Ever Met Snake Tongue Orchid?

Snake Tongue Orchid (Protected), photographed by Jeff Zablow in Rosh Hanikra, Israel

A sage family member shared, years ago, that grandchildren, for those fortunate enough to enjoy them, were “dividends.” He got that right. Application to butterflies and wildflowers? Seeking butterflies in the field (wild) often produces a very beautiful treat, wildflowers. Wildflowers that you didn’t expect or know you would see. Here, 7,000 miles from Pittsburgh International Airport (USA) I was seeking butterflies, and then . . . I saw these orchids. What? OMG! Excuse Me! And what do we have here? These, all thoughts that shot through my mind.

I was 50 yards from the Mediterranean Sea, in Rosh Hanikra National Park, Israel. At the northwestern tip of Israel, with the border with Lebanon in sight. That border with its own bloom of towers, disks, and other esoteric security gear. But down here, 450 feet from the border, I was meeting a new orchid, the Snake Tongue Orchid. Rare, protected and very extraordinary looking.

I worked about a mile of the Park, all hugging the shore of that blue-green sea. I worked it slowly and thoroughly. I saw approximately 35 of these orchids (Serapias Vomeracea). They were in small groups, plants usually 3-4 feet apart. Their color made them stand out like a sore thumb.

I looked at the dozens and dozens of tourists (Israeli, Chilean, Belgian, German, Canadian, Azbekistanian, and more), and thought what folks like us think. Why were 99.8% of us not stopping, getting out of their cars, and coming over to gaze at these fabulous orchids, limited bloom-time, and in very, very limited numbers?

For those of you who have not visited Israel, and imagine it as war-ravaged, paranoid, stressed and rocky barren . . . well, no, you ought to visit the HolyLand, for as you see, it it Beautiful.

Jeff