As always, you come across the best things in life where you wouldn’t expect them to be. It is the same with orchids. The most beautiful specimens grow on overgrown landfills or in roadside ditches. The 69 species of the Gargano region blossom at different times in the year, usually from March to September, although April and May are the best months to visit. On one of our last days in Italy we finally found a magnificent and prosperous Lizard orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum) – almost one meter in height – in-between a small and curvy mountain road, green scrub and a steep rock face. With all tricks that focal lengths and apertures offer, we did not manage to cope with the situation photographically. Nevertheless, we are happy – our first Himantoglossum hircinum. :)
A young hip couple in a convertible stops on the plateau, where the sea is only vaguely distinguishable in the haze. They ask for directions to the orchids. We can imagine both in one of the cool places down at the coast rather than here. We describe the route to the hiking trail at the bottom of Monte Sacro. Later we ask ourselves if we should have told them how small the orchids are and how hard to find. The trail is a good start into the realm of orchids, but they won’t find flowering meadows of orchids. But they will find some of the small and beautiful gems, maybe not as they expected and for sure not like the postcard images in the souvenir shops try to convey.
We are at home again. It did not rain for weeks. The sky is clear and the sun is bright. We view, edit and process our images. In the guides we find several species we did not find when we were there – they blossom later … maybe a reason to come back again.
And maybe there is another chance for dewdrops in the morning.
Please note that blogs reflect our photographers' opinions and not necessarily those of the directors of Wild Wonders of Europe.