The Sting of the Wild Bee Orchid

The Sting of the Wild Bee Orchid

Sunday lunch in North Clare, a beautiful roast, all the trimmings, trifle with homemade custard and coffees…. Our hostess left us.
“Come see our place next door”. I was invited by another guest.
A stone house, a semi wild garden….. Entranced, I gazed at my first ever sighting of a bee orchid.

It was delicate, much, much smaller than I had imagined, the flower head shaped like wild bees.
THUD! My guides camera dropped, millimetres away from crushing the flower. My reaction? Hysterical laughter at the near obliteration of this wonder.
Two weeks later, near Cormac’s Well, looking at thousands of other orchids (not a single bee orchid to be seen), I remembered the incident and told my friend. Again, there was laughter from us both.

A call came on my friend’s mobile phone. As I sat on a Burren limestone rock my coat swung beneath me and I heard a definite, tiny crack.
My precious new camera was in the pocket, a spiders web spreading across its plasma screen.
My friend phoned later to tell me she had found an orchid in her new garden.
Delighted , and with a spurt of enthusiasm she set about some clearing….and mowed her precious find into the grass clippings.

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