A couple of weeks ago when I was in Phoenix I saw the most beautiful orchid at a local store near where we were working. I knew that it would never survive airport security and two airplane rides home but the sight of that plant pushed me over the edge. I have wanted to grow orchids for quite a while and when I arrived in Billings I went to the local big chain hardware store to get an orchid because I just had to have one then (I know, I will be more selective in my choice of suppliers next time. This one came with extras though - all the aphids I could clean off the buds). The plant I picked was not blooming but had lots of buds and we have been not-so-patiently waiting for the flowers. I wasn't even sure what the flowers would look like when I bought it but I did find a photo of this type of orchid on the internet so I had an idea after I got home. Last night it started blooming. I now have two buds that are open with more to come soon I hope.
Odm Midnight Miracles "Highland" (I need to get a few more photos of the flowers because these makes the long petals look the same color as the lower part of the flower and the lower part is really much more pinkish red and the upper petals more brownish red than these photos depict - I also need to start learning some orchid terminology!).
I owe Julie Zickfoose a big thanks for answering my questions and providing me with a very good list of resources. Julie has some wonderful orchids that she occasionally posts about. I got a good reminder about how beginning birders must feel with my beginning orchid questions and Julie was great and helped me keep this plant going. Now for more plants!
Here are a couple of my favorite orchids growing wild in Torres Del Paine National Park.