This is a story inspired by Friday Fictioneer’s photo prompt of of a glass greenhouse, specifically a palm room, where full-size palm trees grow, under a dome of glass triangles. Thanks for the prompt and for coming by to read!
Wimsley Botanical’s Phillip Osman sped across the blinking city to the Great Glass House, cradling an orchid. A quivering Crimson-Blue.
Each rainforest expedition heightened Phillip’s consternation.
More trees, felled. Specimens, lurking obscurely in nooks and crannies; climbing toward the canopy; ornamenting the surreptitious dimness of cave mouths, of brambly animal paths.
Orchids craved shade. In dappled light, through drenching soaks, their naked fingers clung adroitly and adamantly to the baldest crag or knob.
By contrast, lurid equatorial sunlight spelled death.
Yet, how men loved to pull back the dense green coverlet, and expose what lay beneath. Damn the consequences.
Beautifully written, Andrea.
Like Liz, it crossed my mind how the opposite of what we think is also true. Sun is not always the hero!
Is it too late to reverse what’s happened in the past? I’d like to think so.
I’d prefer to think it’s not too late, but perhaps that’s what you meant. I know green stuff in Florida comes back with a vengeance, if you just leave it alone.
I don’t know much about orchids, except that there are zillions of varieties and they are all stunningly beautiful. We live not too far from the lovely Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia, and there is an orchid room. I hadn’t thought much about it before, but the light there is dimmed.
So there is some hope. Along with those who destroy, there are also those who preserve and protect.
I have been to Longwood, in fact my daughter applied to their internship programs a few times. (Very competitive!) what a storybook told in plants! I love it!
It’s a wonderful place 🙂
Yep, we’re still managing to screw it up pretty badly.
Let’s hope that enough things are being done right, by experts and mere amateurs, to save this fragile green vessel of life. A world without orchids doesn’t much appeal to me.
Beautifully and poetically described. Oy, what’s been done to our planet. Well told story.
Thanks, Rochelle. Couldn’t resist such a beautiful picture.
It made me think of the old, extinct species, the nineteenth century human “naturalist,” who used to go poking around in distant corners of the world to bring back “curiosities.”
This breed has lost a good deal of respect over the years, and are now often seen as instruments of wicked colonial rule.
But there is something nostalgic about the scientific generalist, introducing his community to the as of yet unknown wonders of the world.
Now, so often, such collections are for preservation as much as for education or edification.
And the practice, carried on by experts, not amateurs, has a certain frightening sense of urgency to it.
Its as if the volunteer fire brigade had just transitioned over to a team of trained professionals. And now the whole town is on fire.
I particularly like how the story subverts our normal association of sunlight as a life-giving force.
Nice catch Liz. Floridians can vouch for the fact, this isn’t always so.
Which is one of the reasons I lasted only three years in Florida!
43 and counting! I have cultivated my indoor air conditioned spaces very well. A kind of cool-house, rather than hothouse. But woe is me, when the power goes out!
I wonder how many millions of species we’ve already wiped out?
Countless, I expect.
Tokens of Companionship
During the reporting on the fires in the Amazon last year, all I could think about was the loss of species and habitat. How can men be so greedy and stupid?
These qualities seem to be standard issue in every generation of humans, I’m afraid. Time we invested in an upgrade. 😬
Tokens of Companionship
It’s a story as old as time, unfortunately.