Sunday, January 18, 2015

Deep Freeze in DC

The Capitol in winter.

Last Sunday I attended BASNCR's first meeting of the year at the US Botanic Garden. This year I was asked to be the Treasurer for our chapter and although I'm still struggling to complete my Botanical Certificate project, I decided to accept. All-volunteer groups such as this one always have a need for rotation of officers, and since all members benefit from the work of the organization, I am willing to take my turn at the helm.

Temperatures that morning were in the teens, and I arrived a few minutes early. The Botanic Garden hadn't opened yet so I got out of the car to take in the scene. The reflecting pool by the Capitol was frozen solid with bits of ice and snowballs that visitors had pitched on the surface. I was aware of the restoration work taking place on the Capitol dome, since images of the scaffolding are often shown on the news, but I hadn't had a chance to see it in person.

I got my camera out and took a few shots. This part of D.C. really is beautiful, no matter what time of the year. The lack of traffic and crowds this early on a Sunday morning made the scene even more appealing. The crowds would arrive soon enough, but for a brief moment, it was lovely.

The Reflecting Pool by the Capitol.
The rest of my day was so busy I had no time to take photos inside the Botanic Garden. But here's a shot of the orchid blooming in my bathroom.

Colmanara 'Wildcat' hybrid orchid.
I believe I've now identified my mystery orchid as a Colmanara 'Wildcat' hybrid, and as suspected, it's a cross between Miltoniopsis (hybrid of Miltonia and Oncidium) and an Odontonia (hydrid of Odontoglossum and Miltoniopsis). These orchid hybrids have very complex parentage!