This tiny orchid was blooming almost everywhere we hiked while in the north of Sweden near Tärnaby, Granås and Vägsele. I'm grateful to our cousin Sture's wife Inger who was a wealth of information about the native wildflowers. Her reference books came in handy for researching the scientific names and I came home with most of the flowers I'd photographed already identified.
This lovely flower is also known as Moorland Spotted Orchid and goes by the Swedish name "Jungfru Marie nycklar" which translates to Virgin Mary's hand. This specimen, Dactylorhiza maculata subspecies maculata, is one of many subspecies of this tiny orchid plant that grows about 50 cm high and blooms in June and July. It is a protected species in Sweden.
I have shown two images to demonstrate the difference between using the 18-200mm zoom lens alone (on the left) vs. using the same lens with addition of a Kenko 36mm extension tube. As you can see, carrying lightweight extension tubes allows one to get macro images without carrying a heavy macro lens. Using a true macro lens yields better quality images (based on comparisons done in my garden at home), but nothing beats carrying extension tubes for travel if one doesn't want to carry every lens in their arsenal!
I'll be posting this to Macro Monday over at Lisa's Chaos later. I'm so far behind everywhere that I have no business doing so but I've missed visiting other's macro images while on travel in Sweden and Iceland and am just going to make time to visit some of you every day until I've made the rounds of blogs I follow (and/or reciprocate your comments) and can then start over again! :-)