religious abstractions. This human tendency to anthropomorphize can provide comfort or cause unease, depending on the situation. The desire to find human attributes in the non-human may reflect our social nature and the importance of social context in our understanding of the world around us. And it is a good thing if it also encourages empathy for other living things and the environment.

I wonder if the increased speed of our civilization, increased electronic connectivity, and a corresponding reduction in time for contemplation and meaningful face to face contact with each other and with the natural world will affect the desire (or ability) to anthropomorphize — or to empathize.

bromeliad inflorescence

Inflorescence - 2011

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