A Fading Memory

My favorite flower is an Orchid.

It’s a specific subspecies of bee orchid, named as such because their flowers look like bees, and are paired to a unique species of bee.

They are evolved to work symbiotically with their unique bee partners, and over tens of thousands of years they slowly grew to look like their companions.

There is a certain subspecies of Bee Orchid, however, who’s bees are now all gone. Extinct, never to be seen on this earth again.

And yet, while we will never see this particular species of bee drifting lazily through a garden, there remains an echo.

The orchid still lives, year in year out, dwindling slowly. Its flower remains a tribute to the lost.

The image of a female bee long extinct. An image of the ideal female, the type that a male bee simply couldn’t resist. Interpreted and recalled by a flower.

An echo of irresistible beauty, the memory of a lost companion, by that which remains. Another thousand years, or another ten thousand, the orchid will remember while it is able.

No bee lands upon the orchid today, and in time this will be the end of the flower. The death of even this long genetic memory.

 

"Ophrys apifera var botteronii Saarland 01" by Orchi - Self-photographed. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
“Ophrys apifera var botteronii Saarland 01” by Orchi – Self-photographed. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

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