In February, 2011, when all was white snow and many gray skies in NYC, I purchased a small yellow orchid (Phalaenopsis) at a local supermarket. It bloomed profusely for two months and then the blossoms fell, and I cut the stems right below the nodes. Placed in an east facing window, it sat till mid June when a bud appeared and opened enough to capture a single bloom, seen in the later images in this series. Green thumb? No. Force of nature. Must be.
A new phalaenopsis arrived unexpectedly in June, 2011, a lovely gift, traditionally large in size. The two must be compared.
Then, I went to Fire Island for a month -- the last two weeks in July, the first two weeks in August, 2011. A neighbor in my NYC apartment building cared for them until my return. My return in mid-August found them happily still surviving, and here lies the proof (from Back in Place to Heading to Ascot)!
Alas, all the blooms fell off, and just bare stems stood high. But then...some cooler nights set new buds; some "blasted" and fell off, could not quite make it, but others survived (the most genetically fit!!), and then a week before Christmas, 2011, both plants displayed blooms. It was a sight to warm your heart.
But, alas, they too eventually lost all blooms and sat on my windowsill bare bloomed!
However a new one arrived on March 1st, 2012, to show the way, perhaps induce some action. Let me present Xantippe. And yes, she is named after the wife of Socrates, the Greek philosopher who was always asking questions. Xantippe, I suspect, wanted a little peace and quiet to pursue her own activities.
Maybe she was argumentative at times debating her husband's questions, but that is the very reason that Socrates chose her:
"None of your soft-mouthed, docile animals for me," Socrates says; "the horse for me to own must show some spirit. And that is just my case. I wish to deal with human beings, to associate with man in general; hence my choice of wife. I know full well, if I can tolerate her spirit, I can with ease attach myself to every human being else."
August, 2012, Xantippe was looking dreary, just leaves, some yellow and ready for the dump heap, when I decided one more chance. A good watering and she responded...with multiple blooms. There are nine images of her. The blooms eventually fell off and dormancy set in.
Then a new shoot emerged in January, 2013.
And in mid February 2013, some new buds! And on February 26th, 2013, the first bloom from the new shoot. Here we go!!!!
© Silver Screen Productions/Mildred Alpern