Orchids and Freaky Moth Sex in Chiang Mai
I visited Thailand in April with a group of garden writers. The trip was sponsored by the Tourism Authority, but as they say on NPR, the opinions expressed are those of the author, not the underwriter.
Our first stop in Chiang Mai was Bai Orchids, where we got a demonstration of orchid propigation by an elderly master gardener. He was a little difficult to understand, but his passion for the plants read loud and clear. I have him to thank for getting me started on bottle orchids as well as trying to pollenate my own.
I wandered the rows and rows of orchids I could never grow outdoors at home in San Francisco. There were Vandas that were taller than me. I was particularly captivated by the dense forest of their roots.
But nothing in Thailand is ever just one thing. So in addition to being an amazing orchid nursery, Bai is also a butterfly farm. An enclosed area next to the orchids was home to thousands of butterflies, dragonflies, and moths. In one spot, I saw the largest moth I’d ever seen – about the size of my hand, fingers outstretched. As I was photographing him, I noticed that he was not alone. Behind him was his, um, good friend, with whom he was intimately connected.
Orchid sex and moth sex, all in one place? Thailand is awesome.