Go wild / by Mario Mirabile

The Victorian Orchid Spectacular takes place each year at the end of August, and is the largest orchid show in Victoria. For the past few years I've been putting a few entries into the photography competition run in conjunction with the show. While it's an opportunity to have your work judged and possibly win some prizes, mostly it's a chance gain free entry to the show. It's an interesting outing and a chance take some orchid photos for next year's entries.

This year I was lucky enough to win first prize in the cultivated orchid section. That was quite pleasing of course, but having now found out there were two sections, the challenge had been laid down. I did some research and found the Baluk-William Reserve on the outskirts of Melbourne is a well-known habitat for native orchids. I made the trip and was rewarded with a few elusive specimens of Caledenia Carnea. It's quite a challenge to photograph these plants in the wild - they’re just a few centimetres high, and the slightest puff of breeze sets them swaying. Still, it was a pleasant and quite rewarding morning.