Sunday, July 17, 2011

Heath Spotted Orchid by any name is a tiny wonder... Sweden, 2011

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! :-)


  1. Gorgeous the bee!

  2. What a gorgeous flower! I love orchids anyway, and that one is special!

  3. If this is a wildflower, I'd love to see your country's plant nurseries and everyone's gardens. I bet they're all striking...and beautiful as is this orchid.

    LIGHT OF MY LIFE is my Macro Monday Link
    Hope you can find time to stop in and give me a :::howdy:::
    Enjoy your week ahead!!!

  4. I'm going to remember that about extension tubes, Victoria, the next time we go to Atlanta, which is October! That way I'll still take my 28-300 lens but hoefully practice on some macros as well. In the meantime, I have set this week aside to do a lot of macro work. You'll see in next Monday's post if I've had any success. :) (You know, of course, that you're my inspiration!)

  5. What a pretty little flower. The extesion tube is a good idea!

  6. What a beautiful flower Victoria - I hope your trip was wonderful, looking forward to seeing more photos and welcome back!

  7. That is really pretty! So cool that it is very common where you were.
    (I think summer is the hardest time to keep up with blogs at least for me--so much stuff to do outside!)

    Kateri @ Dandelion Haven


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