Bee line for Bee orchids

(c) Andrew Gray

Bee Orchid, Corfu, (c) Andrew Gray

A couple of posts ago Tom highlighted some of the wonderful orchids he came across whilst in Majorca, and hearing of such amazing plants prompted Tara and I to go looking for some while we were in Corfu over the past couple of weeks. Its a place we make a bee-line for at this time of year and it didn’t disappoint – the weather was glorious and the hillsides covered a huge variety of flowering wild plants, it was a treat and a half to be there surrounded by such blossoming nature. The heat of the mediterranean sun, together with witnessing a wide variety of reptiles, a colourful array of butterflies, and with highly scented blooms filling our nostrils, it felt like we were in paradise.

Bee Orchid, Corfu (c) Andrew Gray

Bee Orchid, Corfu (c) Andrew Gray

After searching several areas we were lucky enough to finally find a small mountain valley that was literally thick with Orchids – many different species thriving together, including 3 bee orchids of the genus Ophrys, some growing literally within a metre of each other. As Tom mentioned, these orchids have evolved to deceive male bees into pollinating them by imitating the look of a female bee’s thorax  – and by releasing a smell identical to the female insect’s attractant pheromone. Very clever indeed! It was amazing to come across such beautiful orchids and a pleasure to spend time again on the greenest island in Greece.

Bee Orchid, Corfu (c) Andrew Gray

Bee Orchid, Corfu (c) Andrew Gray

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Corfu remains one of my very favourite places to visit, and at this time of year the intensity of its nature never fails to fill me with pleasure. Next week I head to Costa Rica, another of my favourite places in the world. I look forward to sharing my time there with you over the next few weeks..

Orchids of Majorca          Snakes of Corfu

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