Posts tagged Orchids

Orchids, Confucius and Darwin

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Orchids’ first association with humanity was said to be made by Confucius, as he said in Confucius’ Family Dialogue:  “The orchids let out their fragrance even if there is no one around to appreciate it. Likewise, men of noble character will not let poverty deter their will guided by high principles and morals.”(In Chinese“芝蘭生於森林, 不為無人而不芳, 君子修道立德, 不為窮困而改節.”)

On several occasions, Confucius expressed his deep love of orchids. He even called these magnificent plants the “King of Fragrance”. He, also along with many Chinese scholars, wrote numerous poems about orchids. The elegant appearance, the fragrance and the character of the orchids attract people to admire them and stand in awe of how they appear in this world.

Every year, at the beginning of March, there is an international orchid show in Santa Barbara. As I was told, it is the biggest one in the state.  I was overwhelmed by the displays when I paid a visit to the orchid show there the first time many years ago. There were thousands of beautiful orchids there for the people to enjoy. I love orchids so much that I try to go every year. On my blog, I have also written a few articles about orchids. Here are the links to  these articles:

Wisdom of Orchids(Part 1)

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As you can see, I wrote about the wisdom of orchids. A third of orchids use a deceptive method to become pollinated. They are truly the most fascinating plants in this world. While I was thinking about this, I was reminded of the story about orchids and Charles Darwin.

flowers of the orchid A. sesquipedale

The beautiful flowers of the orchid A. sesquipedale with the long, green nectaries hanging behind them. Photograph: Ardetti et al, 2012

According to Dr. Dave Hone in an article published by the Guardian, around 150 years ago, Charles Darwin was sent a box of orchids with the exceptionally long nectaries and hypothesized that there must be some insect with a very, very, very long tongue that could pollinate it. After all, if such an insect did not exist to pollinate the flower, how could it have survived all these years? However, no such insect was found until 1907, when a subspecies of an African Congo moth was found with an exceptionally long tongue span in Madagascar, where the orchids grew freely. In 1997, it was finally confirmed that the moth pollinated the orchid, as a scientist taped this interaction. Orchids are truly amazing, having coevolved with this moth to survive in our world.

Darwin's moth and its absurdly long proboscis

Darwin’s moth and its absurdly long proboscis. Photograph: Dave Hone

Please enjoy the pictures below of the 71st Santa Barbara International Orchid show!

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References:

http://www.asiasentinel.com/alice-poon/culture/the-orchid-and-confucius/

https://www.theguardian.com/science/lost-worlds/2013/oct/02/moth-tongues-orchids-darwin-evolution

Joke and Beautiful Orchids

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This joke is from my friend’s email.
HE GAVE HER THE BIGGEST KISS IN 40 YEARS!
John and Esther are flying to Australia for a 2-week vacation to celebrate their 50th vacation
Suddenly, over the public address system, the Captain announces,
“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m afraid I have very bad news… Our engines have ceased functioning and we will attempt an emergency landing. Luckily, I see an uncharted island below us and we should be able to land on the beach. However, the odds are that we may never be rescued and will have to live on the island for the rest of our lives!”
Thanks to the skill of the flight crew, the plane lands safely on the island and there are no injuries.
An hour later John turns to his wife and asks, “Esther, did we pay our VISA and Master Card bills yet?”
“No, sweetheart,” she responds.
John, still shaken from the crash landing, then asks, “Esther, did we pay our American Express card yet?”
“Oh, no! I’m sorry. I forgot to send the check,” she says.
“One last thing, Esther. Did you remember to send the estimated earnings check to the IRS this quarter?” he asks.
“Oh, forgive me, John,”begged Esther. “I didn’t send that one, either.”
John grabs her and gives her the biggest kiss in 40 years.
Esther pulls away and asks him, “What was that for?”
John answers,”They’ll find us!”


Please click the above arrow for background music while you enjoy the most beautiful orchid photos we took from 69th Santa Barbra International Orchid Show.
Click on image for enlarged view.

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Love, Orchids & a Miracle

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Dear Emily,

I want to thank you for being alive.
I went to visit you in a regular hospital room.
Even though you looked a bit pale and thin,
At last, I could be at ease.
Still, I couldn’t help shedding tears of gratitude.
You fought to survive over the last 10 days.
And you were finally transferred out of the I.C.U.

This was a fierce battle between life and death.
Nobody would have thought that someone as healthy as you, a doctor even,
Would get a gallbladder infection all of a sudden.
Just moments earlier you were treating patients.
The next minute you were sent to I.C.U.,
Where another doctor had to save you.

Lying in critical condition on the I.C.U. hospital bed just a few days ago,
You needed oxygen to sustain your fragile life.
My eyes were filled with tears.
I could not help asking God, “Why?”
Humans are weak and powerless over death.
Oh, God! Please help and give us a miracle.

I went home with a heavy burden.
Looking at fully bloomed orchids which I bought for you,
I had no idea when I could bring you the flowers.
I would not be able to do it if you stayed in the I.C.U.
Gazing at the orchids without blinking,
I hoped to receive an answer.

I thought back to when you fell to the ground from the top of a mountain a few years ago.
It was God’s love that helped you gain back your strength and stand up again.
This time you needed not only God’s love but also the love of your family.
You and your parents had not talked to each other for a couple of years.
Maybe I could try to persuade your parents to set aside your disagreement,
So that they would come to visit you in critical condition.

It was not an easy task.
I asked my daughter to talk to your brother,
Her husband also tried to explain to your parents the bleak situation.
Finally, the whole family showed up in the I.C.U.
Your parents did let go of their stubbornness,
Hugging you, their daughter, tightly to show their love.

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Miracles happened before your parents’ appearance in the I.C.U.
In your dream you saw a man praying for you under a tree.
He turned his head slightly when he finished his prayer.
You saw His face, and you told me that He was Jesus Christ.
Your parents showed up right after the dream.
Wonderfully, your condition improved every day after their visit.
And you could finally leave the I.C.U.

The medical staff believed that what happened to you was a miracle.
Your doctor was going to give up and put a tube in you to support you mechanically.
Twice, he decided against it.
The first time, he wanted to give you a chance because you, too, are a doctor.
His heart told him not to do it the second time.
Indeed, this wise doctor made an intelligent decision —
To wait for God to perform an extraordinary miracle.

I am truly grateful for your recovery,
And thankful that God let me bring orchids to you at long last.
It is not a coincidence that you were discharged on Easter Sunday.
Just as Jesus resurrected before,
He did the same thing to you.
And He brought your family back together with His love.
Oh, God, we thank You and we praise You.

Alice

 

 

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