Natural History Photographs

Over the years, my focus on particular groups has drifted in various direction; the most recent change being a shift away from lichens towards (mostly flowering) plants. While lichens have no particular season that is optimal for looking for them, plants have often a rather restricted period during which they bloom. In the Mediterranean, a hotspot for plant biodiversity, the flowering season is rather early, which relates especially to rainfall (and its absence during the summer). One group of plants which in Europe is best represented in the Mediterranean is the orchids, which have a special lure to many people, including me. They flower rather early, which given my occupation (teaching) is somewhat unfortunate, as my options for taking holiday leave in spring are rather limited. This year, the spring break was rather early, end April - still late for orchids, but nonetheless overlapping with the tail of the optimal flowering season. So I decided to visit Crete, which has a reputation for being rich in plants and orchids. With spring being rather late in Crete, I found myself in quite an optimal time for many orchids, and I found 25 species flowering, which I judge to be quite a good score. In the end I photographed well over 100 plantspecies, quite a rich bounty for one week outdoors!

As with all my trips in this corner of Europe, I traveled together with Matty Musters, who took care of all the logistic aspects, in addition to being a good friend and conversational partner.

To get an overview of the landscape and nature at the various sites, hover your cursor over the pins, then click any of the stars that will appear. Small stars indicate short pages, large stars indicate longer pages, while purple stars indicate the longest pages, or those with subpages. (nb: This functionality is not available for touch screens; touching the pins will link you through.)